Residency system before dual citizenship for foreign nationals

  Published : 12:45 am  March 21, 2013  |  2,825 views  |  2 comments  |  Print This Post   |  E-mail to friend
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By Cheranka Mendis
Sri Lanka is now looking at implementing a residency system prior to issuing dual citizenship to a person, Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said.
The new scheme will support foreign nationals who want to work or start a business in the island.

Addressing the SLASSCOM CXO briefing yesterday, Rajapaksa stated that the old dual citizenship process was currently being reviewed as many have not used the citizenship in a manner which benefits the country.
He stated that the draft laws to amend this were now with the legal draftsman and that until approved, the applications of those who had applied earlier were being processed the old way.
“Even though dual citizenship was introduced in Sri Lanka, there is no proper pattern to it,” Rajapaksa said. “Under the existing rule, the citizenship is just given to people who apply and then not use it when received. In some other countries there is a period where the countries grant those interested a residency period (approximately five years) before issuing the dual citizenship. This is what we hope to implement soon.”

The residency scheme to be introduced will also help foreigners from countries that do not allow their nationals to be citizens in two countries, he added.


2 Responses to “Residency system before dual citizenship for foreign nationals”

  1. Shaik Anwar Ahamath on March 21st, 2013 6:24 pm

    The Dual Citizenship that existed had no conditions of usage attached and I cannot see in what context “The Dual Citizenship had not been used in a manner that benefits the country”. As there were only about 3100 who had been granted this, perhaps the terms were not attractive. Nations such as Malaysia sees the benefits and welcomes foreign residents as long as they have a capital of over £24000 and an assured monthly income of over £1000. There are many former Sri Lankans who left these shores in the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s, now retiring, do qualify but they have an obvious vested interest in residing in Sri Lanka. Apart from the significant capital these people had accumulated, they had also acquired a superior education, experience, professionalism and skills – none of which we can afford to forego.

  2. Kennath on May 20th, 2013 8:45 pm

    This is the slowest Gov. Department paperwork we have ever seen in the history. It is more than 36 months since they have stopped the acceptance of new applications, an enough time for a retired ex Sri Lankan to die and enough time for a youth to settle well in their adopted countries giving up the dream of moving back to the Motherland.
    I’m not sure the government’s newly introduced ‘Overseas Sri Lankan’ scheme would do any better for ex Sri Lankans, it seems like to be meant good for foreign nationals who would rarely seek a citizenship in a developing country. Thinking about possibilities it will mostly benefit not foreigners from US or Europe but people from other south Asian countries and China or Africa! Targeting our newly experiencing economic boom and free education + health.

    GoSL hasn’t considered or may be not aware of how their new amendments will conflict with the emigration & Citizenship laws of other countries where most of Ex Sri Lankans are applying from. As an example in USA their citizenship law states any US citizen will lose their US citizenship if they acquire a citizenship of another country willfully! They exempt 3 ways of doing so and get away with US dual citizenship as noted
    1. By marrying another national,
    2. Being born in another country to US parents
    3. You can RETAIN your original citizenship if you become naturalized in USA.

    In Sri Lankan Law, when you acquire a citizenship of another country you lose your SL citizenship eventually. Previously there was a system called RETENTION of Sri Lankan citizenship when one being a PR of another country and willing to apply the citizenship there. But in the new system based on very minimum facts leaked to public of Sri Lanka it does not catering to this essential feature which most of Sri Lankans enjoy remaining as Sri Lankans without losing the link with motherland. So as per the new system (as leaked so far) you lose your Sri Lankan citizenship first when applying for another citizenship, then apply back a Sri Lankan PR for 5 years, then get back the SL citizenship! It’s clear now you have willfully applied and acquire Sri Lankan citizenship while being a US citizen. This is not retaining of your original citizenship and it falls to willfully acquiring another citizenship, which conflicts with US law, and eventually result him to abandon US citizenship!!! Who would do that!!!!

    Hence the new system is not an invitation or benefit for Sri Lankans living abroad as PRs or ex Sri Lankans; it’s a closing gate scenario!!

    GOSL should clearly understand that there are few categories of applicants.

    1. Sri Lankans living & Working abroad as PRs who wish to apply for citizenship in those countries and willing to keep the link unbroken with motherland.
    2. Ex-Sri Lankans who wish to come back or retire in Sri Lanka
    3. Foreign nationals who wish to settle or work in Sri Lanka

    You can’t put them all in the same plate and bring a one and only system as their needs, intensions, benefits and rights are very different from one to other.

    Category 1 need retention system,
    Category 2 need resumption system without a 5 year long waiting period,
    Category 3 need to be reviewed thoroughly and be offered a 5 year PR for sure.

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