CITIZENSHIP ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

PART I

CITIZENSHIP OF SRI LANKA

2. Status.

3. Citizenship and nationality.

PART II

CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT

4. Citizenship by descent, person born before the appointed date.

5. Citizenship by descent in the case of persons born on or after the appointed date.

5A. Eligibility of person born prior to the date of commencement of this Act.

6. Certificate of citizenship of Sri Lanka by descent in case of doubt.

6A. Issue of Certificate of citizenship on application made.

7. Foundings.

8. Resumption of citizenship by descent.

9. Repealed.

10. Posthumous persons.

PART III

CITIZENSHIP BY REGISTRATION

11. Persons entitled to registration as citizens.

12. Registration of spouse, widow or widower of citizen of Ceylon or Sri Lanka.

13. Registration as citizens of persons to whom sections 11 or 12 do not apply.

13A. Registration as citizens of persons registered in a Resident Guest Scheme.

14. Minor children of applicants for registration as citizens of Sri Lanka.

15. Persons who are not to be granted citizenship by registration.

16. Register.

17. Certificates of registration.

18. Effect of certificates of registration.

PART IV

LOSS OF CITIZENSHIP

19. Renunciation of citizenship and special provisions relating to dual citizenship.

20. Restrictions against dual citizenship of persons who are citizens by descent.

21. Restrictions against dual citizenship of persons who are citizens by registration.

22. Cases of invalid or ineffective renunciations of foreign citizenship.

23. Repealed.

24. Repealed.

PART V

MISCELLANEOUS

25. Offence.

26. Fees.

27. Regulations.

28. Interpretation.

SCHEDULES

18 of 1948,

40 of 1950,

13 of 1955,

45 of 1987,

15 of 1993,

43 of 1993,

16 of 2003.

AN ACT to make provision for Citizenship of Sri Lanka and for matters connected therewith.

[Date of Commencement: 15th November, 1948]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Citizenship Act.

PART I

CITIZENSHIP OF SRI LANKA

2. Status.

(1) With effect from the appointed date, there shall be a status to be known as "the status of a citizen of Ceylon”, and, with effect from the 22nd day of May, 1972, to be known as "the status of a citizen of Sri Lanka”.

(1A) Every person who immediately prior to the 22nd day of May, 1972, was a citizen of Ceylon shall, on and after that date, be entitled to be, and to be called, a citizen of Sri Lanka.

(2) A person shall be or become entitled to the status of a citizen of Sri Lanka in one of the following ways only:

(a) by right of descent as provided by this Act;

(b) by virtue of registration as provided by this Act or by any other Act authorising the grant of such status by registration in any special case of a specified description.

(3) Every person who has possessed of the aforesaid status is hereinafter referred as a "Citizen of Sri Lanka”.

[S 2(3) subs by s 2 of Act 16 of 2003.]

3. Citizenship and nationality.

A citizen of Sri Lanka may, for any purpose in Sri Lanka, describe his nationality by the use of the expression "Citizen of Sri Lanka”.

PART II

CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT

4. Citizenship by descent, person born before the appointed date.

(1) Subject to the other provisions of this Part, a person born in Sri Lanka before the appointed date shall have the status of a citizen of Sri Lanka by descent, if:

(a) his father was born in Sri Lanka; or

(b) his paternal grandfather and paternal great grandfather were born in Sri Lanka.

(2) Subject to the other provisions of this Part, a person born outside Sri Lanka before the appointed date shall have the status of a citizen of Sri Lanka by descent, if—

(a) his father and paternal grandfather were born in Sri Lanka; or

(b) his paternal grandfather and paternal great grandfather were born in Sri Lanka.

5. Citizenship by descent in the case of persons born on or after the appointed date.

(1) Subject to the other provisions of this Part, a person born in Sri Lanka on or after the appointed date shall have the status of a "citizen of Sri Lanka” if at the time of his birth either of his parents is or was a citizen of Sri Lanka.

[S 5(1) am by s 3(1) of Act 16 of 2003.]

(2) Subject to the other provisions of this Part, a person born outside Sri Lanka on or after the appointed date shall have the status of a citizen of Sri Lank if at the time of his birth either of his parent is or was a citizen of Sri Lanka and if, within one year from the date of birth, or within such further period as the Minister may for good cause allow, the birth is registered in the prescribed manner:

(a) at the office of a consular officer of Sri Lanka in the country of birth; or

(b) at the office of the Minister in Sri Lanka.

[S 5(2) am by s 3(2) of Act 16 of 2003.]

5A. Eligibility of person born prior to the date of commencement of this Act.

(1) Any person who was born within or outside Sri Lanka after the appointed date but prior to the date of commencement of this Act and:

(a) whose mother only was at the time of his birth a citizen of Sri Lanka and he is over twenty two years of age; or

(b) neither of whose parents was at the time of his birth a citizen of Sri Lanka but at least one of his parents subsequently becomes a citizen of Sri Lanka,

and shall be eligible to obtain the status of a citizen of Sri Lanka in accordance with the succeeding provisions of this section.

(2) A person referred to in subsection (1) who is a citizen of any other country and who desires to acquire Sri Lankan citizenship and renounce citizenship of that other country may make an application to the Minister for a declaration that he has acquired the status of a citizen of Sri Lanka if he renounces citizenship of such other country, in accordance with the law in force in that behalf in that other country and he is and intends continue ordinarily resident in Sri Lanka, and the Minister may make the declaration for which the application is made.

(3) A person referred to in subsection (1) who is a citizen of any other country and who desires to acquire Sri Lankan citizenship also retain citizen of that other country may make an application to the Minister for a declaration to the effect that he has acquired the status of citizen of Sri Lanka notwithstanding the fact that he is and continues to be a citizen of that other country and the Minister may make the declaration for which the application is made, if he is satisfied that the making of such declaration would in all the circumstances of the case, he of benefit to Sri Lanka.

(4) When a declaration is made under this section, the Minister shall specify the date with effect from which such person shall have acquired the status of a citizen of Sri Lanka.

(5) The provisions of subsection (7) of section 19 shall, mutatis mutandis, apply to a person who has acquired the status of a citizen of Sri Lanka by virtue of the preceding provisions of this section.

(6) The provisions of section 26 of the principal enactment relating to the payment of fees, shall, mutatis mutandis, apply to the application of a person under this section.

[S 5A ins by s 4 of Act 16 of 2003.]

6. Certificate of citizenship of Sri Lanka by descent in case of doubt.

Upon application made in that behalf in the prescribed manner, the Minister may, in his discretion, grant, in the prescribed form, a certificate of citizenship of Sri Lanka by descent to a person with respect to whose status as a citizen of Sri Lanka by descent a doubt exists; and a certificate issued under this section to any person shall be conclusive evidence that that person was a citizen of Sri Lanka by descent on the date thereof, but without prejudice to any evidence that he was such a citizen at an earlier date.

6A. Issue of Certificate of citizenship on application made.

(1) Any person who is a citizen of Sri Lanka by virtue of the provisions of section 5 may if he so desires, apply to the Controller of Immigration and Emigration for a Certificate of citizenship. The application shall be substantially in the Form set out in Schedule A hereto.

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