The government has approved regularizing and updating of the present method of visa issuance and to collect visa charges in US dollars instead of Sr Lankan rupees.
A proposal made by Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs Minister S. B. Navinna in this regard was approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday.
Accordingly, it has been decided to recommend visas for investors and employees in BOI zones by the Secretary of the Ministry which the BOI functions.
Other reforms include charging a fine of US$500 in addition to visa charges from foreigners whose visa period has expired, providing residential visa for foreign students covering the whole academic period and issuing residential visa up to 10 years for foreigners who remit more than US$500,000 to Sri Lanka.
“Spouse visa will be issued for foreigners up to five years and for their children who are married with Sri Lankan citizens. Residential visa will be issued for two years to foreigners whose Sri Lankan spouse is dead who has resided continuously for 10 years in Sri Lanka or who have children under 18 years of age, for employment purpose,” the government said.
Meanwhile, a permanent residence visa will be issued to former Sri Lankans who have already obtained the citizenship of another country who cannot apply for dual citizenship.