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Long Wait For Dual Passport

Oct 2, 2010 3:08:43 PM - thesundayleader.lk

With the end of the conflict several well to do expatriates visit Sri Lanka on a regular basis and several of them have brought their savings for investment locally. The regular travelers are happy with the current stability in the country and have applied for dual passports. Such a friend of mine applied for his dual citizenship in December 2009 and was told that all the papers were in order and to deposit US$ 25,000 which amount had to be blocked in an account in a Bank as one of the eligibility criteria for dual citizenship.  The Department of Immigration and Emigration official who dealt with the file was extremely helpful and quick in attending to the formalities. The money was deposited and almost six months ago the relevant documents had been sent to the Presidential Secretariat since the final approval requires the signature of the Secretary to the President. I was told at that time by the Immigration Dept. that owing to the elections, there may be a delay of a couple of weeks for them to approve and send it back to the Dept. since all were busy with the elections. Elections are now over and we are at the end of September but the approval is still to reach the Dept. The Immigration Dept. when contacted says that hundreds of applications are lying in the Presidential Secretariat and they have to face the brunt of angry applicants almost daily. It was also said that some have taken their money back in disgust.

Nimal Perera, Bambalapitiya