The Board of Investment (BOI) today (1) launched a five-year residence visa programme dedicated to investors, stakeholders, and BOI enterprises.
Issuing long-term visas for investors has been the practice as per international standards.
On par with matching the international benchmark in respect of ease of doing business, the BOI has decided to launch this programme to attract more investors to the country.
The long-term visa programme, a long-felt need, primarily aims to facilitate the investors who wish to embark on a journey with the BOI.
The BOI annually issues 7,500-8,000 visa recommendations for investors, employees, and dependents.
The BOI has granted visas for foreign nationals from 109 countries such as India, the United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and Pakistan which represent the most applicants based on last year’s statistics.
Addressing the gathering, Investment Promotion Minister Dhammika Perera said “The happiness on the faces of those investors present at the occasion, implies that the newly launched visa residence scheme is a success.”
“Before the implementation of this programme, they had to go through a long documentation process every year to get these visas,” he pointed out.
“Having understood the prime need to provide a seamless and convenient service for investors, we have launched the new programme, though I have not officially assumed duties as the Investment Promotion Minister,” Perera highlighted.
Meanwhile, BOI Director General Renuka M. Weerakone said “It is certainly a pleasure to see all our long-standing investors on this special day of launching the long-term residence visa programme for investors.”
“You all have been the contributors towards 65% of export earnings to Sri Lanka and have stood by us even in difficult times, which we wish to acknowledge with great gratitude,” she underlined.
“As far as the new programme is concerned, the visa application process can be accessed online and the BOI is also using an online facility for Defence clearance and plans to introduce the same mechanism with the Department of Immigration and Emigration,” Weerakone explained.