FINDING THE BEST PATHWAY TO COME TO CANADA FOR HARRY, MEGHAN, and baby ARCHIE
By Gin Aguilar
Finally, it’s been decided – the Sussex family of Harry and Meghan is going to exit the royal family and will be stepping down completely from all their royal duties. After weeks of crisis the couple ignited by announcing last January 8th that they wanted to step back as part of “senior members” of the Royal family, become financially independent and spend more time in North America particularly Canada, it has been announced last Saturday, January 18th that the couple will no longer use their most exclusive titles, “HRH”, or His Royal Highness and Her Royal Highness. They will also forgo public funding of their activities and will repay around USD $3 million for the renovation of Frogmore Cottage, their residence on the grounds of Windsor Castle. Said changes will take effect this coming spring and will be reviewed after a year.
The news comes after a series of dialogues and private talks with Prince Charles, Prince William, and the Queen, who on Saturday revealed that she was “pleased to have found a constructive and supportive way forward” for the Sussexes. The prince maintained that he’s not abandoning his beloved country or the Queen, but asserted that “As far as this goes, there really was no other option.” Apparently, there’s no such thing as part-time royals.
Initially, the couple was hoping to be given permission for a hybrid role wherein they would be allowed to become financially independent but also continue representing the Queen and still perform their duties. But it appears they were presented with only two choices by the Buckingham Palace — in or out. Harry and Meghan opted out.
The couple will keep their titles Duke and Duchess of Sussex, which the Queen bestowed on them after they were married in 2018. Harry remains a prince and sixth in the line of succession, regardless of the changes that have been formally agreed upon.
CANADA AS THEIR SECOND HOME?
Although the couple has already been given permission by the Queen to move to Canada, what was not addressed from the royal announcement was about the young family’s security – it did not give further details as to how the security arrangements will look like for the couple and their young son in Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on January 13th, 2020 news on tv that, “There are still a lot of decisions to be taken by the royal family, by the Sussex’s themselves, as to what level of engagement they choose to have and these are things that we are obviously supportive of their reflections, but have responsibilities in that as well.” Trudeau added: “There are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly-funded security, that is part of the reflection that needs to be had and there are discussions going on.” Security experts are guessing that the Buckingham Palace will probably continue to provide the couple with some police protection, given their status as famous public figures.
WHAT ARE THE COUPLE’S IMMIGRATION OPTIONS?
Now that it has been confirmed that their choice of second home is Canada, the next question popping into our minds is that, what are the couple’s immigration options? Currently, it is quite unclear as to how Harry and Meghan plan on immigrating to Canada. Like many young families deciding to settle in our maple-leaf country, the Sussex family will need to decide if they plan on temporarily residing only in Canada or if it is going to be more of a permanent haven for them. Do they plan on buying a home here, or just lease a house, or stay in an apartment first before shopping for real estate? How about Archie’s education? These are just some of the major decisions that they need to sort out in order for them to move to the next level and figure out the best immigration path for their family. They may also try and attempt to use their royal status as a means of obtaining permanent residency, however, that would be politically risky and for sure there will be a lot of controversy around it, especially in a country that respects rules and values fairness in its immigration programs (they need to follow the process and fall in line!).
When it comes to immigration, taxation and even what they call themselves, Harry and Meghan along with their baby Archie will be no different from any other newcomers to Canada, and without permanent residency (PR) or Canadian citizenship, they can only spend a certain amount of time in True North — British and American citizens can only spend up to 6 months in the country as a visitor — so it remains to be seen how much time the young family will also spend outside the country.
Here’s an initial assessment of their immigration options
Express Entry system
Start-up Visa Program
Provincial Nominee Program
Self-Employed Persons Program
Temporary Option – Visitor Visa
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