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Complete guide to obtaining a Sri Lanka retirement visa, the required documents, and the best places for retirees

Sri Lanka is a beautiful island country in South Asia that offers a spectrum of experiences for people who enjoy diversity and variety. Moreover, Sri Lanka is one of the most affordable destinations in Asia, not only to visit but also to live in, which explains the huge number of expats moving to the country every year.

To retire in Sri Lanka, you have to apply for the Dream Home Visa Programme (also known as the Sri Lanka retirement visa).

What is a Dream Home Visa Program?

The Dream Home Visa Program is a retirement program that permits foreigners to retiree and reside in Sri Lanka. It is issued for a 2-year period and welcomes self-supporting retirees that meet the criteria to enjoy the benefits of retiring in Sri Lanka. You are also allowed to bring your family members (spouse, child) with you.

Who Can Get a Sri Lanka Retirement Visa?

To get a Sri Lanka Retirement visa (Dream Home), you have to meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You must be 55 years of age or older.
  • You should submit $15,000 or the equivalent in an approved foreign currency and deposit the amount in a fixed deposit account in a bank located in Sri Lanka.
  • You should revoke a monthly payment of $1,500 or the equivalent of this amount in an approved foreign currency and $750 for your spouse and the dependent child (if they accompany you) in a saving account in a bank in Sri Lanka.
  • You should not be involved in any criminal activities.

What Are the Conditions for Obtaining a Sri Lanka Retirement Visa?

Everyone applying for a Sri Lanka Retirement visa via the “Dream Home Programme” is obliged to meet the following conditions:

  • You must have a valid medical insurance policy valid in Sri Lanka.
  • You have to deposit an amount of $15,000 to a fixed deposit account. You can later withdraw the fixed deposit at any time but must obtain approval from the Controller of Exchange first. You can withdraw funds through the Controller General of Immigration Emigration Sri Lanka.
  • You should present a clear police record.
  • You cannot be involved in any type of criminal activity.
  • You must refrain from any political activity in Sri Lanka or any activity that might be considered sensitive to Sri Lanka and its people.
  • You cannot take a paid or unpaid job while staying in Sri Lanka.
  • You are bound by Sri Lanka’s laws and might be required to pay relevant taxes. 
  • You must submit a bank statement of the last six months related to fixed deposit and savings accounts to the Controller (Visa) of the Department of Immigration Emigration.
  • You should inform the Controller (Visa) of the Department of Immigration Emigration of any changes to your visa status or personal information.

Requirements for a Dream Home Program Visa

When starting your application for a Sri Lanka Retirement visa, you must enclose the following documents:

  1. Residence Visa Application Form. The application form is available in the Visa Divison of the department of Immigration and Emigration, or you can download it on their official website.
  2. Two passport-size photographs. Attach two recently taken photographs of yourself showing your face and shoulders.
  3. Certified copies of all passport pages.
  4. Means of subsistence. Certified copy of your latest bank statement or other financial documents to prove you are financially capable of supporting your stay in Sri Lanka.
  5. Source of income (Pension) for monthly remittance for $1,500 for you and $750 for each dependent.
  6. Proof of clean criminal record. A police clearance certificate not older than six months from your home country.
  7. Marriage certificate.

How to Apply for a Sri Lanka Retirement Visa?

The application forms for a Sri Lanka Retirement Visa are obtained at the Head office of the Department of Immigration & Emigration, Colombo, or Overseas Sri Lankan Missions. The overall application process for a Sri Lanka Retirement visa is quick and easy:

  1. You must visit the Department of Immigration and Emigration or a Sri Lanka consulate near you to complete the visa application form.
  2. Fill out the application form completely and attach the required documents to it.
  3. Submit the application form together with the documents to the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Colombo or the Consulate for processing.
  4. Pay the application processing fee. You have to pay a fee of $150 for yourself and your dependents.
  5. Receive an answer. You will receive an email regarding your visa application within two weeks of submitting the application.

NOTE: If your application is successful, you will receive a Provisional Approval Letter to open a fixed deposit account, and savings account for $1,500 for your living expenses, and an instruction letter to the Operational Bank Manager.

Sri Lanka Retirement Visa Fees

The processing fee for your visa application is $150 for each applicant and their dependents. Fees for Sri Lanka retirement visas issued at the Consulate vary based on the reciprocity and change from country to county.

Sri Lanka Retirement Visa Duration

The Sri Lankan Dream Retirement House Visa is issued for a period of two years, and you can renew it once it expires. The application for a retirement visa renewal is done at the Department of Immigration and Emigration.

Once your visa is renewed, it will be issued to you and your dependents.

Can I Renew my Sri Lanka Retirement Visa?

Yes, you can renew your retirement visa after two years from the issuing date of your current retirement visa. To apply for the renewal of your retirement visa, you must visit the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Colombo to get the application form for visa renewal. 

To renew your visa, you will be required to submit the following documents:

  • A residence visa form A.
  • A copy of your passport.
  • Renewal notice of fixed deposit and savings bank accounts.
  • Renewal notice of medical insurance.
  • A police clearance certificate obtained in Sri Lanka.

How Much Does it Cost to Retire in Sri Lanka?

Life in Sri Lanka is generally affordable for everyone. As a retiree, you will not find it difficult to find a good and comfortable accommodation place for an affordable price, and you will not have to spend much on food either since the food prices in markets are relatively cheap. Here is a presentation of the average costs of retiring in Sri Lanka:

ACCOMMODATIONMonthly Cost
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre$130
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre$60
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre$280
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre$140
FOODCOSTS
Milk$0.80
Rice $0.50
Eggs$0.90
Tomato$0.60
Potato$0.70
Apples (kg)$2
UTILITIESMONTHLY COSTS (85m2)
Electricity, Water, Heating, Cooling, Garbage$23

Why Choose Sri Lanka for Retirement?

Sri Lanka’s Dream Home retirement program offers many benefits:

  • You will be granted a residence visa valid for two years, which can be renewed.
  • You will feel welcomed by the locals and live in a safe environment.
  • You can enjoy the range of climates, seasons, and temperatures. The climate in Sri Lanka is tropical and consists of wet and dry seasons.
  • You can participate in endless outdoor activities to improve your health, such as golf, tennis, physical training in gyms, swimming, surfing, bird-watching, and many more.
  • You will stay in luxurious furnished houses or flats on the tropical coastal belt, in the scenic central highlands, or the main cities.
  • You can take your family members (spouse, child) with you to Sri Lanka.

Healthcare in Sri Lanka for Retirees

Sri Lanka has a free and universal health care system and has its own indigenous medicine. The public healthcare system is funded by the government and has accessible facilities for every citizen and expats. Public hospitals are well equipped with modern appliances and qualified staff and almost free of charge. The “pro-poor” public system covers approximately 50% of outpatient and 90% of inpatient services.

However, patients have to wait for long periods and encounter queues to get the needed medical services, which is why most of them go with private healthcare services.

Sri Lanka has a large number of private hospitals due to the demand for private healthcare services. Private healthcare facilities offer more luxurious services but are more expensive than public hospitals. 

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