Prince Harry and Meghan Markle relocated to California just before strict lockdown rules were put in place, and they have reportedly been enjoying family time with their one year old son, Archie Harrison.
The couple moved overseas after announcing that they were stepping down as senior members of the royal family, first to Canada and then to LA.
However, if the Duke of Sussex wishes to settle permanently in the US he will have to go through various processes, such as taking a test for a California driver’s license, setting up a bank account and attending an in-person request for a social security number. Since most offices closed in March as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, this may prove difficult given the current circumstances.
Harry is thought to be on a B1/B2 tourist visa or an A1 diplomatic visa, but they do not allow him to work unless he is undertaking diplomatic work on the latter visa.
Social Security expert Philip Moeller said: ‘The agency invites people to make in-person appointments but this word doesn’t always make it out to the actual field offices where such meetings are supposed to take place.
‘People tell us some offices refuse to even schedule meetings, while the waiting list at others can be several weeks long.’
But a source told The Times that the Duke does not intend to become a permanent resident or wish to obtain a Green Card.
This could, however, be an option for Harry as he is married to am American citizen and their son, Archie, holds dual national American-British citizenship. In this case, Meghan could become his sponsor, although it can take up to two years to process.
The US tax system means he would also have to offer details about his bank account holdings and file a return regardless of whether he is earning an income there.
Henry Bubel, a tax lawyer, told Town & Country: ‘That wouldn’t tell you anything else about the rest of the royals’ finances except by implication.
‘However, if he were the beneficiary of trusts, where he received distributions from that trust while he was a resident, there’d be some complicated reporting and some complicated tax analysis that would have to be done.’
Harry would also be expected to pay for his health insurance, which was previously covered by the Medical Household as a member of the royal family.