Issue of dual citizenship not ceased - Immigration Controller
Immigration and Emigration Controller of Sri Lanka Mr.
Chulananda Perera said that the Department has not stopped issuing dual
citizenship for Sri Lankan expatriates and there is no truth in the
widespread rumours, today's (27 Feb) Sunday Observer reported.
He said that at present the system is being updated
and there is a temporary suspension in effect.
"We have completed formulating the updated version. It
will be presented to H.E President Mahinda Rajapaksa shortly", the
Controller said adding that they are awaiting official approval since
the Immigration and Emigration Department is within the purview of the
Ministry of Defence and hence President Rajapaksa, the Defence Minister
has to approve the new processing mechanism to award dual citizenship.
According to the controller, Expatriates who are
already holding dual citizenship will not be affected by the temporary
There was a sharp increase in the number of
applications for dual citizenship with the end of 30 years long war and
the Department receives an average of 350 applications per month.
However, in December, the Department received as many as 500
applications for dual citizenship, he added.
"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
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