Nov 16, 2006 (LBO) â€“ Sri Lanka is imposing a 10 dollar fee on tourists visiting the island, while locals opting to travel abroad will pay less when they apply for a passport. These new proposals under the citizenship act will take effect from December 1, 2006.
Sri Lankan will pay 1,000 rupees less or 2,500 rupees hereafter to get a new passport, President Mahinda Rajapakse who is also the country’s finance minister said during the 2007 budget speech Thursday.
A new passport can be collected within ten days.
However, the fee on passports that are processed within one working day will be fixed at the usual 7,500 rupees.
Visitors traveling to Sri Lanka will have to pay ten dollars each at the time they purchase an air ticket, while violations of visa regulations will also be increased.
Tourists from 78 countries are currently issued 30 day visit visas free of charge at the time of arrival.
Rajapakse says the funds collected from overseas visitors will be channeld to public expenditure on environmental protection and preservation of archeological sites.
The Finance Minister says the fee on Dual Citizenship Certificate for Sri Lankans living abroad will be halved to 200,000 rupees if a three year fixed deposit exceeding 25,000 dollars in foreign currency is made in a local bank.
A Sri Lankan,
Sri Lankans will be exempt of the fee if their foreign currency fixed deposit in the local bank exceeds 50,000 dollars for three years.
Age, educational and wealth criteria will be overlooked when granting a dual citizenship if the families can maintain the three year fixed deposit.