By Roel Raymond
The Department of Immigration and Emigration has decided to bring into effect a ruling that will effectively blacklist all foreigners found overstaying their visas, Assistant Controller and Head of the Investigations Unit William Devendra Raja told Daily Mirror online.
Devendra Raja explained that visa-on- arrival facilities were afforded to travelers from 84 select countries; that is the European, North American and SAARC countries, but said that the facilities were being misused and abused by certain categories, mainly those from India, Pakistan and China.
The Assistant Controller for Investigations said that on arrival to the country, a free visa period of thirty days is afforded to travelers and tourists from these 84 countries, extendable by payment of a nominal fee variable to each country, to a total of two months or ninety days.
He said that in spite of these facilities, a large number of tourists flouted the law and obtained for themselves temporary work; with the Indians and Pakistani’s working largely in either jewellery businesses or in restaurants, and the Chinese loitering and loafing on street corners or in casinos.
Devendra Raja explained that an investigations team headed by him looked into matters of this nature, but stressed that they would only get involved if solid information was received to them regarding nefarious activity and /or the violation of Immigration and Emigration law in the country.
As such he explained, no trouble was caused to the average and law abiding tourists, with the Department conducting no raids or stake-outs but only random checks based on information, applying pressure to only those tourists that actively engaged in breaking the law or overstaying the allotted time on their visas.
Devendra Raja went onto say that those found violating the law would not only be deported from the country with immediate effect but also have their names black marked so as to prevent any further activity in the country – revoked only by appeal to the Controller General of the Immigrations and Emigrations Department and the subsequent, if any, pardon.
Monday, 08 February 2010 08:21 AM
This is a very good move and we appreciate it.Many countries mainly european and eastern european are very easily and delibrately doing this to the Srilankan nationals with over stay and do not even accept penalties when there is a possibility to pay penalty and take exit visa normally.So this is a good move and to show to the world we are not menial people.
Monday, 08 February 2010 09:45 AM
This news has come online few minutes after our telephone conversation. Don't you think it is better to renew your visa spending $27 rather than getting yourself blacklisted!
Monday, 08 February 2010 10:11 AM
What about those who arrive on a tourist visa and work here? Would they be deported and blacklisted as well?
Monday, 08 February 2010 10:31 AM
Stop provision of 'Visa on Arrival' First.....
Monday, 08 February 2010 11:44 AM
Ones Sri Lanka should be clever and make money out of over-stayers...like Thailand...every day overstay costs 500 Bath...direct payable at Airport or get locked up in prison..."AND DON'T WORRY, EVERYBODY WILL PAY THIS CHARGES"...!?! WILLIE
Monday, 08 February 2010 11:44 AM
What will happen to SF ?
Monday, 08 February 2010 12:46 PM
Deport them !.
Monday, 08 February 2010 12:52 PM
Monday, 08 February 2010 01:20 PM
Does this include those US Green Card Holders who are holding permanent positions in the government ?
Monday, 08 February 2010 01:26 PM
RDR must be an acronym for Really Dumb Rat! SF is not an over staying a person. He's a Sri Lankan citizen with PR in USA. FYI: Sri Lankans can hold multiple permanent resident visas and citizenships!
Monday, 08 February 2010 01:27 PM
What about the Chinese and Russian "entertainers" working in Casinos in Colombo?
Monday, 08 February 2010 02:23 PM
Amazing how this story has inspired all the racists and xenophobes to add their comments. And of course Sri Lanka is overrun with overstaying foreigners. It is just strange that so many Western countries also the US and Australia are trying to deal with all the Sri Lankans trying to settle there.
Monday, 08 February 2010 03:30 PM
No Calistas, only for green card holders who runs for some other countries presidency.
How did you forget that Calistooooos?
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