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Foreigners overstaying visas and doing odd jobs

5 April 2024 07:50 am - 58     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By T. K. G. Kapila

Foreign nationals who overstay their visas and do various odd jobs to earn money continue unabated with the authorities concerned hamstrung with the lack of resources to curb them, an official said.

In one instance, another group of 15 foreigners overstaying their visas in Sri Lanka and doing online jobs for a living were arrested by an investigation team of the Department of Immigration and Emigration during raids in Colombo and Dehiwala yesterday.

Eleven of them were Indians from Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Uttharakhand, Gujarat and Maharashtra states and others Napalese aged between 20 and 30.

Initial investigations revealed that some of them had arrived on resident visas and others on tourist visas

A senior official of the Department of Immigration and Emigration said the suspect foreigners would be further interrogated at the Mirihana Detention Centre and deported after court proceedings.

The investigations are conducted on the instructions of Controller General of Immigration and Emigration Harsha Ilukpitiya.

An official of the Public Security Ministry said some foreigners easily pass off as locals and do odd jobs. He stressed on the need to work out a coordinated approach with the involvement of all the relevant agencies to identify them.

Currently, the investigative authorities are facing difficulties due to lack of human resources in curbing such unlawful activities by foreigners.


  Comments - 58

  • Odd couple Friday, 05 April 2024 08:00 AM

    Call 'Ceylinco" or Harin

    WONDER HOW MANY STAFF EMPLOYED IN IMMIGRATION IN THE FIRST INSTANCE, AS SOME PUBLIC SERVICE EMPLOYEE'S PALMS MAY BE OILED. Friday, 05 April 2024 08:13 AM

    ALL EMPLOYEES ODD JOBS TOO NEED TO OBTAIN COPIES OF THEIR IDENTITY AND CHECK STATUS WITH IMMIGRATION, SO THAT THERE IS LESS WORK FOR IMMIGRATION AND EASIER FOR THEM TO CHASE UP WITH THE INFORMATION THEY OBTAIN FRM EMPLOYEES. IT IS EVIDENT THAT ALL ODD JOB WORKERS ARE CASH IN HAND SO OF NO BENEFIT TO THE COUNTRY. ALSO, ALL THOSE ARRIVING ON RESIDENT VISAS ARE LEGALLY PERMITTED TO WORK IN ANY COUNTRY.

    Jude Friday, 05 April 2024 08:25 AM

    When you say foreigners, it should like more affluent tourists but actually it's low level Asians overstaying and doing odd jobs!!

    Lazy bunch of losers Friday, 05 April 2024 04:45 PM

    Totally agree since most have been pampered, are lazy and love to protest for the slightest thing. Give these foreigners permission to work in SL if the wish so to replace those protesting as mentioned by some on this comment section.

    joshua Friday, 05 April 2024 08:28 AM

    It is no lacking of resources. It only shows inefficiency of Pradeshiya Sabhas and connected institutions. You should be blind not to notice these things.

    Christo255 Friday, 05 April 2024 08:33 AM

    Not surprising with government encouraging people to go for slave labour overseas for a few thousand rupees more, there is a huge talented labour shortage in SL

    Ruwan Friday, 05 April 2024 08:47 AM

    Please stop rounding them up and put them to work in the Colombo harbour related jobs and give them the perks and facilities provided to Sri Lankan striking workers. Sack all the strikers too.

    The Love for Protesting Friday, 05 April 2024 04:47 PM

    Totally agree since most have be pampered, are lazy and love to protest for the slightest thing.

    Venus Vinayagaratnam Saturday, 06 April 2024 04:00 PM

    Please don't play the fool. don't try to teach strikers lessons, instead feel their grievances, do you think any other country will allow this kind of nonsense? you're an idiot. all the educated and experienced Sri Lankans leave the country to send dollars home, while foreigners illegally come to earn money from Sri Lanka especially when it's going down in history as a poor country. if Sri Lanka is poor, how can illegal foreigners work in Sri Lanka?

    Raven Friday, 05 April 2024 08:53 AM

    What the heck. They work because there are vacancies. Surely they don't rob somebody else's job, in which case one has a reason to arrest them.

    dotv Saturday, 06 April 2024 04:27 AM

    In most First world countries a person on a tourist visa , stays a tourist and have to show the money he or she carries into the country to sustain his stay ..if not they do not rubber stamp the visa but send the person back home for he/she is a liability ..not an asset and the locals agree in principle ..

    wsw Friday, 05 April 2024 09:11 AM

    Watch out, you open up the country through FTAs to Indians specially, and witness an avalanche of hungry humans legally marching into our country. The consequences will be unimaginably devastating.

    Ron Friday, 05 April 2024 09:17 AM

    Our young fellows don't like to work they want to make big money with no sweat.. Deals and wheels provide visa for forigen visitors with work permits pay taxes to the government simple ass..Nepal's indians Bangladesh Thai Indonesia's are very beneficial for the nation contributions ...

    Due to Too much Pampering Friday, 05 April 2024 04:49 PM

    Totally agree since most have be pampered, are lazy and love to protest for the slightest thing. Allow these foreigners to fill in the gaps the locals are shunning away from.

    Banda Friday, 05 April 2024 09:18 AM

    That's  ok. But do it as  human beings.They are also human beings. Treat them well, and if they want refuge, just issue them a temporary visa and ask them to pay taxes. If our people can go to some other countries, such as Korea or Japan, why can't they come here? You have to enforce the law while being a gentleman.

    M Fernando Friday, 05 April 2024 06:04 PM

    Agreed 100% - Plenty of Sri Lankans sneaking off into other countries to do poorly paid or illegal work and sending money back to SL, which we call Foreign Inflows and add to our Balance Sheet. If they are coming to Sri Lanka to work, you can bet that the situation in their own countries is much worse off !!!

    Lk Friday, 05 April 2024 09:23 AM

    A lot of sri lankans are overstaying in many countries including Europe and ME .. That is a global issue and even those developed countries cannot cope with this issue ...how could we check each and every one who come to our country.. We could do it when they come but we can't trace every one inside the country ..it is a difficult task even if you recruit more and more immigration officers you can't find all of them ? Keep an eye on them if they threat our national security or if they harm us in any serious way...

    Roshanaly Friday, 05 April 2024 09:31 AM

    Employer, who employs these foreigners should also be punished.

    T W Friday, 05 April 2024 09:47 AM

    Jaffna middle class Tamil students , when we were university undergraduates in Britain, working even part time was illegal for overseas students, nevertheless all of us worked part time jobs, mainly as security guards, guarding anything from building sites to factories to cash deposit centres. And those who got caught for breaking this rule were arrested and brutally humiliated by the British Immigration officers and some were even deported back to Sri Lanka. This is how most Jaffna Tamils became so anti British, we saw the British arrogance and racism from the front seat. My appeal to Sri Lankan government is “ don’t treat the tourists who have overstayed or working illegally as “ criminals “.

    Steve Friday, 05 April 2024 09:48 AM

    What is wrong with online jobs ? They are not depriving Sri Lankans of their earnings.

    Oberver Friday, 05 April 2024 10:00 AM

    What about large number of escort girls who work in Colombo and tourist hot spots. Specially Russia/ Ukraine, Madagaskar, Thailand,, Philippines etc.

    BuffaloaCitizen Friday, 05 April 2024 10:05 AM

    Lack of Human Resources is always the complaint but no one talks about how much work is executed by State Employees during a day. If one comes to the Office and reads the newspaper for 1h and then has a political conversation with colleagues and pass time, nothing else gets done in the Office. State Department efficiency is only 20% and the motto is to pass time until it is time to leave. In the Private Sector, such habits is unthinkable and person is kicked out within a week.

    Bandu Friday, 05 April 2024 10:25 AM

    So what give them work visa , SL need people who work. Thats how western countries are developing. Look at Australia, Canada.

    Spa workers needed- please apply Friday, 05 April 2024 10:30 AM

    Don’t close the spas. Get them to work there as ……

    Venus Vinayagaratnam Saturday, 06 April 2024 04:16 PM

    who know they can be spies or mercenaries as well. send them to Diyawanna Oya to serve the fools there so that those fools don't have to go abroad in search of looking for apples.

    DHA Friday, 05 April 2024 10:34 AM

    In a way I'm not surprised cos it's our people who happen to have shown the way! Sadly our people are lazy and always looking to earn easy bucks which pages way for vacancies to exist.

    Fast Money Preferred Friday, 05 April 2024 04:52 PM

    Totally agree since most have be pampered, are lazy and love to protest for the slightest thing. They want fast money with minimum output.

    D R WILLIAM Friday, 05 April 2024 10:54 AM

    Lack of human resources? I think Dept. of Immigration has enough officers.

    Abhaya Premawardena Friday, 05 April 2024 10:59 AM

    resident visa ? Why wont one be able to work on a resident visa?

    KD Friday, 05 April 2024 11:10 AM

    Its okay. Online work is totally fine. Our people are too lazy to work and not creative enough, so lets foreigners work. Same story as 1800s. Thats why the British had to invite Tamils to come down from India.

    Gunadasa Friday, 05 April 2024 11:14 AM

    Catch them at immigration when they leave and impose a heavy penalty based on the overstay period. This is how many other Asian countries combat overstayers

    Common in Asia to Have Overstayers Friday, 05 April 2024 05:05 PM

    Only if they decide to leave via official exit points. But most won’t if they have overstayed. Malaysia is good example with over a million illegals from Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka and a few other countries working there. Most overstayers move out via traffickers using small speed boats to neighbouring countries and disappear. Some will return again and the whole cycle starts all over!

    Tourist Friday, 05 April 2024 11:38 AM

    This is only the tip of the Iceberg of the Tourist statistics. What about drug dealing, prostitution and other vices these tourists bring across?

    ANNECUNT Friday, 05 April 2024 12:10 PM

    we are very happy with that . the foreigners do a better job worth the money just look at our politicians we elected them to look after the country and develop and they ruined the country

    Good for the Economy Friday, 05 April 2024 05:12 PM

    Correct and Totally agree since most SL have been pampered, are lazy and love to protest for the slightest thing. These are jobs locals are shunning away from, so there are vacancies.

    UMAS ALI Friday, 05 April 2024 12:13 PM

    sack our ministers and let let foreigners run the country

    Ganesh Mani Friday, 05 April 2024 01:05 PM

    So easy for them. But a Sri Lankan like me 70years old married for 30 years. My indian wife can get only 30 days. After that we have to travel to Battaramulla from whetever you are to get extension for another 30 days. Again after 30 travel to Battaramulla even if sick. Shame. Over to the Minister.

    Sam Friday, 05 April 2024 04:49 PM

    Shame on the people who work at immigration for not helping a fellow country man.

    Raghu Nanayakkara Friday, 05 April 2024 01:09 PM

    Punish the locals who are giving them jobs and shelter. That's what other countries do.

    Do Community Service Friday, 05 April 2024 01:28 PM

    Those overstayers who don’t have any criminal records should do community service. Depending on the days they overstayed, charge them accordingly and make them clean up beaches, jungles etc. Just provide them basic meals and lots of water to sustain themselves during this community service. Those who can afford fines, fine them severely and used that money to clean up the environment. Will be a good deterrent and also a win-win for a cleaner environment.

    Sam Friday, 05 April 2024 01:31 PM

    If foreigners can do why our students and lazy people can't work like that. I think the government should issue a work permit for foreigners if they wish to work get a work permit. They will do a better and reliable job that our lazy and unreliable people.

    Punchi Friday, 05 April 2024 01:57 PM

    If they are doing online jobs ? they can do this from their home countries. Maybe there are other attractions to keep them here

    Kumara Friday, 05 April 2024 02:23 PM

    Can you make easier for tourists to extend their visas on line beyond 30 days? This will make their stay legal with a fee for western tourists.

    S. P. Guruge Friday, 05 April 2024 02:23 PM

    Why should there be a lack of human resources? In other countries police handle this servilence

    Adwani Friday, 05 April 2024 02:32 PM

    We Sri Lankans are permanent fools, let them do odd jobs and charge them a small Tax. They are making a good contribution towards our economy.

    Lazy and the Love for Protesting Friday, 05 April 2024 04:41 PM

    Totally agree since most are lazy and love to protest for the slightest thing.

    Sanjeewa A. Friday, 05 April 2024 02:36 PM

    Why waste time with investigations? The world knows Indians are not great tourists but opportunity seekers. Even the legitimate Indian tourists are not that profitable to the destinations. This is only the start, slowly they will take up higher positions like IT and similar by working for less salary. Govt should bring regulations to local businesses.

    Nihal Dharmatileke Friday, 05 April 2024 03:02 PM

    Deport all of them or let them call us the stupid people of the tea bag republic

    Jayantha Friday, 05 April 2024 03:04 PM

    Fine heavily those who employ them locally. Also give incentives for those who give information about such individuals. Latter is the best solution. Also just wondering dont you have a database of foreigners arrival and departure dates. If you have a database you can easily track the culprits. Not a big thing.

    Ram Friday, 05 April 2024 03:06 PM

    Fine them and return them to where they came from

    HELP THE POOR WITH FREE COURSES/TRAINING WILL BENEFIT THE COUNTRY ON THE LONG RUN. Friday, 05 April 2024 05:02 PM

    SOME OF YOU DO NOT REALISE THAT ENTERING ANY COUNTRY ON A TOURIST/ VISITORS VISA HAS RESTRICTIONS. IF ONE WANTS TO WORK THEY NEED TO APPLY FOR A WORK PERMIT, ANYONE AROUND THE WORLD KNOWS THIS SO NO EXCUSE TO COME IN AS A TOURIST/VISITOR AND THEN GO ONTO WORKING ILLEGALLY. IF YOU DO BE PREPARED TO FACE THE CONSEQUENCES. HOWEVER, MOST OF THESE WORKING FROM HOME CAN BE WORKING ON ILLEGAL BUSINESSES/SCAMS AROUND THE WORLD, CONNECTED TO MONEY LAUNDERING COMING IN ND OUT OF THE COUNTRY, PROSTITUTION, DRUGS ETC. WE NEED TO ROUND THE LOT UP/FINE AND DEPORT THEM WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY OR THIS PRACTICE WILL ONLY GET FAR WORSE. WE NEED TO HAVE LOCAL RECRUITMENT OFFICES IN THE VILLAGES SET UP AND TRAINING COURSES FREE OF CHARGE SO THE LESS FORTUNATE CAN BE TRAINED AND PUT ONTO VACANCIES IN KEEPING WITH THEIR TRAINING, ESPECIALLY MANUAL AND OTHER JOBS THAT DO NOT REQUIRE ONE TO GET YEAR 10 QUALIFICATIONS. IF HELP IS GIVEN i AM SURE THEY WILL GET TRAINED AND TAKE UP A JOB.

    Sunil Friday, 05 April 2024 05:09 PM

    Reply to T.W : Don't be Anti British. They have given you the opportunity to grow and become decent self reliant independent persons owning properties, holding good qualifications. Look at the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in camps in Tamil Nadu. Even after 35 years they ate still refugees. So, worship Britain and be greatful

    GIVE OUR POOR AND DISADVANTAGED A CHANCE IN LIFE Friday, 05 April 2024 05:10 PM

    MAJORITY OF SRI LANKANS AROUND THE WORLD ARE WELL KNOWN FOR THEIR HARD WORK AND ATTENTION TO DETAIL IN WHATEVER JOB THEY TAKE UP. WE IN SRI LANKA DO NOT GIVE THE POOR AND DISADVANTAGED A CHANCE IN LIFE TO PROGRESS. START RECRUITING IN TOWNS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY AND OFFER FREE TRAINING COURSES AND ALL THOSE WHO PASS OUT A CERTIFICATE AND ASSISTANCE IN FINDING JOBS, THEY COULD START AS TRAINEES AND MOVE UP. UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE ABOVE CATAGORIES ONLY PUT THEM ON THE STREETS AND CAUGHT UP IN ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES AND IN JAIL.

    Navi Friday, 05 April 2024 05:34 PM

    Overstayers or contravening VISA regulations must be charged in Courts. People in illegal employment must be given a 10 month Custodial sentence. Overstayers sentence (01) month per every year

    M Fernando Friday, 05 April 2024 06:09 PM

    This is Sri Lanka's "New Economic Miracle" created by HE President RW and his capable government at work. Foreigners are flocking to Sri Lanka to take advantage of unprecedented opportunities, just like the Middle East in the 70's or Japan in the 80's. Think how much worse-off the situation in their own country would be if they think that Sri Lanka is so much better to live and work in !

    Shera Friday, 05 April 2024 07:22 PM

    Lawlessness is rampant in Sri Lanka. People break laws because they know nothing will happen to them.

    Pullma Dingalinga Saturday, 06 April 2024 02:37 PM

    How desperate do you have to be to come to Sri Lanka to earn a living ?

    ANNECUNT Sunday, 07 April 2024 01:32 PM

    WE ARE HAPPY LET THE TOURISTS DO THE WORK AND THEY DO NOT ROB OUR COUNTRY LIKE OUR POLITICIANS ONE EXAMPLE IS EVEN MR SANATH NISHANTHAS WIFE WANTS TO DO POLITICS EASY MONEY TO BE MADE


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