Sri Lanka | New Visa Policies Announced to Boost Tourism and Foreign Investment

62

The Sri Lankan government will implement new measures designed to simplify visa policies, improve residence access and attract more investors and tourists.

Key Points:

  • The measures include the following changes:
    • Instead of renewing visas annually, a new policy will allow foreign students to complete their entire period of study by making a one-time payment of US$200.
    • A new digital nomad visa will permit foreign nationals with a monthly income of US$2,000 or more to reside in Sri Lanka.
    • A new “investment visa” category will be introduced under the residence visa. This new category will replace the following existing residence visa categories:
      • Golden Paradise
      • Condominium
      • Resident Guest Scheme
      • My Dream
    • A new residence visa category will be created for Colombo Port City Economic Commission expatriate staff, including spouses and dependent children.
    • A new residence visa category will open for Sri Lankan nationals’ foreign spouses, including parents and dependents of the foreign spouse.
    • A new residence visa category will be introduced to restore Sri Lankan citizenship that has lapsed and will include dependent children, foreign parents and widows.

Additional Information: Sri Lankan authorities will also implement visa-free travel for nationals from China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Russia and Thailand. The authorization will be in effect until March 31, 2024. Nationals of these countries will still be required to apply for Electronic Travel Authorization prior to travel. The scheme will grant a stay of up to 30 days with multiple entries.

BAL Analysis: Government officials said these new policy initiatives are designed to simplify the visa system and attract more investors and tourists. The new measures should benefit employees, as well as foreign spouses and students who wish to stay in Sri Lanka. The new schemes should take effect by the end of 2023. BAL will continue following the implementation of these measures and will provide updates as information becomes available.

Source: Natlaw Review