The Council of Ministers on Friday reviewed the draft amendments to the Law on Nationality, which was originally passed by the National Assembly on August 20, 1996, with a view to increasing the fee for investors and others who wish to obtain Cambodian nationality.
Current provisions of the law to be amended specifically pertains to foreigners, and are enshrined in articles 10, 11 and 12.
Article 10 states: “For any foreigner who had received a letter of authorisation for investment from the Cambodian Development Council and who had implemented concretely actual projects costing an initial capital of 1.25 billion riel [$312,500] and up, the period of residence as stated in the Sub-para 3 of Article 8 of this law shall be exempted.”
As for Article 11, it states: “For any foreigner who has no letter of authorisation for investment from the Cambodian Development Council, but who had received authorisation for investment legally from the Royal Government and who had spent initial capital of 1.25 billion riel and up, the period of residence as stated in the Sub-para 3 of Article 8 of this law shall be exempted.”
Article 12 states: “Any foreigner who has made a donation in cash, to the national budget of 1 billion riel or more, for the interest of restoration and building of economy of the Kingdom of Cambodia, such foreigner may file an application for Khmer nationality, in the event he/she has fulfilled the conditions as stated in the sub-paragraphs 1, 2, 5 and 6 of Article 8 of this law.”
The amended law will be sent to the assembly for approval. As of January, 1,136 foreigners have received Cambodian nationality, according to National Police records.
In a press release issued on Friday, the Council of Ministers said the amendments were proposed because the law, as it stands, does not correspond with economic reality.
Prok Mai Ouddom, a spokesperson for the General Department of Nationality, said the focus of the amendments was on the increase in fees and additional conditions to be included. “We are thinking about the amount of money [to be charged] and some other conditions to make the law better.
“We added and changed some conditions to the old law, and we increased the amount of money of investment and the conditions attached. But we wait until the parliament approves before we say more,” Ouddom said.
Khieu Sokheak, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior, said the new fees would be stipulated through a sub-decree which would come later.