A 5 year resident visa

Resident Guest Scheme programme

A 5 year resident visa

The Resident Guest Scheme (RGS) is designed to encourage foreign investors in Sri Lanka. It offers a package of incentives to investors who wish to contribute to the social and economic development of Sri Lanka.

The Implementing Agency for the RGS is located at the head office of the Department of Immigration and Emigration (DI&E) in Colombo. To apply for this visa , you can find application forms at this office, at a Sri Lankan embassy abroad or online to download.

Investor category

People applying for an investor category visa will need to deposit a minimum of  US$250,000 or equivalent in a special account in one of the banks approved by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

If you intend to start an investment project with another foreign partner or partners, each person must deposit a minimum of US$250,000 or equivalent in a valid currency. For each dependant accompanying an investor, an extra US$35,000 should be deposited.

In addition to the initial deposits, the investor will need to regularly deposit sufficient funds to support himself and any family members.

Investment conditions

The money intended for investment in Sri Lanka must be used for an approved project. If no progress is made by the visa holder within the first two years of residency, the Implementing Agency can cease interest payments on the balance of the special account of the investor.

Approved projects are:

  • New ventures approved by the Board of Investment (BOI) or a relevant authority.
  • Existing or new companies approved by the relevant authority
  • Shares listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE)

The BOI will provide assistance to foreign investors who wish to identify and invest in Sri Lanka.

Professional category

Professionals who wish to reside in Sri Lanka under this visa will need to make monthly deposits of US$2,000 into a special bank account. For any dependants, including a spouse, further deposits of US$1,000 must be made each month.

Conditions for RGS visa holders

People holding a RGS visa must abide by the following rules. They must:

  • Notify the Implementing Agency of any changes to the information submitted in the original application within two months of the change.
  • Comply with immigration and emigration laws
  • Comply with Sri Lanka’s tax laws
  • Follow all other laws and regulations in Sri Lanka
  • Refrain from any political activity that could be detrimental to the population or stability of the country
  • Produce a police background check from the country of origin

Bringing dependents
By applying for this visa you are entitled to bring your spouse, any children and your parents or the parents of your spouse.

Termination of the investment project

RGS visa holders must:

  • Give the Implementing Agency two months written notice of their intention to terminate the investment project / professional service.
  • Notify the relevant authority 14 days before their intended departure after the termination of the investment project.

How to apply for the RGS visa

People wishing to apply for an RGS visa will need to submit the following documents in addition to a completed application form:

  • Photocopies of the bio data page in their passport and the passport of their dependants
  • Copy of a marriage certificate or marriage document
  • Six photographs (6cm x 5cm)
  • Details of educational or professional qualifications relevant to the application

Visa applicants will be required to undergo a medical exam and submit a report. Four copies of the application must be submitted to a Sri Lankan embassy.

If there is no Sri Lankan embassy near you then you must ask a friend, relative or agent in Sri Lanka to apply for the visa on your behalf.

Extension of the RGS visa

If you wish to extend your RGS visa after five years, you must apply to the DI&E. You will need to provide proof of the satisfactory performance of any investments or projects as well as bank statements.

Documented evidence from the Department of Inland Revenue and a recommendation from the BOI, in the case of tax exempt projects, must be produced with the renewal application.

Further reading

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