VISA RECOMMENDATION PROCEDURE – Board of Investment of Sri Lanka

admin/ February 21, 2017/ /

Board of Investment of Sri Lanka



As an open economy, Sri Lanka takes the national competitiveness seriously in the efforts to continue to attractforeign direct investment, sustain her domestic investments and maintain her position in the global businessenvironment.
The Government of Sri Lanka sees the private sector as the main driving force of the economic growth anddevelopment in the country, which the Government itself takes on the role of facilitating the business.
Being the Investment Promoting Agency of the country, the Board of Investment (BOI) plays a vital role tofacilitate the companies to enhance the smooth operation of doing business in Sri Lanka.
As such, BOI recommends the requirement of visas of investors and skilled workers under identified categories.
The BOI recommends the different type of visas for Investors, dependents, and expatriate workers of BOI approved projects under sec. 16 & sec. 17 of the BOI law.

Company eligibility

Projects approved under Sec. 17 of the BOI law.
The BOI will facilitate visa on requirement of the companies after signing the agreement.
Projects approved under Sec. 16 of the BOI Law (normal laws.)
Projects approved under sec. 16, will be facilitated visa based on requirement of the company subject to fulfillment of set criteria.

Age Limit

Expatriate worker should be within age limit of 18 – 60 years with the required qualification &
experience for the post.
(If age is over 60 years, the BOI will facilitate such cases if it is only for special requirement)


It is the responsibility of the company for the categorization of employment Designation /type & visa period.
Investor / Shareholder Category
A person who holds shares of the company will be considered under Investor / shareholder category for the facilitation of visa.
Expatriate Employee Categories
Expatriate employees’ recommendation considers after verifying the qualifications, experience
requirement and availability of local expertise in the industry.
The permitted Categories would be
√ Director & Managerial
√ Technical & Skilled workers
Contract basis for limited period (Temporary)
Contracted technical workers for a limited period will be considered for specific assignment after
evaluation of nature and investment of mega projects.
√ Entry Visa / Multiple Entry Business Visa
√ Residence Visa
√ Extension of Residence Visa
√ Temporary Visa (maximum 03 months only)


Investors and expatriate employees should arrive in Sri Lanka using Entry Visa or business visa and within one month from the date of arrival entry visa to be converted to Residence visa with the
recommendation of the BOI.
If the applicant leaves from the country within the Entry visa period (One month), no provisions are
available to convert the same entry visa to Residence Visa, unless a fresh Entry visa application is
√ The expatriate who arrives in Sri Lanka on tourist Visa will not be granted residence Visa
under any circumstance.
√ Multiple Entry Business Visa is recommended by the BOI only for Shareholders before the
company registration if required.
√ No transfers are allowed to expatriate workers with residence visa from company to company
(except Group company & sister company). It is required to leave the country & arrive with
new entry visa under respective company.
√ If the residence visa is expired during out of Sri Lanka, it will lead to disqualify to continue
the residence visa. In such case expatriate has to comply with the entry & residence visa
procedure once again by leavening the country.
√ Multiple Entry/ Business Visa is recommended only for investors & Board of Directors for a
period of one year (as per the form 1 / form 20 of the company registration).
√ Dependent visas will be considered only for the Investor / Director category and others will
be considered on case by case with the prior approval of the BOI.
√ Dependents Residence Visas are not recommended without valid Visa for the sponsor and
visa period is limited to the visa period of the sponsor.
√ Dependent Visas are not recommended for dependents over 18 years. However, dependants
of investor & top management of projects approved under sec. 17 will be considered till 21
√ No working rights for the dependent Visa holder in Sri Lanka.
Visa Application Procedure
√ The company should register with the On-Line visa system of the BOI for which documents
mentioned under “required documents” below should be submitted.
√ Each company will be given a “Password”
√ Each application should be made online followed by Two hard copies duly certified by
company authorized person should be submitted only with the recommended documents
√ Prior approval should be obtained for the expatriate cadre and all requests should be within
the approved cadre.

Required Documents
The applicants under the above categories can apply for visa with following certified supporting
documents by the enterprise to Visa Unit/Zone of BOI.
√ Covering letter with company authorization to respective sector Head/Zone Head.
√ On-Line submitted two Visa Applications with original signature of the authorized
person. (Authorization should be according to the Enterprise registration)
√ Copies of relevant pages of valid passport (Information page & Visa Page).
√ Letter of recommendation from the company with justification.
√ Documents in support of employees qualifications (Academic, Professional and
experience) profession / Trade
√ CV/Resume. (Only for Entry Visa)

√ An authorized person from the company or
√ An authorized person from a Secretarial firm approved by the company if the project is
under implementation.
For projects in commercial operation
√ An authorized person from the company
Important: Secretaries are not allowed to sign the visa on behalf of the company


Visa period

Entry Visa 01 month from the date of arrival
Residence Visa 01 year from the date of arrival
Extension of Visa ( Sec 17
· 02 years for Shareholders
· 01 year for others
Multiple Entry Business Visa 01 year (Investors / Directors)
Temporary Visa 03months
Special Residence Visa 01 year (Investors on ETA Visa/Ex. Sri Lankan
/ child born in Sri Lanka)


BOI officers validate, certify and recommend the completed application or reject the same with valid reasons.
Application recommended by the BOI will be forwarded to Ministry of Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs for their recommendation. The application or applicant can be rejected by the Ministry. The application recommended by the Ministry will be forwarded to the Department of Immigration and Emigration for grating the Visa.


√ Enterprises to inform the BOI in writing for the visa cancellation of employees, if the work contract is terminated or the employee left the company.
√ Accordingly, will update the system & inform the Department of Immigration and Emigration and the Ministry with a copy to the company for visa cancellation.

BOI Sri Lanka

4 November 2016