By Aye Nai
The Burmese government is in the process of drafting a bill that would provide foreigners with permanent residency, according to the Immigration Department’s director-general.
According to an article in the state’s mouthpiece the New Light of Myanmar yesterday, the legislation aims to boost investment in the country by reaching out to foreign nationals and Burmese immigrants living abroad.
“The existing regulations do not allow dual citizenship, posing difficulties to foreign businessmen, intellectuals and technicians and immigrant Myanmar [Burmese] willing to make investment in Myanmar [Burma] because of its economic potential and permanent residence system is supposed to be an advisable solution,” read the article on the back page of the New Light of Myanmar.
The government’s Management Committee for Permanent Resident System, led by Vice President Nyan Htun, held its first coordination meeting with committee members and academics in Naypyidaw on 31 October.
Immigration Department director-general Maung Maung Than told DVB it will take about four months until the bill is finalised.
“There’s a lot of steps to go through; a deputy immigration minister would be assigned to hold extensive discussions with academics on the ground level and to report back to the committee to make necessary amendments [to the draft],” said Maung Maung Than.
“Since this is just our first meeting, there’s a way ahead and we have to hold monthly meetings. It should be ready to submit to the government in about four months.”
During a press conference earlier in the month, President Thein Sein said that dual-citizenship wouldn’t be permitted in Burma, but the government is looking to adopt a permanent residency system for Burmese people holding foreign citizenship.
According to the country’s immigration law, a person who wishes to become a Burmese citizen must renounce his or her own citizenship first.