Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 September 2014, 13:07 GMT

Suriname: Procedures to follow in order to obtain permanent resident status; reasons for such status to be revoked (specifically, if it can be lost by a one-year absence, and whether the presence in Suriname of a permanent resident spouse or child has an effect) (2005-2007)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa
Publication Date 24 July 2007
Citation / Document Symbol SUR102558.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Suriname: Procedures to follow in order to obtain permanent resident status; reasons for such status to be revoked (specifically, if it can be lost by a one-year absence, and whether the presence in Suriname of a permanent resident spouse or child has an effect) (2005-2007), 24 July 2007, SUR102558.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47d6547828.html [accessed 30 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

According to an official at the Consulate of Suriname to Canada and an official at the Canadian Consultate to Suriname, in order to obtain permanent resident status in Suriname, a person must first obtain a tourist visa and then obtain resident status (Canada 30 May 2007; Suriname 18 June 2007).

A visitor's visa permits an individual to stay in Suriname for a one-month period (Canada 30 May 2007). An official at the Canadian Consultate to Suriname stated that if applicants wish to stay longer, they can have their visitor's visa extended for up to six months in total (ibid.). A Suriname consulate official stated that a tourist visa can be extended for up to one year (Suriname 18 June 2007). To obtain a visitor's visa, the applicant must have a signed passport which is valid for six months from the date of intended departure; a photocopy of the return ticket; one completed application form (available on the embassy's Web site); a business letter (if for a business visa); one up-to-date passport photo; and if under 18 years of age, a letter of consent from a parent or guardian (Suriname n.d.).

To receive resident status, applicants must request an extension of their visitor's visa (Canada 30 May 2007). They must pass a background check with the police, supply a copy of their passport and birth certificate, and have a guarantor who is both a Suriname citizen and resident (Suriname 18 June 2007). If resident status is attained, it is valid for two years (ibid.). It must be renewed every two years, four months prior to the visa's expiration date (ibid.).

Applicants must have had resident status for five complete years before they can apply for permanent resident status (ibid.). They must provide proof of private medical coverage (ibid.) and apply before their resident status expires (Canada 30 May 2007). Once they have received permanent status, they must pay USD 150 each year to renew their status (Suriname 18 June 2007).

In written communication dated 30 May 2007, an official at the Canadian Consulate in Suriname explained that although applicants can theoretically request permanent residence from their home country, Suriname embassies are not able to accommodate such requests at this time (Canada 30 May 2007). The Counsul could not provide details as to why this was the case.

An official at the Consulate of Suriname noted that different rules apply for people of Suriname descent; however, he could not provide details as to the differences (Suriname 18 June 2007). He also noted that the regulations around visas are in the process of being changed; it is uncertain when these changes will be enacted (ibid.).

Losing Status

An official at the Consulate of Suriname in Canada stated that it is not possible to leave and re-enter Suriname if on a temporary visa (Canada 30 May 2007). Individuals will lose their permanent resident status if they leave the country for a period of more than twelve months (Suriname 18 June 2007). They will then have to begin the process all over again, starting with obtaining a tourist visa (ibid.). However, children under 18 years of age may leave Suriname for over twelve months without losing their permanent residence status; they often do so in order to study abroad (ibid.).

However, an official at the Canadian Consulate in Suriname stated that, in practice, a person can leave Suriname (for a period of one year, for example), and re-enter without difficulty (Canada 30 May 2007). He stated that "officially this should not be possible but with the current system it cannot be enforced and the person just enters" (Canada 30 May 2007). The Official could not provide more details about why this was the case.

According to an official at the Suriname Consulate to Canada, the presence of a child or spouse in Suriname does not affect a person's ability to retain his or her permanent resident status (Suriname 18 June 2007).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Canada. 30 May 2007. Canadian Consulate to Suriname. Written correspondence from an official.

Suriname. 18 June 2007. Consulate of Suriname, Kelowna, BC, Canada. Interview with the Honorary Consul.
_____. Suriname. N.d. Embassy of the Republic of Suriname, Washington DC. "Visa Requirements." [Accessed 11 June 2007]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral Sources: The Embassy of Suriname in Washington, DC could not provide information within the time constraints of this Response.

Internet sites, including: Citizenship Laws of the World, Defence Security Service (DSS), Suriname Consular Information Sheet, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and United States (US) Department of State.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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