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Residency system before dual citizenship for foreign nationals

Comments / 2870 Views / Thursday, 21 March 2013 00:45

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.

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