The United States (US) citizenship was not a barrier for former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to contest the upcoming Presidential Election, Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) leader and MP Udaya Gammanpila said yesterday.
Addressing a news conference, he said Mr. Rajapaksa had requested him to explain the true legal position and the procedure in respect of renunciation of the US citizenship.
“Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 is the governing law in respect of renunciation of citizenship. According to Section 349(a) (5) of the Act, any citizen who wishes to relinquish the citizenship can do so without any restriction. However, two restrictions have been introduced by case law. Firstly, if the citizen lodges the application, being in the USA, it will definitely be rejected. Secondly, if the applicant does not have any other citizenship, his application may be rejected,” Gammanpila said.
“The first step towards renouncing US citizenship is obtaining citizenship in another country. The second step is collecting requirements mentioned in form DS4079 to DS4083. Thirdly, the applicant should make the renunciation appointment with the US embassy,” Gammanpila said
“As the fourth step, you should attend the appointment with two persons to witness your signature. After briefing you about the consequences of renunciation of the citizenship, the documents will be executed. Thereafter, you will be issued with DS4083, Certificate of Loss of Nationality. It is like an insurance cover note or temporary driving license. It will be later replaced with a certificate issued by the Department of State. It is so simple and so quick,” Gammanpila added.
Therefore, he said the US Citizenship would not be an obstacle for Gotabaya Rajapaksa to contest the forthcoming presidential election.