YANGON, Dec. 4 — Myanmar announced yesterday the introduction of a new Permanent Residency program to be implemented from Dec. 29.2014.
The move of the Ministry of Immigration and Population is seen as part of the efforts to mobilize human resources in and out of the country in nation building.
It is also the first time that Myanmar introduces such a residence system to attract and help foreigners to work, invest and live in the country permanently.
Those who are eligible to apply for the permanent residence include foreign professionals, technicians, investors, former Myanmar citizens in exile and spouses and children of them.
Foreign professionals and technicians are required to get recommendation from the ministries, while investors need to make investment without affecting small and medium enterprises, and Myanmar citizens in exile are to contribute to the development of the country.
Blacklist not eligible for Permanent Residency.
However, refugees, asylum seekers and those with criminal records are denied the permanent residence.
Qualified applicants will be granted an initial five-year residence which is renewable yearly.
With an initial application fee of 500 U.S. dollars, a qualified foreign applicant is set to pay 1,000 U.S. dollars, a former Myanmar citizen 500 dollars, a spouse or a child aged 7-18 of a former Myanmar citizen 300 dollars a year.
To support the new system, by-laws are being enacted and measures are being taken properly.
Vice President U Nyan Tun, who is chairman of the Permanent Residence Management Committee, said, “The system is the one that will strengthen the favorable conditions of Myanmar at right time and it will enable scholars, experts, intellectuals and investors from other countries as well as former Myanmar citizens to contribute to the national development.”
Measures are also being taken for protection of national security and interest and small and medium enterprises investment, said Secretary of the Committee U Khin Yi, who is also minister of immigration and population.
Meanwhile, Myanmar nationals residing overseas with foreign citizenship are reportedly allowed to return home and re-take their home citizenship if they give up their foreign citizenship as Myanmar does not allow dual citizenship of their nationals.
In August 2011, Myanmar President U Thein Sein introduced a new policy after his government took office in March dealing with dissidents in and out of the country, saying that “Any individuals and organizations in the nation, that have different views from the government, should not take account of disagreements,” inviting them to work with the government for common goals in the national interest.
He said the government will make review to ensure “Myanmar citizens, living abroad for some reasons, can return home if they have not committed any crime.”
In response to the president’s call, many dissidents in exile have been returning home since then.
People who are on Myanmar’s blacklist and Myanmar nationals who took up citizenship abroad will not be eligible to apply for Permanent Residency in Myanmar, Maung Maung Than, director-general of the Department of Immigration and National Registration told Mizzima December 3.
“The relevant ministry, in cooperation with experts, will scrutinize applications for Permanent Residency, we cannot predict how long this will take, as it will depend on a case by case basis,” he said.
Myanmar citizens who received political asylum in foreign countries, are on the blacklist, or are refugees will not be granted the five-year Permanent Residency status, he said.
About 6,000 people are on the nation’s blacklist for economic and political reasons, Minister for Immigration and Population, U Khin Yi told Mizzima at eVisa Launch on September 1.