Prince Harry engagement sparks UK visa row

29 Nov 2017 | Posted by Carl Thomas

 News of Prince Harry’s engagement to US actress Meghan Markle has sparked upset amongst some Britons, who feel they will be taking advantage of their privileged position to get Markle a UK visa wed in May 2018.

Under UK visa rule, anyone who earns less than £18,600 per year is considered to be unable to support their partner and therefor unable to secure a UK spouse visa.

However, while Harry and his fiancée meet this criterion, statistics show that more than 40 per cent of Britons do not, leaving many of them feeling less than pleased about Prince Harry’s news.

Another bugbear for many Britons who have fallen foul of the UK visa system as a result of money is ease with which Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be able to meet the financial costs of the process.

In order to apply for her UK spouse visa, Markle faces visa costs of £993 for a 12-week turnaround, or £1,583 for a faster service. For the Suits actress and her husband-to-be these costs are unlikely to factor in their decisions.

However, many other Britons have commented on the financial hurdles they have had to climb in order to secure a UK visa for their prospective other half.

It’s likely that any influence of Prince Harry’s title on his ability to secure a UK spouse visa will never come to light fully, with the Home Office confirming that it “does not comment on individual cases”.