Citizenship for “Overseas Sri Lankans”

The Government has decided to amend the Citizenship Act No.18 of 1948 and the Immigration and Emigration Act No.20 of 1948 with a view to formalizing the granting of dual citizenships by the establishment of the “Overseas Sri Lankans” scheme, the government information department said.

Acting Minister of Mass Media and Information Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene said that the proposal made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and approved by the Cabinet will make room for pre- examination to satisfy that a person applying for dual citizenship in Sri Lanka has fulfilled the requirements to make him eligible for it, the information department said.

The main amendments to be made will include:

  • Establishing a new scheme called “Overseas Sri Lankans” with a view to affording facilities to persons who have terminated citizenship in Sri Lanka, and their under aged children to enter Sri Lanka and to stay in Sri Lanka.
  • To afford the opportunity of applying for dual citizenship to those who have registered under the above scheme, only after being subjected to a pre- examination after being placed in a state of probation for a period of 05 years.
  • Provisions will be made to exempt persons from the requirement of registration under the new scheme when the President is of the opinion that granting of dual citizenship in Sri Lanka for persons who have terminated their citizenship in Sri Lanka will be beneficial to national interest.