By Stacey Leasca
November 19, 2019
Samir Hussein/WireImage

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, may now be a full-fledged member of the British royal family, but it turns out she may not be a British citizen just yet.

In 2017, a few months prior to Meghan’s wedding to Prince Harry, representatives at Kensington Palace announced that Meghan would undergo the extensive immigration process to become a U.K. citizen. As Travel + Leisure previously explained, the process of becoming a U.K. citizen includes taking a test and meeting a few general requirements (like being over the age of 18, having no serious criminal background, and being of sound mind).

However, there is one more item on that list that is still affecting Meghan’s immigration status: a three-year wait.

"It might seem extraordinary, given that she's been married to the Queen's grandson for 18 months, but she accepts that it's a slow process,” a source shared with Daily Mail.

So, despite marrying into the royal family and becoming a mother to another member of the Windsor crew Meghan still has to wait out the immigration process just like everyone else.

There is also one more requirement that may put the Duchess in a pickle this holiday season. According to Daily Mail, a person applying for U.K. citizenship must not have spent more than 270 days outside the country during the three-year wait period before they submit their immigration application.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have already spent quite a bit of time outside the country while visiting several countries in Africa, touring Australia, New Zealand, and the Kingdom of Tonga, and have plans to spend the holiday season in the United States with Meghan’s mother Doria. However, Daily Mail also noted, “the Home Office dictates people may be exempt from the residency requirements if your partner works abroad either for the UK government or an organization closely linked to the government, which may apply to the Duchess.”

Considering Meghan was doing the vast majority of her travel as part of official business we think they’ll let that one slide.

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