Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Long and the Short of It - Sri Lankan Dual Citizenship

I was at a social gathering recently and one of the main topics of discussion was the state of play with regards to dual citizenship applications in Sri Lanka. The interested parties were mainly expat Sri Lankans (who had either relinquished their Sri Lankan passports in order to obtain a foreign passport or who were born abroad and have never held Sri Lankan citizenship) and other foreign nationals (looking at their options given the new legislation on sale of land to foreigners).

By way of background, the granting of dual citizenship commenced in 1988 following amendments to the Citizenship Act and Immigrants and Emigrants Act in 1987. The Sri Lankan Government suspended the granting of dual citizenship in January 2011 stating it sought to review and make amendments to relevant laws. Since then, there has been much public and private debate about the politics, economics and everything but the "kitchen sink" regarding the reintroduction of dual citizenship by the Sri Lankan Government.