Myanmar will introduce a permanent residency system for foreigners in the next 12 months as part of the government’s efforts to stimulate economic growth, Minister for Immigration U Khin Yi said last week.
He told lawmakers on January 15 that the system would be introduced during the 2014-15 financial year, which begins on April 1, “for the development of the country”.
“It will help to facilitate more foreign direct investment,” he said.
Successful permanent residency applicants will receive a stay permit of five years.
The government launched the initiative two years ago but is still yet to submit a bill to parliament. U Khin Yi declined to comment on when the bill is likely to be submitted.
He said the system will make the country more attractive to the foreign experts and technicians needed to develop Myanmar’s economy. It will also assist Myanmar nationals “who left the country for many reasons” and have now taken up citizenship elsewhere to come back and work in Myanmar.
The minister also told parliament that the government plans to sign visa exemption agreements with 16 countries, including all nine ASEAN members. It will also upgrade the border crossing with China at Muse so it can handle foreign visitors.
U Khin Yi also revealed that the government plans to grant citizenship to 43 people who have re-applied for Myanmar citizenship.
Noting that the 1982 citizenship law does not allow dual citizenship, he said it is possible for those who have given up their citizenship to get it back again if the government deems their request is in the country’s interests.