The heightened interest to obtain dual citizenship by Sri Lankans living abroad is a testimony on the positive political and economic development of the country, Minister of Internal Affairs S. B. Navinna said speaking at the citizenship awarding ceremony yesterday (March 14).
Dispelling any fears that awarding dual citizenships is to be suspended again, he assured that the government plans encourage Sri Lankans living abroad to return to the country and contribute to its development.
Over 1200 Sri Lankans living abroad were awarded dual citizenship by the Immigration Department while 4232 Sri Lankans have so far obtained the citizenship.
According to the Controller General of Immigration over 20,000 applications have been received by the department. This is in comparison to the 30,000 applications received during the 24 year period dual citizenship was awarded, before its suspension in 2011.
Another batch of over 1000 applicants will be awarded dual citizenship by April, the minister said.
The delay in application processing is due to the complicated process followed in evaluating all applications and due to sheer volume of applications received, Minister Navinna said.