By Sandun A Jayasekera
The Sri Lanka embassy in Rome and the Consulate General Office in Milan have arranged to cater to over 10,000 Sri Lankans who would seek consular assistance in the process of regularizing their visa status under “Sanatoria 2020” A special amnesty granted by the Italian Government, a Foreign Relations Ministry spokesman said.
Accordingly, consular services will be provided from 1 June to 15 July 2020 for Sri Lankans to expedite their passport application process, he added.
Amidst the present COVID-19 pandemic and in the context of the strong bilateral relations that have continued over the years, Sri Lankans in Italy have been provided the opportunity, to regularize their stay through “Sanatoria 2020” declared by the Italian Government, as one of the key policy elements of its ‘Relaunch Italy’ development plan, which provides avenues for irregular migrant workers, to apply for regularizing their visa status in Italy and obtain a legal residents permit for work purposes,he added.
In facilitating and serving Sri Lankans under the special amnesty, the Sri Lanka Missions in Rome and Milan have commenced special consular services, for applicants to receive passports within 10 working days from the date of submission at the Embassy, he said. The Missions, through an online based appointment system, will summon applicants to visit for consular services, ensuring that the public visiting the Missions comply with the health protocols amidst the COVID-19 pandemic situation. The Embassy in Rome has additionally arranged a special Online Mobile Service for Sri Lankans in the island of Sicily, to apply for passports to regularize their visa status under “Sanatoria”.
The process of the special Online Mobile Service includes scrutinizing documents, and interviewing applicants all conducted through video conferencing mode and an electronic mailing system. The special online mobile service will be held on 14 June 2020 commencing from 9.00 am onwards at Catania, Sicily Island.
The Embassy is scheduled to receive applications for passports under this special consular service before 30 June 2020 .
in order to ensure that all applicants will be issued with original passports to proceed with their regularization process during the amnesty period, the spokesman stressed.