Sri Lanka will once again grant dual citizenship to expatriate Sri Lankans, the Ministry of Defence announced.
The granting of Dual Citizenship has been reintroduced by a Cabinet approval and will be in force from today, the Additional Secretary (Civil Security & Development) of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development Damayanthi Jayaratna announced at the weekly press briefing Wednesday.
The official said the facility has been reinstated following a Cabinet decision to grant the Dual Citizenship which had been temporarily suspended during the end of 2011.
Explaining the cabinet decision, the officials said formerly the process was to grant a five year Permanent Residency Visa and thereafter grant the Dual Citizenship but upon request from expatriate Sri Lankans from the President and the Secretary Defense, the government has decided to grant the Dual Citizenship straightaway.
She explained that some expatriates have expressed their willingness to come and live here permanently and invest their money and also want to send their children to state schools here and needed to continue working in state or private sector entities in the country.
Considering their requests, the Government has decided to grant Dual Nationality straightaway with immediate effect, she further clarified.
According to the official, the new process of granting Dual Nationality involves two steps. Earlier the process did not interview the applicants but the new administrative procedure involves an interview process.
At the first step the applications are received through the respective diplomatic missions with the authentication of the High Commissioner or Ambassadors of the local missions abroad. The eligibility of the applicant should be certified by them. A Cabinet approval special committee will look into the suitability of the applicants and will also check into the authenticity of the certificates or documents produced by the applicants. Based on the suitability and authenticity of the documents together with the Head of Mission's recommendation the committee will proceed to the second stage.
In the second stage the applicants are required to face an interview with the committee and based upon the findings of this process the committee will recommend the applicant's eligibility and forward it to the President who is the Minister of Defence for his approval. Through this process successful applicants will be granted Dual Nationality straight away.