BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, March 18 (Xinhua) -- A guide to applying for Permanent Resident (PR) status as well as Long Term Residential Pass in Brunei has been approved, The Brunei Times reported on Tuesday.
Brunei Minister of Home Affairs YB Pehin Dato Ustaz Hj Awang Badaruddin, elaborating on the guide at Monday's Legislative Council meet, touched mostly on foreign nationals with familial ties such as mothers, fathers, husbands, wives or children to Brunei citizens or permanent residents.
The guideline also applies to foreign nationals who have contributed to the country's progress and economic development. This category also includes foreign nationals in professional field, said the minister.
"These individuals (who have families in Brunei) or are permanent residents, have gone through the joy and sorrow of family life in this country, and they have adapted to the political and social climate of this country, especially if they are also educated under our national education system," he said.
The minister said by giving them the opportunity to apply for Permanent Resident status, it will strengthen family ties and enable them to play active and positive roles in the nation's development.
With their Permanent Resident status, it will qualify them to apply for citizenship in accordance to the Brunei Nationality Act, said the minister.
The guideline also listed the period of residence in Brunei required for applicants before they can qualify for application, said the minister.
The minister said the period of residence was reduced to 10 years from 15 years for a male foreign national (born in Brunei) who is married to a Bruneian woman. The same goes for male foreign nationals (born outside Brunei) who are married to Bruneian women.
Previously, they need to reside in Brunei for 20 years to qualify for application. Under the guideline, individuals with stateless status can also be considered for PR.
The guidelines that apply to foreign nationals who have contributed to the country's progress and economic development as well as in the professional field, set the period of residence at 10 years for individuals born in Brunei and 15 years for those born outside of Brunei.
The minister clarified that their contribution were evaluated in the aspect of economic activity and professionalism that created positive impacts to the country.
Value of assets and investments of the applicants must be significant, the minister said, and can assist private sector development by focusing on sectors that create value-added manufacturing and production.
The guideline does not consider contributions made in the form of donations and participation in national level activities.
This consideration can also be extended to applicants who have rendered their services to the country's development in various aspects, said the minister.
Long term residential pass will be considered for foreign nationals who are not eligible to apply for PR or they did not wish to apply for PR but wish to reside in the country for a long time for their business or professional careers.