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ajm

what are the special privileges for Sri Lanka citizens that non-citizens in Sri Lanka do not get

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A relative of mine has been living in an EU country for some time and is thinking of applying for citizenship /naturalization. Generally he will have to give up Sri Lankan citizenship,unless there is a special reason /privileges that will be lost in Sri Lanka. Possibilities:

1.not able to own land or pay 200% tax(was this changed recently?)

2.government health services will be not free?

3.government education not free ?(at least in Australia seems very expensive for non-citizens)

any other ?

(voting rights and such do not count since not mandatory for survival )

thanks in advance

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1 hour ago, GayanR said:

Apply for dual citizenship.

problem is that dual citizenship not allowed as per the EU country law,you can have only one unless there is a special reason against losing citizenship of Sri Lanka(education,property inheritance and buying,health services...) . If you aplly for lankan citizenship later,the EU citizenship will be lost. Any law experts here?

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10 hours ago, ajm said:

problem is that dual citizenship not allowed as per the EU country law,you can have only one unless there is a special reason against losing citizenship of Sri Lanka(education,property inheritance and buying,health services...) . If you aplly for lankan citizenship later,the EU citizenship will be lost. Any law experts here?

Excellent question for a car forum.  I think the main difference, you will find, is that non-Sri Lankans are not Sri Lankan, whereas Sri Lankans almost always are.

It is an important distinction for law experts, if I'm not mistaken it comprises the entirety of the third year LLB.

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I am not a law experts. But here are my views of your concerns.

  1. Not able to own land : If someone already own lands, the ownership may not cancel after getting another country citizenship. If so buy some lands and then apply for the citizenship. In wider view, new lands from SL may need for their next generation. Not for them. That is also depend on their kids future vision. If kids hardly need, they will pay said 200% tax easily & buy lands. Because SL will not develop/change for another 2-3 generations & foreign currency rate may not come down. :(. So as summery they don`t need to worry about this at the moment.
  2. Government health services will be not free : Though is it free in some points, how many of us going to O.P.D ? Mostly consult a doctor and getting treatments for minor cases & some people have ability to pay for special cases like surgeries too. If your relations return to SL in future, they will bring some considerable amount of money. So they can pay and get medicine from any private hospital without any issue. Isn't ?
  3. Government education not free : This is possible to apply for their kids. Send them to a private/international schools if they return to SL in the future.
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20 hours ago, GayanR said:

Apply for dual citizenship.

Heard previous Govt press pause for this, any one aware about this? Still need to sorted for wife.

Let's not to worry about lands, how about vehicles if it's under your name and you loose the citizenship in SL?

 

regards

JC

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Government health services are free even for non-citizens. This is something we can all be proud of.

 

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looking to get citizenship in EU and concerned about obtaining free health and education in SL gosh.

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21 minutes ago, Quiet said:

looking to get citizenship in EU and concerned about obtaining free health and education in SL gosh.

That's because of the typical Sri Lankan mentalityIMO! We do not know how to let things go when the time comes but choose to cling on to whatever unnecessary things for trivial reasons. In the end, we do not enjoy, nor are content with whatever we have now but instead keep on worrying about what we might lose in future.

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5 hours ago, Quiet said:

looking to get citizenship in EU and concerned about obtaining free health and education in SL gosh.

well you missed the point.I didnt say he wants to have free govt health care,of course he will pay for his own and family health problems when/if time comes.But he has strong roots in SL,planning to settle in Sri lanka after getting the EU citizenship. The only reason to apply for EU citizenship is to have for his kids  access to higher education in future at EU-citizen fees. He is looking for some reasons(in fact,excuses) to convince the EU authorities why he must keep the Sri lankan citizenship,when applying for the EU citizenship.If its a valid,humane reason the authorities allow him to keep it or apply for dual citizenship in SL later.Otherwise he will lose the EU citizenship,when he applies to reinstate the Sri Lankan citizenship again.

Edited by ajm

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18 minutes ago, ajm said:

well you missed the point.I didnt say he wants to have free govt health care,of course he will pay for his own and family health problems when/if time comes.But he has strong roots in SL,planning to settle in Sri lanka after getting the EU citizenship. The only reason to apply for EU citizenship is to have for his kids  access to higher education in future at EU-citizen fees. He is looking for some reasons(in fact,excuses) to convince the EU authorities why he must keep the Sri lankan citizenship,when applying for the EU citizenship.If its a valid,humane reason the authorities allow him to keep it or apply for dual citizenship in SL later.Otherwise he will lose the EU citizenship,when he applies to reinstate the Sri Lankan citizenship again.

Can a person settle in Sri Lanka after obtaining EU citizen ship. In that case he/she will lose SL citizenship. I do not know what the VISA rules will be after that.

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Sri Lankan law dictates that one will lose their Sri Lankan Citizenship while applying for the Citizenship of another country unless you apply for retention beforehand, in which case you will obtain dual nationality.

But this is not possible if the country you are applying for nationality does not recognise dual nationality and demands you show allegiance to that country alone. Germany is the EU country that comes to mind with this regards, though it does recognise Dual Nationality as long as the other nationality is of a EU nation.

The only option in this respect is for that person to gain Nationality of the first EU country first, then move to another EU country which recognises Dual Nationality and then gain Nationality of that country after the qualifying period and then apply for Dual Nationality in Sri Lanka.

If you need to retain Sri Lankan nationality you will have to maintain your permanent residence status and not apply for Nationality of that particular country. 

It is possible for you to gain a residence via to live in Sri Lanka as an Ex Sri Lankan even if you lose Sri Lankan nationality but this residence visa does not entitle you to work in Sri Lanka as far as I know. It also forbids your ownership of certain types of property etc, but I am no expert. 

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3 hours ago, The Don said:

but this residence visa does not entitle you to work in Sri Lanka as far as I know

Are you sure about this,non-citizen residents are also not allowed to work even in private sector(also no EPF,ETF contributions possible.)? 

are their some fees involved to give -up SL citizenship (like 2000$ for US)

keeping Permanent residence is not an option,because he has to stay a majority of days every year in the EU until he has completed 18years stay or something.

Anyway Thanks a lot for your great input.

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8 hours ago, ajm said:

Are you sure about this,non-citizen residents are also not allowed to work even in private sector(also no EPF,ETF contributions possible.)? 

are their some fees involved to give -up SL citizenship (like 2000$ for US)

keeping Permanent residence is not an option,because he has to stay a majority of days every year in the EU until he has completed 18years stay or something.

Anyway Thanks a lot for your great input.

An expat (including an ex-Sri Lankan) needs to apply for a work permit to work in Sri Lanka. If you are a foreigner married to a Sri Lankan or a ex-Sri Lankan citizen, its usually easy to obtain that work permit. In fact, its pretty easy for an expat to obtain a work permit for Sri Lanka, as long as a reputable organization employs them. 

An expat employee will have to contribute to EPF, ETF and income tax similar to a Sri Lankan employee. In addition, as I recall there's additional tax of around 10% on the income of an expat (I am not sure if its still in effect).

 

 

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I heard that foreign spouses of Sri Lankans have to renew their spouse visa every 2 years until they die(Even if they are 100 years old, and need a recommendation letter from SL spouse or Child)

By the way do you personally know anyone who is ex-Sri lankan or a foreigner married to a Sri Lankan facing difficulties from SL Immigration formalities point of view? 

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1 hour ago, ajm said:

By the way do you personally know anyone who is ex-Sri lankan or a foreigner married to a Sri Lankan facing difficulties from SL Immigration formalities point of view? 

I know one such family. They have met in a middle-east country and father from Nepal. I am not aware where they have registered the marriage. When I getting to know him, his son was in preschool and now in grade 5. So almost 10 years. Still he is renewing his visa annually. Once he said the authorities not giving any chance even after having 2 kids.

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19 hours ago, ajm said:

I heard that foreign spouses of Sri Lankans have to renew their spouse visa every 2 years until they die(Even if they are 100 years old, and need a recommendation letter from SL spouse or Child)

By the way do you personally know anyone who is ex-Sri lankan or a foreigner married to a Sri Lankan facing difficulties from SL Immigration formalities point of view? 

Yes....I know myself who is married to a Japanese :)

Yes...the spouse has to renew visa every few years...2,3,5,etc.... That is pretty normal in most countries...I have to renew my spouse status residency every few years in Japan. the difference in other countries is that in other countries after X number of years the spouse is eligible to apply for permanent residency and subsequently nationality. In Sri Lanka that seems to be questionable. Even after decades the foreign spouse may not be granted PR (or nationality) and has to keep on renewing the spouse visa. In the mean time if the Sri Lankan spouse passes away then the foreign spouse faces a whole lot of issues in renewing visa  and there are quite a few I know who are living in uncertainty.

What happens with the property is a whole different story but seems to be changing (slowly) and becoming more flexible with time..mainly because Sri Lankan expats investing in property in SL.

Getting it...well..getting it was not difficult for us. There were some requirements of having to be in SL for 6 months before applying, etc..or some ridiculous thing like that...so wife had to apply for a normal visa for 3 months or something in Japan to come here, then start the application for spouse visa whilst extending her 3 month visa for another 3 months. They just gave both the visa extension an the souse visa or for free (back then) and the people at the immigration office were quite helpful and courteous (in fact they helped us save money :D we tried to apply for the extension and then apply for the spouse visa later...but they forced us to apply for spouse visa because then we get the extension for free) . During that time an immigration Police officer visited me and my life at separate occasions and asked some questions. The giy was a plain clothes officer who looked like a vagabond and totally freaked out my wife. When we applied my wife and I had been married for 4 years and had a kid so it was pretty straight forward..they just gave it. If a couple is newly married we were  told that it is a bit more difficult (longer probation periods, more interviews, etc...), especially if the husband and wife do not have significant assets or something like a kid. The spouse's Nationality and Gender seems to play a bit of factor. At the time we applied they were strict with Chinese  women who were getting in to fake marriages....If the spouse is a male, then it is harder as well because the male is considered to be the main bread-winner and because the foreign-spouse cannot be employed questions of income gets raised.

The spouse visa in Sri Lanka is quite restrictive...on one hand there is this huge grey area about property ownership and subsequent transfer. The foreign spouse cannot get employed. However, the person can engage in a "home business" or be self employed. Foreign spouse is not entitled to any free national healthcare, voting, etc...However, the only one time I had to take my wife to  a national hospital the doctor and the nurse just said it was FoC.

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On 4/24/2017 at 10:38 AM, Crosswind said:

Government health services are free even for non-citizens. This is something we can all be proud of.

 

No.... it s not free to non citizens.... even an OPD consultation is about 500/=, if l m not mistaken... and the major surgeries and ICU treatements are very costly, in government hospitals for them...

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8 hours ago, iRage said:

Even after decades the foreign spouse may not be granted PR (or nationality) and has to keep on renewing the spouse visa.

Sorry but I dont think any foreigner should be given an unlimited PR just for living in the country for family or career reasons. No country does so. The applicant has to show good conduct, integration efforts, and in most countries the PR will be cancelled If the person is absent from the country for a 2-3 years.

Coming to ex-citizens,even India which prohibits dual citizenship from the beginning has the solution called"Overseas Citizen of India" status . It's far from citizenship, but a unlimited PR.

we still have laws from 70years ago when there were fewer cases like this. I think it's time to provide more opportunities,but only for foreigners who are WILLING To INTEGRATE well (at least medium PROFICIENCY in LOCAL LANGUAGES Sinhala or Tamil should be must!)

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, vag2 said:

Sorry but I dont think any foreigner should be given an unlimited PR just for living in the country for family or career reasons. No country does so. The applicant has to show good conduct, integration efforts, and in most countries the PR will be cancelled If the person is absent from the country for a 2-3 years.

Coming to ex-citizens,even India which prohibits dual citizenship from the beginning has the solution called"Overseas Citizen of India" status . It's far from citizenship, but a unlimited PR.

we still have laws from 70years ago when there were fewer cases like this. I think it's time to provide more opportunities,but only for foreigners who are WILLING To INTEGRATE well (at least medium PROFICIENCY in LOCAL LANGUAGES Sinhala or Tamil should be must!)

 

You are taking this out of context as this is linked to the previous statement; and are being completely ignorant and short sighted as in all your other previous snippy replies and then contradicting yourself (the Indian PR statement). I was talking about people who have been legally been getting PR for decades upon decades. Anyone who has been going through this process for so long would have been doing exactly what you say is required.

If you are in the country for career you are here on a work permit/visa.Fine if that does not lead to PR...that is a different discussion This is about Sri Lankans marrying foreigners and wanting a family life in the country. Your statement suggests that a person should not be given PR for family reasons, i.e. for taking care of his.her children and being with his/her spouse. You should know that a man/woman taking care of her family and supporting it, is contributing to society and the country (unless you want to start a conversation that housewives and househusbands are non-contributing and non-integrating individuals in the country..i.e. a burden).

Having strong family connection (such as taking care of kids, etc...) and living in a country for X number of years with a legal spouse visa is an acceptable condition for (most) other countries to grant PR (I should know...I have the option of getting spouse visa and I am not employed in Japan but abroad, which is not reflected in their records...and all my money goes to a SL bank account...I know..such a waste). True there are stipulations about the family needing to have sufficient income, ability to speak the local language, etc...but those are stipulations that if a foreigner has lived in the country for a decade or so would automatically get. Then there are things like criminal records but then if a person has a criminal record that person would not have gotten SV. In some countries if the PR has committed a crime the person would be put on probation before getting kicked out.

You need to understand that if a spouse has married a Sri Lankan and has been legally getting SV for decades upon decades, it reflects the fact that the individual has been living in a manner that you suggest. It is not like the spouse is doing his/her own thing living by him/her self with the Sri Lankan partner is doing his/her thing. The ones who are going through a fake marriage for any reason should/would not have gotten SV in the first place (at least not have been able to renew it for decades upon decades multiple times). Be practical, a  person who has legally gotten SV is not going to live for decades without integrating and contributing to society. They would be living a normal life taking care of the person's family and contributing to the family and society as much as he/she can (considering the shortsighted restrictions the SV carries). that is integrating and contributing in to society and the country.

The people I talk about are not vagabonds who are just hanging around, these are people who married their SL partner in the 80s and have contributed and contibues to contribute a lot. Even if the foreigner has lived in impeccable conduct, contributed significantly to the country (culturally, socially and economically)  and has integrated well in to society and respects the laws of the land (more often much more than us locals) there still exists no mechanism to gain PR. 

Usually the stay stipulation is that you can stay out of the country for a X number of months consecutively and have to return back to the host country and stay for X number of years (again this changes from person to person...example, if the Japanese government sends my wife to work in a different country for X number of years, then obviously the out of country conditions do not apply to me. 

In Sri Lanka the PR option is still not there (or at least  it is there in principal in someone's mind but not in reality..much like everything else I suppose). Yes...the laws were created in the 70s and the world has changed...things are changing....very slowly....also..changing only because of the expat Sri Lankans.

Edited by iRage

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Posted (edited)

please calm down, I never said foreign spouses should not get Sri Lanka PR.

At least in the west (EU), it is mandatory to show sufficient official-language skills of the country where the applicant LIVES even on a spouse visa. If he's out for more than 2years,it will be reset. This measure is to protect the local culture and ensure ALL foreigners integrate properly in to it. I also checked out the Japanese conditions,

.https://visa-immigration.net/info/permanent-residence

nothing seems to be mentioned about spouse visa, its only about "benefits to Japan"(tax..) from the person.

so yes I agree that the PR should be available in SL, but first the authorities have to study and implement requirements similar to other developed countries. After all what is wrong with asking foreigners who want to settle down here to learn Sinhala or Tamil? It will even help them to understand our society and how things move here.

 

Edited by vag2
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7 hours ago, vag2 said:

please calm down, I never said foreign spouses should not get Sri Lanka PR.

At least in the west (EU), it is mandatory to show sufficient official-language skills of the country where the applicant LIVES even on a spouse visa. If he's out for more than 2years,it will be reset. This measure is to protect the local culture and ensure ALL foreigners integrate properly in to it. I also checked out the Japanese conditions,

.https://visa-immigration.net/info/permanent-residence

nothing seems to be mentioned about spouse visa, its only about "benefits to Japan"(tax..) from the person.

so yes I agree that the PR should be available in SL, but first the authorities have to study and implement requirements similar to other developed countries. After all what is wrong with asking foreigners who want to settle down here to learn Sinhala or Tamil? It will even help them to understand our society and how things move here.

 

What you are missing is....if a person has lived in Sri Lanka for decades with his/her family and renewing the spouse visa....that person would have sufficient skills in the local language and would have integrated quite well in to SL society (you should know that there are KOICA/JICA/peace-core volunteers who speak better/cleaner Sinhala than most of our new age kollo who mix and match sinhala and english). In fact all the foreigners I know in this situation are far better citizens of Sri Lanka than most of the locals in most of the neighborhoods I know, mine included  ! Any country, irrespective of whether its in Europe or other parts of Asia, recognizes this. In fact anyone who has lived legally in these countries under a spouse visa will have no problem meeting these requirements (if you are a shady character you are not going to be able to get legal visa without flags being raised, even in Sri Lanka.  You are confusing long term spouses living in this country with short term-entrants trying to get PR (kind of like putting them in the same boat as the Sri Lankans trying to emigrate to the West or down-under)

You looked at the application requirements for PR in Japan....you can get PR if you have been in the country for X number of years under a long-term stay visa (which can be a Spouse Visa, Work Visa, Investment Visas, etc...). Depending on the type of long-term stay visa you are coming from the requirements change (eg. language proficiency levels, savings requirements, etc...), the only thing that is common is the tax, which if you are employed have to pay income tax and pension fund to the city and the prefecture on a consistent basis without defaulting (if you default you have to give a proper reason as to why). The other taxes they talk about (I think what you misread as what they get) are mainly things like road taxes and specially health taxes which is not something the government gets but something for the individual's benefit (its something almost everyone on long term visas have to pay). For the record, I, just like every Japanese national. pay only 1/3 of the medical bills (a maximum of 27,000yen for anything), my annual health service tax is a lot lesser than what my max paying amount is. Only things I have to pay for is if I decide to stay in a private suite in the hospital. So no..the taxes you saw is not for the benefits they are getting (those are different taxes)...it is taxes for the things you would actually use...like actual roads and public car parks and health services (at public and private clinics). I do't get why you mentioned paying taxes in a rather negative tone, anyone living in a country and using its public services and infrastructure should pay taxes (foreign or local). In most of these countries the taxes do not go towards feeding 5-star 4 course meals and funding luxury cars to politicians, so paying taxes actually is in the person's best interest.

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On 4/27/2019 at 9:16 AM, iRage said:

What happens with the property is a whole different story but seems to be changing (slowly) and becoming more flexible with time..mainly because Sri Lankan expats investing in property in SL.

you mean changes regarding  ex-Sri lankan

1.buying new property without paying foreigner Tax or

2.being allowed to keep property which was acquired before losing SL citizenship?

have you seen/heard  something on the news, inner circles?

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, ajm said:

you mean changes regarding  ex-Sri lankan

1.buying new property without paying foreigner Tax or

2.being allowed to keep property which was acquired before losing SL citizenship?

have you seen/heard  something on the news, inner circles?

 

 

 

What I am referring too is when the SL spouse is still SL and then passes away. The ownership falling in to the foreign spouse goes through this grey area sort of thing because the spouse (and sometimes even the children) are foreigners and there are certain stipulations when it comes to things like foreigners owning land (as opposed to a condominium/apartment) . Yes..there are property taxes that become an issue as it falls in to multiple areas (foreign ownership, inheritances, etc...). So there is a lot of paperwork and lot of going back and forth and knowing our system it can take a long time before the ownership is transferred fully to the people who are left behind by the deceased. Sometimes its easier for the kids if they are able to retain dual citizenship.

It has to be noted that with all of the above (even immigration)....the authorities are quite courteous and helpful throughout the entire process (where property is concerned I do not have direct experience but only know through friends). Most of the time the issue is that there is nothing there in terms of policy or are no longer relevant.   

Nothing official, partly the statement is from one of big accounting firms when they were consulted during some investments and accounts from what friends have gone through. 

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Posted (edited)
On 4/29/2019 at 1:15 PM, iRage said:

Sometimes its easier for the kids if they are able to retain dual citizenship.

 

usually kids have to decide between 18~22 if a dual-citizenship is not allowed in the "other" country.

What is the legal age in SL for acquiring property under own name,18 or is it higher?

So in theory,if the SL parent faces no untimely death, his or her property could be transferred to the child after turning 18 ,before the child renounces SL citizenship?

Edited by ajm

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