Visa Increase & procedure change

ASMET (Association of Small and Medium Enterprises of Sri Lanka) expresses disappointment at the timing and surprise announcement of the recent visa hike and procedure change, which caught everyone off guard on the morning of the 17th April . In response, ASMET immediately united its voice and lobbied to obtain further information from the relevant authorities. Last week, ASMET had the opportunity to meet with Hon. Minister of Tourism, Harin Fernando, to address the concerns raised by the recent changes. Here are the key points discussed during the meeting

  • Resolution of Website Issues: It was assured that the issues with the website causing inconvenience will be resolved promptly. Additionally, the 30-day tourist visa will soon be available online at a rate of US$ 50/-.
  • Technical Fault: The Minister acknowledged that the unavailability of the tourist visa was due to a technical fault,which will be rectified promptly.
  • Tourist Business Visa Concerns: ASMET raised concerns about the impact of tourist business visas on local SMEs in the tourism sector. It was proposed to impose strict conditions to prevent tourists from engaging in local business activities, with significant penalties for violations. The Minister agreed to review and address this issue promptly.
  • Proposed Free Visas: The Minister informed that a comprehensive cabinet paper has been prepared to seek approval for free visas for citizens of 53 countries. He expressed confidence that this proposal would be approved in the coming week. Latest E Visa fees waiver scheme has been introduced for citizens of China, India, Indonesia, Russia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan, with immediate effect, valid until May 31st, 2024 (Last date of arrival) for tourism only. To avail of the scheme, please select the 30-day single entry e Visa option.

ASMET, in collaboration with other associations, has petitioned the President today, urging his attention to this critical issue. We anticipate a favorable response from His Excellency soon and will keep our members informed of any developments.

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