Minister of Foreign Relations, Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations, Dinesh Gunawardena met with the Secretaries and senior officials of the Ministry of Foreign Relations, the Ministry of Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations and the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), today (10 April 2020), at the Ministry of Foreign Relations, to discuss ramifications emanating from the present Coronavirus pandemic to Sri Lankan migrant workers abroad and to explore possible mechanisms to assist these Sri Lankans.
Minister Gunawardena explores practical solutions to assist expatriate communities with Foreign Ministry Officials
Foreign Minister, Dinesh Gunawardena met with senior
Foreign Ministry takes stock of action by Sri Lanka Missions abroad to ensure the welfare of Overseas Sri Lankans (OSL)
The Ministry of Foreign Relations, sensitive to the concerns of the OSLs amidst the rapid spread of the COVID-19 and the inability to return to Sri Lanka, has held consultations over the past 2 days with its Heads of Missions based in 67 cities across the world, to facilitate the wellbeing and safety of Overseas Sri Lankans, while preparing for any exigencies they could have to meet in the coming days.
Central Bank requests Sri Lankans and well-wishers to make foreign currency deposits in the Country’s banking system
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka has made an appeal to Sri Lankans and well-wishers living in Sri Lanka and abroad to make foreign currency deposits within the country’s banking system of Licensed Commercial Banks and Specialised Financial Institutions as a gesture of goodwill and assistance to Sri Lanka and its people during the three months commencing from April 2, 2020, in support of the wide-ranging national effort to safeguard people from coronavirus, to bring its spread under control and to provide healthcare and social security to the people.
The Central Bank has announced that foreign currency deposits in Sri Lankan banking system at this difficult stage will be of immense help to authorities to tide over the present crisis.
The Central Bank has guaranteed that foreign currency deposits into the Sri Lankan banking system will be accepted without hindrance from the government, Central Bank or any other government authority, and future convertibility of these deposits into foreign currency whenever the depositors desire to do so. All such foreign exchange remittances will be exempted from Exchange Control Regulations and taxes and protected under banking secrecy provisions.
Having considered the spread of Covid-19 virus in the country, it has been decided to further extend the validity period of all types of Visas issued to all foreigners who are currently residing in Sri Lanka for another 30 days.
Such foreign nationals are kindly requested to proceed as advised below:
- The validity period of all types of Visas will be extended till 12th May 2020.
Over 17,457 Overseas Sri Lankans (OSL) had by Saturday noon (28 March), registered on the ‘Contact Sri Lanka’ Online Portal of the Ministry of Foreign Relations. Of these, 6773 are from the Middle East region, 1892 from Europe, 1302 from South Asia, 1028 from North America and over 6000 from other parts of the world.
In view of the present circumstances of the rapid spread of COVID-19 globally, the issuance of all categories of Sri Lanka visas for all foreign nationals will be suspended until further notice.
All types of Electronic Travel Authorizations (ETA), Entry Visas, Landing Endorsements, Multiple Entry Visas and Residence Visas that have already been granted will also be temporarily suspended and all foreign nationals holding such visas will not be allowed to enter Sri Lanka until 2359 hrs (Sri Lanka time) on 31 March 2020.