COLOMBO, Sri Lanka In a significant move to boost its economy and attract foreign talent, Sri Lanka has introduced a comprehensive new visa policy tailored specifically for investors, tourists, and digital nomads. This strategic initiative aims to revitalize the country’s tourism industry and foster a vibrant environment for foreign investment.
Key Highlights of the New Visa Policy
Digital Nomad Visa: Recognizing the growing trend of remote work, Sri Lanka is introducing a one-year ‘Digital Nomad Visa’ for individuals who work remotely using technology. This visa will be granted upon providing proof of a monthly income of US$2,000 while residing in the country.
Investment Visa: To facilitate foreign investments, the government has introduced an ‘Investment Visa’ category, replacing previous visa categories such as ‘Golden Paradise’, ‘Condominium’, ‘Resident Guest Scheme’, and ‘My Dream’ visas. This new visa stream aims to attract foreign investors seeking opportunities in Sri Lanka’s burgeoning economy.
Port City Commission Residence Visa: To support the development of Colombo Port City, a special economic zone designed to attract international businesses and investments, the government has introduced a residence visa scheme for Colombo Port City Economic Commission expatriate staff. This visa will also extend to their spouses and dependent children.
Visas for Relatives of Sri Lankan Citizens: Expanding visa eligibility for relatives of Sri Lankan citizens, the new policy encompasses foreign spouses, parents of foreign spouses, dependents of foreign spouses of demised Sri Lankan citizens, individuals who lost their Sri Lankan citizenship, their children, foreign parents, and widows.
Objectives and Implications
The Sri Lankan government’s primary objectives for introducing this new visa policy are twofold:
Attracting Investors and Tourists: By simplifying the visa system and introducing new categories, the government aims to attract more foreign investors and tourists, fueling economic growth and revitalizing the tourism industry.
Capitalizing on the Digital Nomad Trend: Acknowledging the rising popularity of remote work, the government seeks to attract digital nomads by offering a one-year visa with a relatively low-income requirement. This move could position Sri Lanka as an attractive destination for digital nomads seeking a more affordable and culturally enriching environment compared to established hubs like Thailand and Portugal.
The introduction of this comprehensive visa policy marks a positive step towards Sri Lanka’s goal of attracting foreign talent, investments, and tourists. By addressing the needs of digital nomads, investors, and relatives of Sri Lankan citizens, the government is opening up new avenues for the country’s economic growth and development. As Sri Lanka embraces this new era of mobility and connectivity, it is poised to become a thriving hub for innovation, entrepreneurship, and cultural exchange.