Do the royal family have Canadian citizenship?
January 14, 2020 5:22 PM   Subscribe

With all of the fuss about Harry and Meghan possibly moving to Canada, it leads me to wonder if Harry has Canadian citizenship. If he moved here, could he vote in an election? Could he get a passport? Or does he have to apply for citizenship like every other immigrant?

How about the Queen? Does the Queen have Canadian citizenship? She's our head of state, but does that confer citizenship?

Thanks Metafilter monarchists!
posted by Valancy Rachel to Law & Government (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
“There are no provisions in the Citizenship Act that confer Canadian citizenship status to members of the royal family,” Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, a government department, said in a statement. “In order to become legal permanent residents of Canada, they would need to apply through our normal immigration processes.”

The statement added, “However, members of the royal family are not required to seek authorization to come to and stay in Canada as visitors.”
posted by Paragon at 5:28 PM on January 14, 2020 [3 favorites]

it’s complicated
posted by exois at 5:29 PM on January 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

National Post seems to think the Queen doesn't need citizenship: "She has a different kind of status but it’s not citizenship. It’s a state authority". By the same article Harry and Megan would have to apply like anyone else: "Canada will not automatically grant the royal couple citizenship, and would need to apply to become permanent residents through the normal immigration process, Mathieu Genest, a spokesperson for the immigration minister, told the CBC in a statement." [source]
posted by cgg at 5:29 PM on January 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

Wow you guys are fast! In summary: the Queen has special status and doesn’t need citizenship. The royal family has no special role at all. But when they come on royal tour, they don’t need visitor visas.

posted by Valancy Rachel at 5:42 PM on January 14, 2020

Harry and Meghan, and why members of the Royal Family can’t live in Canada (Globe and Mail, 13 January 2020)
posted by Ahmad Khani at 5:43 PM on January 14, 2020

Harry and Meghan, and why members of the Royal Family can’t live in Canada

Just for the record, though: this is not a news article but an unsigned Globe & Mail editorial that apparently rests the entirety of its argument on "an unspoken constitutional taboo." This does not seem to me to be a serious argument one way or another.
posted by mhum at 11:28 AM on January 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

Oh, also, that editorial contains the line "You are welcome to visit, but so long as you are senior royals, Canada cannot allow you to come to stay." (emph. added) which somehow misses the fact that this whole thing was set off by Harry & Meghan stating that they're stepping back from being senior royals.
posted by mhum at 11:31 AM on January 15, 2020

Markle is an American who was a resident of Canada, living in Toronto when she met Mountbatten-Windsor. She was presumably living there legally. I don't know her immigrant status but I would presume she didn't allow it to lapse and is intending to resume where she left off.

Persons with sufficient income are normally welcome to reside in Canada indefinitely. If you are not going to work here and not going to draw any kind of government benefits such as medicare, social assistance etc. you can often extend your visitors visa indefinitely. Canada has no objection to foreign millionaires hanging out and spending money. You are more than welcome to buy pricey properties and call them a second residence. You might be required to leave the country periodically to get your visa renewed. It is quite easy for a parent to get a two year visa to come and stay if they have a child in the country - such as Archie - so if Markle can bring Archie in with her, then Mountbatten-Windsor can come and stay with them. It is more than probable that the couple will be leaving the country on trips often enough to get their visas renewed enough to content the immigration department, whatever their status is. If ordinary rules are applied they should have no problem buying a Toronto residence and living there for a few years while trying to get permanent landed immigrant status. With their income they should be able to keep it up indefinitely.

Of course there is the question of the fact that they are likely to need security and someone is going to have to pay for it. That someone will probably be the Crown for their day to day needs and the local police department/RCMP when they get stalked by specific individuals and report break and enter, trespassers, threatening letters, etc.

They may hire some local bodyguards. They could open a business to do so, "Sussex Security" for example. At that point they would likely become eligible to immigrate as investors because of the money they have invested into the business.
posted by Jane the Brown at 12:01 PM on January 15, 2020

But when they come on royal tour, they don’t need visitor visas.

Speaking to Harry's status specifically, like all Brits he doesn't need a visa for a visit of up to 6 months to Canada anyway. He can slum it with the rest of us, paperwork-wise, when doing the Royal tour thing (he'll probably need an eTA to fly in, though).
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 1:57 PM on January 15, 2020

« Older Have you ever brought in the big guns as a tenant?   |   Arranging a home-care-ish service for my mother Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.