Sunday, May 1, 2011

Online visas for visitors to Lanka

Article was copied from the Sunday Times 1st May 2011.

Cabinet approval has been sought to activate the on-line visa facility for foreign visitors that will be tagged along with an administration fee, a senior official said yesterday.

Immigration and Emigration Chief Chulananda Perera told the Sunday Times any person intending to visit Sri Lanka could download a landing visa from his or her home computer and the guidelines regarding this would be sent to the travel trade and diplomatic missions.

He said he could not say when the online facility would come into force, but added that the authorities were keen to put it into operation soon.

“The administration fee which will be decided by the Cabinet will cover only one month. Those intending to stay longer will be charged a visa fee on a reciprocal basis.“For example, if a British citizen seeks a visa for more than a month, then the fee will be the same that is charged from a Sri Lankan intending to visit that country. The same procedure will be applied to those visiting the country from the United States, Europe or elsewhere,” he said.

Citizens of Singapore and the Maldives would be exempted from the fee because Sri Lankans did not require visas to enter those two countries. Should any other country provide this same facility to Sri Lankans then we will reciprocate accordingly, Mr. Perera said.


Anonymous said...

I am sure the government has reviewed all the areas surrounding travel visas and sri lanka has in the past provided a quick easy accessability system at the colombo internaitonal airport - this has provided tourist and visitors a like with a fee free visa for upto 30 days - with the proposed changes and the current world economic crisis does the government not realise this could effect tourist numbers into sri lanka both now and in the future. careful consideration of any changes which could effect the tourist spending power should be reviewed before implemented. sri lanka ceylon an island like no other -

Anonymous said...

A dumb idea, some bearucrat thought it might be great to charge tourists extra, Someone should tell profiteering sl bearacrat nutter who thought this the year is 2011 not 1985!, people in 2011 from the west especially just don't have the money to pay for a holiday like to used to in 1980s when the west economies were doing well. Just a money making excercise, no different from some of the hawkers in SL who try to con people of money,
to charge foreign passport holders a fee. You will find in the months ahead less and less people with foreign passports will be travelling to Sri Lanka anyway as the Global financial crisis, especially in the west bites further, I suppose only rich sri lankans from the west will be travelling to sri lanka, but they won’t be charged will they. Mark my words due to these kind of measures less and less people will travel to Sri Lanka. The air ticket costs a lot of money on top of that people don’t won’t the hassle of a visa fee charged. I remember when I was living in Sri Lanka in the 1980s lot of tourists from the west visited even though the LTTE insurgency was in full swing. I guess the thinking here is if a foreign passport holder can falk out the money to buy a return ticket to Sri Lanka, he has the money to get charged a visa fee right? I guess it is another tourist profit making business by the minister.

I suppose it is an excellent if you are a Sri Lankan? So you don’t have to contribute to this money making scheme and hassle?
These things profiteering rip off mentality of some people in Sri Lanka really piss me off, because not everybody from a western country is wealthy and not every sri lankan is poor.
Last time I went to Sri Lanka,
I saw lankans driving around in Limo's, Rolls Royces, Lamborginis and Benz, jaguars. Living in Mansions by the sea these are lankans who also have property in western countries at the same time! I also saw Tourists from the west taking the bus!
Dumb idea Sri Lanka. Scrap the online visa fee. Just because there is the internet no need to rip people off. In future only rich lankans will be coming to SL. In fact it is already happening now.

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