With one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, Sri Lanka is a desirable location for companies looking for an opportunity to expand in the global marketplace. If your company is planning to expand or outsource operations to Sri Lanka, you might begin the expansion process by putting together a team of talented employees who are willing to relocate. If you do, you’ll need to make sure they have the appropriate visas and permits to live and work in Sri Lanka legally.
Types of Work Visas in Sri Lanka
Any foreign nationals will need to obtain a visa to enter Sri Lanka. Choosing the right type of visa to apply for depends on the length of time the applicant plans to stay in Sri Lanka as well as their reason for traveling. Categories of Sri Lankan visas include:
- Transit visa: This visa allows foreign nationals to cross the Sri Lankan border and remain within the country for up to 48 hours as they travel to another destination.
- Visitor visa: This visa allows a foreign national to remain in Sri Lanka for up to 30 days for tourism or business purposes, such as a conference or training seminar. In some circumstances, applicants can request an extension of this visa to allow them to stay for up to 90 days.
- Residence visa: This visa allows foreign nationals to stay in Sri Lanka for up to a year, during which they are free to work and study. Foreign nationals will need to renew their residence visa every year that they plan to stay in the country.
Any foreign employees who plan to move to Sri Lanka to work for your company will need to obtain a residence visa. Before they can secure this permit, employees will need to apply for an entry visa in their country of residence.
Requirements to Obtain Sri Lanka Work Visas
To apply for a residence visa to live and work in Sri Lanka, applicants will need to provide the following documents:
- A letter from the applicant’s employer in Sri Lanka
- A Board of Investment (BOI) certificate for the employer in Sri Lanka
- A copy of the bio-data page of the applicant’s passport
- A company registration certificate
- A recommendation from the respective Ministry in Sri Lanka
Foreign nationals should begin the process of acquiring a work permit by obtaining a Sri Lankan entry visa. The requirements for this visa may vary, so applicants should reach out to the nearest Sri Lankan embassy or consulate for specific details. Applicants should specify that they plan to obtain a residence visa upon arriving in the country.
After obtaining an entry visa, applicants may travel to Sri Lanka and apply for a residence visa. They can pick up a residence visa application form in person at the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Sri Lanka or download it from the official website. After completing the application and gathering all of the documents needed to support it, applicants can submit the visa application to the Department for approval.
Once the Department of Immigration and Emigration issues the residence visa, the employee can legally begin working for your company in Sri Lanka.
Other Important Considerations
If a foreign employee plans to stay in Sri Lanka for more than a year, they will need to renew their residence permit before it expires. Like the initial residence visa application, the renewal application is available at the Department of Immigration and Emigration as well as online.
Foreign employees should keep their passports with them at all times while in Sri Lanka.
Partner With Globalization Partners
As your company navigates this exciting period of growth, the Globalization Partners team will ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible for you and your employees. Contact us today to learn more about how our comprehensive Global Expansion solution can ease the challenges of your Sri Lankan expansion.