Fri, Jan 20, 2017 | updated 03:28 PM IST

Sri Lanka offers temporary resident visas for foreigners investing USD 300K

Updated: Jan 13, 2017 05:36 IST

Colombo [Sri Lanka], Jan. 13 (ANI): The Sri Lankan government has said it will offer temporary resident visas for foreign investors who invest a minimum of USD 3,00,000 in the country.

The move is to ease pressure on the rupee.

Sri Lankan Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake addressing a media briefing on Thursday invited foreigners to use Sri Lanka to bank their surplus cash, reports the Colombo Page.

He said the funds coming through Commercial Banking license can be invested in Sri Lanka.

The Minister said if foreigners, especially older people who like to spend time in Sri Lanka, can invest funds of at least USD 3, 00,000, the government can offer temporary resident visas for two to three years.

If they could increase the investments to USD 1.5 million the duration can be further expanded, he said.

The money can be invested in the banking sector, the stock market and in treasury bonds.

Karunanayake said that exchange controls will be totally eliminated and the investments can earn higher returns of 2-3 percent compared to rates around 0.5 percent elsewhere in the world. However, he said that cash in millions cannot be taken out of the country.

The investments would boost the country's foreign reserves and help cut reliance on foreign debt, he added.

The move is in line with a 2016 Budget proposal to grant resident visas to foreigners who bring in a large amount of foreign exchange into the country. (ANI)