Sat, 23 Oct 2021 Today's Paper

SL scraps visa on arrival policy

23 December 2011 03:04 am - 17     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A A A

DUBAI: Tourists will not be able to take advantage of Sri Lanka's lax visa laws after next month, when a rule requiring travellers to apply and pay for visas in advance comes into effect.

Officials said the revenue raised from travel visas - previously issued at no cost to nationals of some countries - would be used to revive the economy of the war-ravaged country.

"Earlier visas were issued free on arrival," said Abdul Raheem, the Sri Lankan consul general in Dubai.

"There was a conflict in the country and we wanted to encourage tourists to come. But now the country is stable and the problems are over. We want to reinvest the revenue for tourism," he said.

The new Electronic Travel Authorisation system requires tourists and business travellers to apply online before their departure from January 1.

"Within 24 hours, they can get the acknowledgement and travel," he said.

Previously, nationals from 78 countries were granted free visas on arrival. Others were charged between Dh5 and Dh280. Under the revised rules, only citizens of Singapore and the Maldives can obtain free visas on arrival.

Travel documents for a month can cost between US$10 (Dh36) and U$25, depending on the nationality and purpose of the visit.


Travellers can also obtain visas at a consulate, but will be charged an administrative fee of between Dh5 and Dh100.

Emiratis will have to pay the highest amount based on reciprocity, as Sri Lankan nationals coming to the UAE for visits are charged US$250 (Dh918).

Transit visas for two days and travellers under 12 years of age will be allowed to enter the country at no cost.

John Podaras, a British resident, said though the move was a "minor inconvenience", it could have a negative perception.

"Any kind of bureaucracy at the border is seen as a negative step. But, ultimately one has to balance these considerations," he said, adding that the change could effect tourists making a choice between Sri Lanka and other destinations.

However, a travel agent said serious travellers would not be deterred.

"A small segment may think this is an inconvenience," said Premjit Bangara, general manager of Sharaf Travel.

"But serious travellers do not mind paying," he said, adding that the online process would facilitate quicker entry into the country.

Mr. Bangara said Sri Lanka was moving in the right direction with the civil war behind them.

"The economy was booming before the war. But, once political issues came up, everything went south. Most tourism boards offer stops during periods of lull to stimulate tourism," he said, adding the income from issuing visas could contribute to Sri Lanka's economy in a small way. (Source: The National)

See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

  Comments - 17

See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.

 

  • willows Friday, 23 December 2011 07:57 AM

    this will have an effect on genuine tourists???

    Neomani Saturday, 24 December 2011 09:51 AM

    War ravaged country is only for the poor . The rulers are plundering and living extravagent lifestyles.

    buffaloa citizen Friday, 23 December 2011 08:34 AM

    Unless of course China and India say no

    senna Friday, 23 December 2011 09:02 AM

    Must avoid delays in issueing Visas. Must arrange ways to expedite process to assist tourists.

    Ash Friday, 23 December 2011 01:08 PM

    If countries as such as UK or US issue visa on arrival, entire SL population (or 90%) will seek that. That's how good the wonder of asia is. When we had visa on arrival, people didn't come to overstay and apply for asylum. We only had tourists. Who are we trying to stop now.

    ajja Friday, 23 December 2011 02:11 PM

    good work

    sharjoon Friday, 23 December 2011 04:09 AM

    Good move.

    Anjani Friday, 23 December 2011 04:28 AM

    I like to taste and feel this booming economy that everyone else is enjoying??? or are they????

    buffaloa citizen Friday, 23 December 2011 04:34 AM

    A very logical step towards improving the image of the country.

    kondebendapucheena Friday, 23 December 2011 04:55 AM

    Good When we travel abroad even India what a Hardship we go trough ,At Least they can apply online and travel withing 24 hours

    Rajan Mohanani Friday, 23 December 2011 05:00 AM

    Its a very good Solution and hope the systems dont Fail

    lanka kamalgoda Friday, 23 December 2011 05:07 AM

    this is a great move. high time.

    Ziyard. Friday, 23 December 2011 05:13 AM

    Very good move for our country.we pay more money to get visa for their country. why we allow them free. and very cheep to stay here. other then their own country.

    sajitha Friday, 23 December 2011 05:35 AM

    When we have to apply for a holiday visa to Europe we are treated like low criminals. Haresed by the racist srilankan staff at Europen embassies (Specially the German embassy) . After coming back my 73 yrs old Mother had to go and show the passport as evidence of returning to Sri Lanka cos the Sri Lankan staff member threatened unless otherwise we would be issue no future visa.

    cunt Saturday, 24 December 2011 12:31 AM

    good move...

    this will allow some unwanted characters to stay away from SL.

    Nodrog Friday, 23 December 2011 06:04 AM

    very happy we are standing up to countries that don't grant us visas on arrival.

    the Judge Friday, 23 December 2011 06:21 AM

    THIS WAY WE CAN CURB ALL UNLAWFULL ACTS BY FOREINGNERS


Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment




See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Flowers, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,News, Courier/Delivery, Food Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka.