Updated system awaits official approval:
Dual citizenship not stopped- Immigration Controller
Immigration and Emigration Controller Chulananda Perera said that
there was no truth in the rumour that the Government has stopped issuing
dual citizenship for Sri Lankan expatriates.
He said there was a temporary suspension in effect at present to
update the system.
“We have completed formulating the updated version. It will be
presented to President Mahinda Rajapaksa shortly”, the Controller said
adding that they were awaiting official approval.
Expatriates who are already holding dual citizenship will not be
affected by the temporary suspension, the Controller said.
Following the defeat of the LTTE and the end of terrorism there was a
sharp increase in the number of applications for dual citizenship.
The Department receives an average of 350 applications per month.
However, in December, the Department received as many as 500
applications for dual citizenship.
The Immigration and Emigration Department is under the purview of the
Defence Ministry and hence President Rajapaksa, the Defence Minister has
to approve the new processing mechanism to award dual citizenship.
“We are the authority to issue dual citizenship certificates and
there is definitely no move by the Government to deprive Sri Lankan
expatriates of obtaining dual citizenship here,” the Controller said.
At present only around 4,000 Sri Lankan expatriates hold dual
citizenship, a spokesman for the Immigration Department said.
Following amendments to the Ceylon Citizenship Act of 1948, Sri Lanka
began issuing dual citizenship to Sri Lankan expatriates in 1987. Any
Sri Lankan who obtains citizenship of another country will loose his or
her Sri Lankan citizenship by law.
An applicant should pay an equivalent of Rs. 200,000, spouse Rs.
50,000 and children below 18 years Rs. 50,000 each to the State to
obtain dual citizenship status of Sri Lanka, the Controller said.