23 March 2015, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Dual Citizenship was temporarily suspended in 2011. With the advent of the new government, the question of re-introducing dual citizenship has been a work in progress and finally the Government of Sri Lanka announced today that Dual Citizenship applications will be entertained again as of this day. The announcement was made by the Minister of Public Order, Disaster Management and Christian Affairs John Amaratunga. The new administrative procedure for the granting of dual citizenship will be introduced from today.
The granting of Dual Citizenship has been reintroduced following a Cabinet decision to grant the Dual Citizenship which had been temporarily suspended during the end of 2011. Earlier, Acting Secretary of the Ministry of Public Peace, Disaster Management and Christian Religious Affairs, Chulananda Perera, last Wednesday (18) said that the government has decided to declare the six-point criteria required to qualify for dual citizenship.
Accordingly, among the requirements to qualify in order to obtain dual citizenship, a person should possess professional or educational qualifications and own immovable property worth Rs 2.5 million or more in Sri Lanka. In addition, an individual who has maintained a deposit of Rs 2.5 million at a bank approved by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) can also apply for dual citizenship in this country. Also, a person who has the ability to open with any Commercial Bank approved by the CBSL, a Non Resident Foreign Currency Account or a Resident Foreign Currency Account for US$ 25,000 or more for a period of three years is also eligible to apply for dual citizenship. Another criterion is being over 55 years of age. Perera further said anyone who fulfills any one of the above qualifications will be able to apply for dual citizenship in this country. The husband or wife of the person who qualifies for dual citizenship under the new criteria and unmarried children under the age of 22 years of age will also be eligible for dual citizenship.
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, the government has decided to grant the Dual Citizenship straightaway. According to reports, the new process of granting Dual Citizenship involves two steps. 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 while the eligibility of the applicant should be certified by the envoys.
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. The second stage involves the applicants facing 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 for his approval. Through this process successful applicants will be granted Dual Nationality straight away.
Extract from Department of Immigration and Emigration Sri Lanka
Dual Citizenship is applicable to;
A person whose citizenship of Sri Lanka has ceased under sections 19, 20 or 21 of the Citizenship Act No. 18 of 1948 or a person whose citizenship of Sri Lanka is likely to cease.
1. Resumption – Section 19(2) of the said Act makes provisions in respect of a person whose citizenship of Sri Lanka has ceased due to obtaining of citizenship in another country and who there after desires to resume the status of a citizen of Sri Lanka.
Or 2. Retention – Section 19(3) of the said Act makes provisions in respect of a person who is having a desire to obtain citizenship in another country, while intends to retain the citizenship of Sri Lanka. Click to download Application Instructions to fill the application. To be completed in “BLOCK CAPITALS” . Delete inapplicable word or words wherever * appears in the application. Please mention “ Not relevant” if a particular information is not applicable. Each member of the family has to submit a separate application along with 3 passport size colour photographs. Affix one of those photographs in the top right hand corner of the first page of the application.
Any applicant who belongs to one of the categories mentioned in section 1 of the application (A to G) can apply for dual citizenship. Please mark (√ ) in the relevant cage. The statement in the application should be supported by an affidavit (page 6) made by the applicant before a justice of the peace or a Commissioner of Oaths. Documents required for the Dual Citizenship. Applicant’s original Birth Certificate or a certified copy of it. (If the applicant is a citizen of Sri Lanka by registration, the relevant certificate or a copy of it) If the applicant is married, the marriage certificate or a certified copy of it.
An applicant submitting application for Resumption under section 19(2) (A person whose Sri Lankan Citizenship ceased due to obtaining of citizenship in another country) should submit following documents, (a) Certified copy of Foreign Citizenship Certificate. (b) Certified copy of Bio data page and the observation page of the Foreign Passport. (c) A recent Police clearance report from the country of foreign citizenship not older than 3 months in English or an English Translation of the original. (d) Certified copy of Bio data page and the observation page of the previous Sri Lankan passport (if available) Or An applicant submitting application for Retention under section 19(3) (A person who is having desire to obtain citizenship in another country, while intends to retain the citizenship of Sri Lanka.) should submit following documents, (a) Certified copy of Bio data page and the observation page of the current Sri Lankan passport. (b) Certified copy of permanent residence visa. (c) A recent Police clearance report from the country of permanent residence not older than 3 months in English or an English Translation of the original.
If applying under age category (1.A) original birth certificate or certified copy of it. If applying under Professional category (1.B) applicant’s original Educational / Professional certificates or a certified copy of it. (minimum one year diploma or higher, or any other professional qualification) If applying under Assets / Properties category (1.C) original of the documentary proof of applicant’s assets such as; lands or other immovable properties in Sri Lanka worth of Rs. 2.5 million or above and or a certified copy. Deed, valuation report & title reports for the same should be also submitted, along with above supporting documents. If applying under Fixed deposit of Rs. 2.5 million or above – category (1.D) a confirmation letter from the bank mentioning deposit will not be withdrawn within a period of 3 year. If applying under Fixed deposit of USD 25,000 or above – category (1.E) a confirmation letter from the bank mentioning deposit will not be withdrawn within a period of 3 year.
If applying under Treasury Bond (TB) or Security Investment Account (SIA) valued of USD 25,000 for minimum 3 years period – category (1.F) a certificate from the relevant Authority conforming the investment will not be withdrawn prior to maturity. If applying under the spouse of the applicant or an unmarried child under the age of 22 of the applicant – category (1.G) a certified copy of marriage certificate (For Spouse) or a certified copy of birth certificate (For unmarried child – born in Sri Lanka) or a copy of Citizenship certificate issued under section 5(2) of the Citizenship Act No. 18 of 1948 (For unmarried child – born outside the Sri Lanka). A spouse or children eligible under this category shall be limited to a person whose citizenship of Sri Lanka has ceased under section 19, 20 or 21 of the Citizenship Act No. 18 of 1948 or a person whose Sri Lankan citizenship is likely to cease.
Submission of applications
The duly perfected application should be sent directly to the Controller General of Immigration & Emigration or to the Sri Lanka Overseas Mission. The application submitted through Sri Lanka Overseas Mission should be sent together with the certificates specified in paragraph (03) above which should be authenticated by the Head of the Sri Lanka Diplomatic mission or a Senior officer in the rank of Third Secretary or above in the country in which the applicant has acquired citizenship / Permanent residence. The application can also be handed over to the Head Office of the Department of Immigration and Emigration.
The application and the documents so submitted should be authenticated by Deputy or Assistant Controller of the Citizenship Division. Department Address: The Controller General, Department of Immigration and Emigration, Citizenship Division, 41, Ananda Rajakaruna Mawatha, Colombo 10, Sri Lanka.
Fee Main applicant Rs. 250,000.00
Spouse of applicant Rs. 50,000 .00
Unmarried child below 22 years Rs. 50,000 .00
The relevant fee will be charged from the applicant after obtaining the approval of the Minister. The Department will notify the applicant to make the payment.