Published on: August 18, 2022

Cabinet Approval For Issuance Of One Year Visa For Tourists

Cabinet approval has been granted for the extension of the validity of tourist visas from the date of arrival, from 270 days to one year and to simplify the system of charging visa fees, with the aim of encouraging the tourism industry.

Accordingly, the Cabinet approval has been granted to charge a fee of US$ 35 to issue a single visa for 180 days for tourists arriving through Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA), and US$ 200 for travelers who wish to receive a visa with multiple entries for a period of one year.

The relevant cabinet papers have been forwarded to the Cabinet by President Ranil Wickremesinghe as the President and Minister of Investment Promotion, which was approved by the Cabinet.

Under the current visa fee system of the Department of Immigration and Emigration, when a tourist arrives in the country and stays for a period of 180 days (06 months), the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) charge for the first 30 days is set at US$ 35, and the visa fee for the next 60 days is set at US$ 60 and the visa fee for the last 90 days is set at US$150.
In accordance with the new visa fee structure which received Cabinet approval, a tourist will be charged US$35 instead of the total visa fee of US$245 for a period of 180 days.

The government is confident that despite a loss of UD$ 210 per tourist, by spending 180 days in the country, the government could generate more income from the money spent on food, transportation and accommodation.

The Cabinet has approved the reduction for multiple-entry visas and business licenses for a period of one year from USD 685 to USD 200.
The government intends to boost the tourism industry, which collapsed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, by introducing these incentives. Although there is a loss of USD 485, the government is confident that by spending a year in the country, the country will gain more by the money spent by tourists on food, transportation and accommodation during that period.
Former President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa previously issued a Cabinet Memorandum on 2022-03-25 granting a 10-year visa for an investor who invests USD 250,000 and a five-year extended visa for an investor who invests USD 150,000.

Under the same cabinet paper, the golden paradise visa programs were proposed, and if a sum of USD 100,000 is deposited in the Central Bank of Sri Lanka or a recognized commercial bank, a visa for a period of 10 years was to be granted.

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