Dual citizenship claims put on hold

By Leon Berenger

The Government has put on hold the issuing of fresh dual citizenships until further notice because the present system has to be changed and upgraded, Immigration Controller W. A. Chulananda Perera said yesterday.

This also applies to applications that have already been approved and due for payment, he said.
“From now on we need to provide this privilege only to persons that will be of maximum benefit to the country and not otherwise,” Mr. Perera said.

He said, for example, a professor or a PHD holder would be considered in a different manner since such people could be of benefit to the country

Persons who do not fall into to the proper and required categories will be denied this facility but there will always be transparency at the end, he explained. He added that under the present system there are four categories in which a person could apply for dual citizenship.

They are that a prospective applicant should be a degree holder, or a senior citizen above the age of 55, own property to the value of Rs. 2.5. million or have a bank deposit of US$ 25,000. “We need to change all this and make the set up more transparent. There is no hidden agenda or security factor and neither is there targeting any particular individual,” he said.

He denied reports that moves were underway to deny this facility to certain individuals or to do away with it altogether. Mr. Perera also refused to deny or confirm if there would be an increase in the present fee of Rs. 200,000 for dual citizenship.

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