FOR fellow Britons planning to marry a foreigner, the news this week of Prince Harry’s engagement to Meghan Markle, an American actress, may have evoked feelings of affinity—but also, perhaps, of some sympathy. Since immigration rules were tightened in 2012 by the then-home secretary, Theresa May, it has become much harder for Britons to wed foreigners. An obstacle course of expensive tests has significantly cut the number of Britons deciding to settle down with a special citizen of nowhere. Before his spring wedding, Prince Harry faces a long correspondence with the Home Office.
Certain members of foreign royal families enjoy exemptions in Britain’s immigration law, says Natasha Chell, an immigration lawyer. But as an ordinary citizen, Ms Markle does not qualify for those get-outs. The Home Office says that she will have to jump through the same hoops as any other foreign bride.
The first step will probably be a fiancée visa, which would allow the couple to live in Britain after the wedding. Once married, the…Continue reading