US District Judge David Briones recommended that Mr Tappin should be allowed to serve his sentence in the UK but the decision ultimately rests with the US Bureau of Prisons, a spokeswoman for the court added.
He will commence his sentence at the Allenwood prison in Pennsylvania and must turn himself in to start the term by March 8.
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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met young people who have battled mental health issues on Saturday.
Former Chancellor Lord Geoffrey Howe was Margaret Thatcher's longest-serving Cabinet minister, also taking on the role of Foreign Secretary.
Lord Geoffrey Howe is known by many for his resignation speech which was seen as the catalyst which destroyed Margaret Thatcher.