Dual Citizenship laws in Sri Lanka to be Strict

pass port
The  draft laws to change Sri Lanka’s dual citizenship process are with the legal draftsman’s office, but applications of those who had applied earlier were being processed defence secretary Gothabya Rajapaksa said.
 told a forum of Sri Lanka’s software and business process outsourcing chamber (SLASSCOM) that the introduction of the residency scheme will help foreignerss from countries that did not allow their nationals to be citizens of two countries.

Strict and new criteria have been evolved for processing the applications, Secretary Rajapaksa said.

Cabinet granted approval to amend the Citizenship Act No 18 of 1948 and the Immigration and Emigration Act No 20 of 1948 to formalise the granting of dual citizenship under the ‘Overseas Sri Lankans Scheme’ a few month ago.

A pre- screening procedure will be employed to check if a person applying for dual citizenship has the eligibility and requirements to seek dual citizenship to acquire dual citizenship under the new conditions. The Defence Secretary said no country issues duel citizenship at once but offers resident visas first. After a certain period, such persons staying on resident visas are considered duel citizenship after considering the value of the applicant for that country. The persons who possess duel citizenship can be engaged in investment, business or any other legal activity, he said.

The Defence Secretary said as per the new criteria, a Sri Lankan applicant having a passport of another country will initially be given permanent residency for five years after which he or she will become eligible to receive dual citizenship status. Information relating to how they acquired a foreign citizenship has to be furnished by every applicant and the reason for seeking dual citizenship in Sri Lanka is also to be properly justified by every applicant.

 

Mean while the emirates 24/7 reported that the legal draftsman and the immigration authorities are in dispute that may further delay the dual citizenship process..

 

Sri Lanka’s Department of Immigration & Emigration (DIE) and the office of the Legal Draftsman are at loggerheads over the new amendments to the Dual Citizenship Act.

The  two departments are forwarding papers to and fro, between their offices, while having a disagreement as to how the new amendments could be accommodated.

In an interesting twist to the year-long drawn out amendment, it is learnt that the two departments have also lost track as to where the documents are at present.

While the Controller, DIE, Chulananda Perera, said the draft amendment to the Dual Citizenship Act is still with the Legal Draftsman and they are awaiting his observations, the Legal Draftsman, GAS de Silva, said he had sent the observations to the DIE.

Dual Citizenship for Sri Lankans living overseas was suspended on January 28, 2011. While many applicants are anxiously waiting to obtain dual citizenship, the DIE is waiting for the new amendments to the Act so as to proceed with processing the applications.

According to the DIE, the amendments are not feasible to be incorporated into the Citizenship Act. Earlier, dual citizenship was covered under the Citizenship Act. However, the current procedure where applicants are given visas for five years enabling them to live in Sri Lanka during that period, and which period is considered as a term of probation for the applicants, apparently does not fit into the Citizenship Act.

“The new system to grant dual citizenship will initially be akin to granting a visa, and therefore, will not fit into the Citizenship Act,” DIE Deputy Controller, Harsha Ilukpitiya said.

“The Legal Draftsman’s office has incorporated this amendment under the Citizenship Act, which is not appropriate” he added.

The process explaining the process that has taken over a year to be implemented, while officials tasked to formulate the conditions for dual citizenship continue to shuffle their feet, Ilukpitiya said: “Following the discontinuation of granting dual citizenship in January 2011, a new system to grant dual citizenship to Sri Lankans living overseas was prepared under the guidance of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The amendments had been carefully vetted by a four-member committee and submitted to the Cabinet on 11 January 2012. The Cabinet granted approval for the new amendments on 12 April 2012, and the preliminary draft which was finalized on 16 July 2012, was sent to the Legal Draftsman’s office for approval the next day, through the Ministry of Defence, as is the required protocol

 

 

 

click
Advertisements

4 responses to “Dual Citizenship laws in Sri Lanka to be Strict

  1. Good to have a proper system for everything, but yet there is a major concern regarding this new act. Previously there were two important streams of applying for SL dual citizenship as resumtioning and retentioning. Retention of SL citizenship applied for Sri Lankans who are PR’s in other countries who wish to apply for overseas citizenships. Which means they are asking not to loose the Sri Lankan link while aquiring the 2nd citizenship, and they are still remains as Sri lankans at the time of application. the new scheam, after 2 years of news coming once in 3 months on very slowly moving leagal change, I don’t have a clue how this effects to sri lankan PRs who wish to get another citizenship while remaining as sri lankans unbrocken. The new 5 year PR system matches for foreigners and Ex Sri Lankans, but like as earlier whats going to happen for the famous retention method? Simply you dont have to loose it fires and then wait 5 years to gat it back!

  2. i GAVE UP AFTER WAITING 2 1/2 DAMN YEARS FOR THIS CRAZY GOVERNMENT TO DO THIS SIMPLE LEGAL TRANSITION!! NO USE STILL THEY HAVE NO CLUE AND NOTHING BEING DONE TO AWARE LONG WAITING PUBLIC. I JUST GAVE UP AND BECAME A UK CITIZEN LAST MONTH, AND ALSO I GAVE UP MY SUPPORT TO SLFP NO MORE. AS A SOLE SUPPORTER OF MR’S GOV. FOR PAST 8 YEARS, I DROP IT AS I DONT SEE ANY FUNCTIONING GOVERNMENT IN SRI LANKA ANY MORE OTHER THAN PARTING POLITICIANS AND RALLYING PUBLIC TO GET THE THINGS DONE.

    • There must be a ministry in this government for making daft laws. I cannot see the objectives for stopping Dual Citizenship and losing valuable revenues. They are also eager to attract foreing investors and then place restrictions on how the profits can be used.

  3. Same with me, Im a Sri lankan born persone residing and working in USA as a Permanent Resident. I own a business which I was hoping to set up in Sri Lanka and bring more profit to motherland. But I had to obtain US citizenship to make it easy for me to do by business, traveling and financing. Sadly after waiting more than 2 years for Sri lankan authorites to reestablish the stopped SL citizenship retension system, with brocken hope and loosing money and profit for holding business decisions, I gave up! got the US citizenship and SL cut off my Sri Lankan citizenship by doing so. then with no other links with Sri Lanka I had to set up my production plants in Maxico, making 32 Maxican people working for me earning more than $900 US dollars per month. I was wondering if I did it in SL I could have given 50 Jobs with Rs 80,000 monthly salaries and still save a lot of money. But unfortunately chance had to pass to maxican economy, they offered me citizenship and government protection for bringing in jobs and cash! While Sri Lanka scratched the valuable system and kicked off my- a Sri Lankan and lost all the long turm opportunity. Its Amazing how the things working out in Sri lanka, sure its not heading in the right path. Simply taking 2 1/2 years for a simple legal system change and playing all out odd drama in an unimaginable unprofessionalism with short sighted brains SL is loosing the game. I would say for the past 2 1/2 years of this failed period Sri Lanka has already lost billions of dollars and thousands of well paid jobs !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s