At the recent Gotabaya Rajapaksa talk on Urban Development we asked a question about human capital, about how we can get talented people into our cities and countries. Right now Sri Lanka has no active immigration policy – dual citizenship is suspended and there is no path to dual citizenship for foreign nationals, even if they marry in.
For YAMU this has directly impacted who we can recruit and hire because current policy makes it insecure for expats to work here and nearly impossible for foreign nationals.
In response Mr. Rajapaksa said that dual was coming back in a more structured way and basically stopped talking. Then he took the mic back and added something which has now become news, that Sri Lanka will start a residency scheme for foreign nationals. We say it’s become news because LBO is report it as follows:
Sri Lanka will introduce a residency scheme for foreign nationals who want to work or start businesses in the island as part of a revamp of a dual citizenship scheme, defence secretary Gothabya Rajapaksa said.
He said the draft laws to change Sri Lanka’s dual citizenship process are with the legal draftsman’s office, but applications of those who had applied earlier were being processed. (LBO)
We think this is a welcome step because Sri Lanka needs to attract more than foreign and expat money, we need to attract human capital. With current immigration and citizenship laws it’s basically impossible for small companies like YAMU or anyone to attract international talent because they can’t own anything proper or have any residential security here. Hopefully that’s going to change.