Harry and his wife Meghan Markle have moved once again, this time from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara. It is the first house they have bought together and their representative has explained that they “have settled into the quiet privacy of their community”, which is home to other A-list celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey. Although the couple have lived outside of the UK for most of this year, royal fans are still scratching their heads over Harry’s future status now he has set up shop in the US.
Meghan and their son Archie are both US citizens, but Harry’s ties to the British throne and UK citizenship have complicated matters relating to his immigration status.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, tax advisor David Lesperance explained that Harry “has a choice as to whether he ever wants to become a US person for tax purposes”.
He is not currently a US citizen or green card holder, as he would be if he were to be sponsored by his US spouse, Meghan.
Yet, Mr Lesperance explained that the Duke of Sussex could be deemed an American citizen “by spending too much time in the US, which is called a substantial presence test”.
He said that this would come into effect if Harry were to spend 121 days a year in the US.
An individual is also considered a US resident if they spent 31 days in the current year and 183 days over the last two years in the country.
As a result, as long as Harry made sure he did not exceed this number, he could avoid the automatic classification of becoming a US citizen and therefore paying taxes.
Mr Lesperance told Express.co.uk: “How does Harry spend time in the US from an immigration point of view but not spend too much time where he becomes a taxpayer?
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Indeed, during the negotiations with the Queen over their exit from the Royal Family, Harry and Meghan did agree to spend the majority of their time in North America.
Yet, as the two have recently signed up to a high-profile public speaking agency, they may be able to travel a great deal for work.
Their charitable venture Archewell, is set to be launched soon, too, while Harry has been seen focusing on his sustainable travel organisation, Travalyst, in recent months, both of which could see the Duke of Sussex work away from the States.
Another potential strategy for Harry to avoid automatically becoming a US citizen was exposed by lawyer Dianne Mehany.
Speaking to Town & Country in April, she explained: “Someone who has spent very little time in Los Angeles until 2020 — and was essentially trapped here because of the way the world has shut down — you have a compelling argument that you’re not truly a resident of the US.”
However, this could be called into question after Harry and Meghan purchased an £11million mansion in Santa Barbara earlier this summer, which suggests they are putting permanent roots down.