A claim that Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, has diplomatic immunity in the U.S. that protects him if Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, decides to divorce him while living in the country, has sparked a debate on social media
Earlier today (April 28), royal writer Angela Levin shared an Instagram post that claimed that Meghan cannot divorce Harry in California because he enjoys diplomatic immunity. According to the Instagrammer, if Meghan begins divorce proceedings against Harry, the State Department will immediately intervene to suspend the proceeding due to Harry’s diplomatic status.
“Meghan can only divorce Harry in London where his diplomatic immunity does not apply,” the Instagrammer wrote.
Levin responded to the Instagram post, saying it was an “interesting revelation” and then wondered whether Meghan was aware of it.
“Very interesting revelation about Harry’s diplomatic immunity in the USA,” Levin tweeted. “Wonder if Meghan knew this.”
Reactions on social media
Levin’s tweet sparked a debate on Twitter. Some social media users cast doubt on the claim that Harry traveled on a diplomatic passport and that the U.S. government granted him an A-1 visa that confers diplomatic immunity on him. Others argued that even if he has diplomatic immunity, it does not mean that Meghan cannot divorce him in California.
Some even argued that he probably has an O-1 visa for people with special talent or abilities.
Harry is not applying for permanent residency or U.S. citizenship
While there has been no independent confirmation of Harry’s official status as a foreign national living in the U.S., the Telegraph reported back in March 2020 that the U.S. government was likely to grant him diplomatic status.
An immigration expert told the Telegraph that Harry would probably be granted an A-1 visa reserved for diplomats and government officials due to his status as a senior member of the British Royal Family.
He could then obtain a green card and become a permanent resident of the country. He could also apply for citizenship after living three years in the country as a permanent resident.
However, the Times reported that according to a source, although Harry was eligible for permanent U.S. residency, he was not planning to apply for residency or U.S. citizenship.
“The Duke has not made an application for dual citizenship, and I don’t think he will apply for a green card at any point,” the source said.
Harry will have to renounce his royal titles before he can become a U.S. citizen
The Express noted that the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act requires Harry to renounce his royal titles before he can become a U.S. citizen. He would also have to pay worldwide taxes after he becomes a U.S. citizen.
It is believed that these requirements could explain why Harry is currently not pursuing permanent U.S. residency and citizenship.