Sri Lanka which is in desperate need of foreign currency has announced that it will be selling long-term visas to attract desperately needed foreign currency, which it needs urgently to pay for food and fuel, Al Jazeera reported on Tuesday.
Under the new rule foreigners who deposit a minimum of $100,000 locally will be given permission to live and work in Sri Lanka for 10 years under the Golden Paradise Visa Programme, the government said on Tuesday.
The money will be locked in a local bank account for the duration of the person’s stay, the government said in a statement and help the country raise some desperately needed cash, said media minister Nalaka Godahewa.
The government also approved that foreigners spending a minimum of $75,000 to buy an apartment on the island will be given five-year visas.
Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948 and people are facing acute shortages of food, fuel and medicines which have triggered widespread protests, with thousands of people camping outside President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s seafront demanding his resignation.