changes in visa regulations to benefit Sri Lankans

series of changes proposed to the Immigrants and Emigrants Act No. 20 of 1948, by Minister of Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs, S.B. Navinne, was approved by the Cabinet this week.

This includes the decision to collect visa charges in US Dollars, instead of Sri Lankan Rupees, the recommendation of visas for investors/employees in BOI zones by the Secretary to the Ministry under which the BOI functions, the charging of a fine of USD 500 in addition to the visa charge from foreigners whose visa period had expired, provision of residential visas for foreign students covering their whole academic period, issuance of a residential visa up to 10 years for foreigners who remit more than USD 500,000 to Sri Lanka, the issuance of spouse visas for foreigners up to five years and for their children who are married to Sri Lankan citizens, issuance of a residential visa for two years to foreigners for employment purposes whose Sri Lankan spouse is dead or who has resided continuously for 10 years in Sri Lanka or who have children under 18 years of age.

Future changes in Sri Lanka’s visa regulations would permit former Sri Lankan citizens who have obtained their citizenships in countries which do not permit dual citizenships to obtain permanent resident visas in Sri Lanka.