Prince Harry could be working in the US on a visa designed for people with ‘extraordinary ability’, experts said yesterday.
The Duke of Sussex, 36, now has two jobs and TV and radio projects in the US, prompting many to question how he obtained a visa.
Prince Harry could be working in the US on a visa designed for people with ‘extraordinary ability’
As a British citizen, Harry was not automatically entitled to seek employment after moving to California last year with American wife Meghan, 39.
He could have applied for a green card, but this comes with significant income tax implications and can take up to 21 months to process.
The O-1 visa website says it is for ‘an individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognised nationally or internationally’.
Harry’s work with Invictus Games for injured servicemen could potentially qualify him.
And his recent interview with Oprah Winfrey certainly earned millions for the TV industry.
O-1 visa approval can take just weeks and finding a US citizen to serve as a referee would not have been a problem – Harry’s friends include ex-President Barack Obama.
Canadian singer Justin Bieber has used the O-1 visa which lasts up to three years
Australian actor Hugh Jackman has also taken advantage of the O-1 visa
Immigration expert Doug Lightman, of Lightman Law in New York, said: ‘Harry would have no problem getting the O-1 because he’s a prince.
‘He’s travelled all over the world… and there is his work with Invictus. It’s going to be enough to qualify him.’ Harry’s representatives did not respond to requests for comment.
Meanwhile, he hit the ground running in his new job yesterday by posting a motivational quote on the Instagram account of BetterUp, the life coaching firm he has joined as ‘chief impact officer’.
He wrote: ‘Self-optimisation is not about fixing something that’s broken. It’s about becoming the best version of ourselves with whatever life throws at us.’
‘Just call me Harry’: Prince has already been working for life-coaching firm BetterUp for ‘two months’ and insists on being called by his first name, reveals CEO who once gave speech in a SPACESUIT and throws fancy dress parties where staff wear ONESIES
Prince Harry started his first proper job at a Californian startup dubbed life coaching Tinder for millennials in January – but they waited to announce it until after his Oprah interview was watched by tens of millions around the globe, it was revealed today.
The Duke of Sussex has been appointed ‘chief impact officer’ at mental health services business BetterUp by CEO Alexi Robichaux, who says his royal employee insists on everyone calling him Harry because they are all ‘partners’ in the business valued at $1.7billion.
The Duke will help to promote a wellness app used by corporate giants including Hilton, Facebook, NASA, confectionery giant Mars and oil firm Chevron to improve the wellbeing of their staff.
Harry, whose new role at the firm could command a seven-figure salary plus share options, was introduced to the BetterUp co-founder through unnamed mutual friend last year, and after they weighed up ‘four buckets of opportunities’, they agreed to start working together, Mr Robichaux said today.
The Duke of Sussex was unveiled on Tuesday morning as the chief impact officer at BetterUp with this corporate black and white photograph of Harry released at the same time
A statement on the company’s website said: ‘Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex is a humanitarian, military veteran, mental wellness advocate, and environmentalist’
He said: ‘He’s been in the role for a couple of months, and we’re so excited to share the news with the world. We’re partners here, he likes to be called Harry in the workplace, so we just address him as Harry.’
Brand expert Mark Bukowski told MailOnline that timing the announcement for after the Oprah interview generated free publicity worth millions of dollars for the startup, and could help Harry cash in if he has shares in the business.
Tech-CEO Mr Robichaux, who likes to quote Einstein and Marcus Aurelius and once gave a presentation on his business to leading scientists and academics while wearing a spacesuit, told Sky News today: ‘We were just so impressed, and really I think there was such a natural chemistry and synergy around the insights and the contributions he can make creatively to BetterUp in ensuring that we achieve our mission.
Prince Harry’s statement on the website of the company he joined
Harry’s statement on the BetterUp website … and how his royal title was displayed with a black and white photograph.
I am really excited to be joining the BetterUp team and community! Thanks for having me.
I firmly believe that focusing on and prioritising our mental fitness unlocks potential and opportunity that we never knew we had inside of us.
As the Royal Marine Commandos say, ‘It’s a state of mind.’ What I’ve learned in my own life is the power of transforming pain into purpose.
During my decade in the military, I learned that we don’t just need to build physical resilience, but also mental resilience. When I first met Alexi [Robichaux], we instantly recognised a shared passion for helping others realise their full potential.
As our conversations continued, it became even more clear that we hold a similar philosophy on mental health: that we must proactively take care of our minds. I’ve personally found working with a BetterUp coach to be invaluable. And because we believe in strengthening our own mental fitness, our entire Archewell team also has access to BetterUp coaching.
As BetterUp’s first Chief Impact Officer, my goal is to lift up critical dialogues around mental health, build supportive and compassionate communities, and foster an environment for honest and vulnerable conversations. And my hope is to help people develop their inner strength, resilience, and confidence.
‘Bigger than commercial success, this is about global impact, and so as we crafted the role together, those four buckets of opportunities, we came to the title “chief impact officer”, really denoting that he’s focused on our mission and he’s focused on ensuring that we’re doing everything we can to achieve our mission on a bigger and larger and grander scale to impact the lives of more people.’
He added: ‘He’s also helping to work on everything from product design to product strategy, to co-creating content and the experience for our members and helping with partnerships, like creating some new content for our users related to mental toughness and mental fitness as well.’
Harry’s first real job will see him spending time at the firm’s San Francisco office – when Covid-19 allows – where the prince can take part in weekly office yoga sessions, beat a punch bag when he’s frustrated or pet the office dog ‘Gordo’ when he’s concerned about his ‘wellness’. He can also bring his dogs Guy and Pula to work if he likes.
BetterUp also throws regular onesie-fancy dress parties for staff, including at Halloween – but if this gets too much for the prince he can relax using some of his five ‘inner work’ days a year – on top of his holiday days – to focus on ‘personalised growth’ by hiking in California, reading books or doing volunteer work.
His new office has sofas to flop on during a hard day and games to play when staff need a break, with one employee, Lily, saying the office was designed for both work and play. She said: ‘When one of us is flourishing, the whole team gets stronger. So every decision we made about what to put in the office had those baselines in mind’.
Harry’s CEO, a devout Christian fluent in Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew, said he had experimented with therapy and life coaching in his twenties and the idea for BetterUp came to him while on a pilgrimage of self-reflection to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. His mantra is: ‘I don’t believe technology is the enemy when used right.’
Prince Harry announced his first job in the corporate world yesterday by revealing he had taken an executive position at a Silicon Valley start-up that claims to be worth $1.7billion.
Robichaux’s company uses a app-based system for workers to swipe through 2,000-plus life coaches to find the one they want – in a similar format to Tinder.
When things get stressful, Harry can get his gym clothes out and roll out a mat for some yoga at a weekly session run by the company
Staff are treated to regular fancy dress parties, including ones where they drank beer and wine and dressed as unicorns and monkeys
Mr Robichaux has declined to say how much the royal will be paid, although similar roles at other California firms would command six or seven-figure salaries.
PR guru Mark Bukowski told MailOnline it is yet another step for the Sussexes towards the building of their dream of a billion dollar brand in the US, after big money deals with Netflix and Spotify.
He said the deal is worth millions to the startup in free publicity, adding: ‘If he’s done a good deal with a salary as well as shares in the business, it will probably make millions for Harry too.’
Harry was introduced to Mr Robichaux through an unnamed mutual friend – and it is not yet known if he has invested in the company, where other backers include the Dubai sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Capital and Olympic snowboarder Shaun White.
Executives who join American start-ups are often awarded large share options which can make them multi-millionaires when the company sells up or floats – regardless of whether they invest in the firm.
Harry can pet the office dog ‘Gordo’ (pictured) when he’s concerned about his ‘wellness’ and can also bring his dogs Guy and Pula to work if he likes
Inside the office: BetterUp’s San Francisco offices include numerous sofas, exercise equipment and a punching bag
There is plenty of room for Harry to flop on a sofa and chat to colleagues – but workers are also encouraged to take five ‘inner work’ days a year to wind down
‘Meet Harry, our new CImpO’: What does a Chief Impact Officer do – and is he even qualified?
Prince Harry’s new boss Alexi Robichaux has said he and the Duke of Sussex weighed up ‘four buckets of opportunities’ before agreeing to work together and call his new job ‘chief impact officer’ (CImpO).
Although BetterUp say the role was created for the royal, similar jobs with the same title are becoming more common in Silicon Valley tech firms and laid-back Californian charities.
A CImpO is a senior manager, usually at board level, who reports into the ceo.
Their main job is to bring in money, by wooing investors, securing grants or donations from high-profile businesses or high-wealth individuals. They will also lead on events that could bring in cash and publicity, which BetterUp have said is part of Harry’s role.
According a recent job advert for a similar role in state capital Sacramento, the CImpO must ‘be a leader within the Foundation and in the philanthropic, nonprofit, civic and social sectors in the region and beyond’.
Harry’s global profile, and his years of charity work, especially at the Invictus Games, would tick many boxes.
But there are some areas he may not qualify for, with employers generally looking for someone with 10 years corporate experience, whereas Harry has never had a job like this before, having spent several years in the Army.
The role also involves experience of budgeting and writing grant applications, which the prince is unlikely to have.
And bosses tend to want a Master’s degree in business or a related subject, or a bachelor’s degree with ‘significant and relevant work experience’ as a minimum.
In June 2003, Harry completed his education at Eton with two A-Levels – achieving a grade B in art and D in geography. He dropped history of art after AS level.
One of Harry’s former teachers, Sarah Forsyth, later claimed that he was a ‘weak student’ accused staff at the exclusive private school of helping him with exams and coursework. Both Eton and Harry vehemently denied the claims.
The Prince went to Sandhurst after Eton and a gap year abroad.
In a statement introducing himself to his new colleagues, Harry also revealed that every employee of his Archewell foundation will get access to its services.
Mr Robichaux said Harry has already helped make decisions at the business, including at a recent strategy meeting where he ‘recommended that executives frame the tool in terms of resilience and overcoming adversity and setbacks in a challenging time’.
He added that the sixth-in-line to the British throne ‘comes from a very different background’ to his colleagues.
BetterUp is thought to charge companies about $2,000 (£1,450) per worker for six months of executive coaching, and has more than 200 employees and 2,000 contract coaches on its books.
Mr Robichaux – who is in his 30s and grew up in Dallas, Texas, where his father was a biblical linguist father and his Greek immigrant mother worked for Texas Instruments – has compared the app to a life coaching Tinder for millennials to keep them happy at work.
He has spoken about his Christian beliefs and said the firm came to him as an epiphany while doing the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail in Spain, and attended the University of Southern California (USC) along with co-founder Eduardo Medina.
Harry, who has served in the British Army but has no corporate experience, will not manage any employees but will be expected to appear at special company events and spend time at the firm’s San Francisco offices for meetings once Covid restrictions are lifted.
The Duke, 36, revealed he has been using BetterUp’s services including talking to one of its ‘truly awesome’ coaches for a couple of months who gave him ‘sound advice and a fresh perspective’.
He wrote in a blog post how he will focus on ‘driving advocacy and awareness for mental fitness’, helping to guide the firm’s ‘social mission and impact’, ‘influencing the vision of BetterUp’s platform, community and member experience’ and expand its ‘global community of thought leadership, coaches, customers, and members through outreach and strategic planning’.
Explaining why he took the job, Harry told the Wall Street Journal in a suitably corporate response: ‘I intend to help create impact in people’s lives. Proactive coaching provides endless possibilities for personal development, increased awareness, and an all-round better life’.
Mr Bukowski added: ‘He’s got this woke job title of Chief Impact Officer and today’s announcement has done just that for the company, had a huge impact.
‘This announcement is worth millions to this startup in free publicity and if he’s done a good deal with a salary as well as shares in the business, it will probably make millions for Harry too.
‘He could never have done this deal if he was still a working member of the Royal Family. They’ve announced the job just after the Oprah interview, amid an outpouring of support for the couple in the US. They’re on a crest of a wave there. If the company is as good as Harry says, it is a smart move. But if it’s a pile of poop, he won’t have to many more chances to cash in.’
He added: ‘If people weren’t clear on Harry and Meghan’s business strategy, they should be now.’
Harry said: ‘This is about acknowledging that it isn’t so much what is wrong with us, but more about what has happened to us over the course of life. Often because of societal barriers, financial difficulty, or stigma, too many people aren’t able to focus on their mental health until they’re forced to. I want us to move away from the idea that you have to feel broken before reaching out for help’.
The prince, who says he has been using BetterUp’s app since January, began talks with them about a role last autumn after being introduced to USC graduate Mr Robichaux ‘through a mutual friend’.
BetterUp employs therapists and executive coaches on contracts, who are paired with clients to provide mental health coaching by video link through the app. Most of its clients are in the United States, but it does have executive coaches employed in the UK.
The tech firm that works with corporate giants including Facebook, Google, Snap Inc, NASA, Hilton and Warner Brothers. There will be some raised eyebrows because Harry has spoken widely on the need to protect the environment, but BetterUp has also worked with oil giant Chevron.