By Supun Dias
Immigration and Emigration Controller General Nihal Ranasinghe said that by next year his department will have an advanced database of passengers 72 hours prior to their arrivals or departures.
“This move would enable us to profile them accurately, which would solve most of the existing problems that we face as a department. We will be having an expanded role in facilitating the processes in place and we will be making back-end platforms more user-friendly and accurate in the future,” he said.
Migration management is becoming an increasingly complex area of governance, inextricably linked to issues of economic and social development, security, stability and regional cooperation.
“To support foreign direct investments (FDIs) coming to the country, we have to be efficient and provide services to support it. So we keep on improving our services,” he said.
“The ability to address migration issues comprehensively and cooperatively is today a fundamental requirement for responsible national governance, effective international relations and full participation in international or regional institutions,” he added.
He was speaking at a forum organised by the Expatriate Management Forum (FEM) in Colombo. The FEM is the premier worldwide community for global mobility professionals. The forum was organised in order to launch the Global Mobility Networking Chapter in Sri Lanka.
The challenges facing governments are complex and include reducing irregular migration, promoting the rights of migrants, protecting the most vulnerable, decreasing economic pressures that influence outward migration and directing regular migration towards strategic national goals.
At the networking session, answering a question from the audience on whether they can extend their Customs Convention on the Temporary Importation of Private Road Vehicles (CARNET) permit, Customs Superintendent Sudath Silva said that it could be extended if the expat can provide the Customs Director General with the necessary documents to prove his/her stay in Sri Lanka whilst proving the extension of his/her job as well.
“The extension is something which is decided by the DG of Customs on a case-by-case basis,” he said.
Some of the other questions raised by the audience were regarding the chances the spouses have to work in Sri Lanka.
Responding, Ranasinghe said that the applicant has to apply for residential visa with the necessary documents and then his department will decide on granting a work permit/visa.