Sri Lanka Introduces “NOMAD” Visa to Boost Tourism
January 19, Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka has launched a new “NOMAD” visa, catering to online workers who wish to work from the country, as announced by Immigration and Emigration Controller General Harsha Ilukpitiya. Tourists on Holiday Visas can now apply for tourist visas online, extending their stay in Sri Lanka, while investors have the option of obtaining visas for periods ranging from 10 to 15 years. Additionally, a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa is set to be introduced for those planning to live their entire lives in Sri Lanka.
Ongoing discussions with VFS Global, with branches in 145 countries, aim to facilitate obtaining tourist visas for foreign travelers. The simplified visa process, expected to be implemented within a month, aims to attract three to four million tourists to Sri Lanka in the near future.
Ilukpitiya highlighted the introduction of a “Facial Recognition” system at Bandaranaike International Airport and plans to expand the system to recognize passengers via their picture and fingerprints for both departure and arrival. An office with visa facilities for the Northern Province will open in Vavuniya in February. The anticipated Ferry Service between India and Sri Lanka from Kankesanthurai is set to commence operations this week.
Furthermore, Sri Lanka plans to introduce Electronic Passports for its citizens within the year, aiming to enhance the recognition of Sri Lankan passports globally. The comprehensive changes in visa processes and technological advancements signal a significant effort to boost tourism and streamline residency options in the country.