The government is to offer dual citizenships for Sri Lankan expatriates from this year, a statement by the Presidential media unit said today.
The statement said that the Immigration and Emigration Department will now restart processing dual citizenship applications from expatriate Sri Lankans under new regulations.
The government had last year suspended processing dual citizenship applications in order to outline the new conditions.
However last month the Sri Lankan cabinet had granted approval for dual citizenships under the amended regulations, the statement said.
Under the new regulation a pre-screening procedure will be adopted to check if a person applying for dual citizenship has the eligibility and the necessary requirements.
This would involve a one-to-one interview with a panel, headed by Sri Lanka’s Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
The statement quoted External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunatilaka Amunugama as saying the interview panel will look into the applicant’s professional qualifications, investment capability and the need to acquire dual citizenship.
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 the dual citizenship status.
Some 2,000 applications for dual citizenship are awaiting approval before the Immigration and Emigration Department while 4000 have already been offered the facility.