The government of Sri Lanka, which is currently embroiled in food-, energy-, financial- and constitutional crises, this week approved the introduction of an investment-based residence permit, according to multiple news sources.
The Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal from embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to issue residence permits of either five- or ten-year validity on the basis of, respectively, a US$75,000 investment in condominium properties or a US$100,000 deposit in a recognized commercial bank in Sri Lanka. The deposit must remain with the bank throughout the ten-year duration of the visa. It was not immediately clear from reports whether the deposit would be interest-earning, nor whether the visas would be renewable.
According to reports in Sri Lankan business paper Daily FT, cabinet Co-Spokesman and Mass Media Minister Dr. Nalaka Godahewa characterized the program as a great opportunity for Sri Lanka to attract foreign exchange through the ample apartments in Colombo.
Sri Lanka’s government is under heavy pressure on a number of fronts: Food prices have increased dramatically (up by 30% in March alone); inflation reached 19% last month; crucial tourism revenue has all but dried up during the pandemic; and the government has practically run out of foreign exchange needed to import fuel. Recent mass protests and accusations of corruption have driven a number of cabinet ministers to resign in recent weeks.
“This scheme will help Sri Lanka at a time when we are facing the worst financial crisis since our independence,” the minister was further quoted as saying, reports Al Jazeera.
Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 16 years in the United States, China, Spain, and Portugal.