News report | | 20-02-2024 | ±4 minutes reading time

The My Dream Home visa programme is an opportunity for adventurous over-55s to stay in Sri Lanka for a long period after retirement. Part of this program consists of the introduction of a special retirement visa. With this visa, the government of Sri Lanka aims to make it more attractive for foreigners to enjoy retirement with their families on the Asian island.

A popular holiday destination

Sri Lanka is a popular holiday destination among British travellers. The country’s many tropical beaches, breathtaking landscapes, green tea plantations and beautiful Hindu and Buddhist temples are a key factor to its popularity. Moreover, these tourist attractions are all located in a relatively small area. It is not for nothing that Sri Lanka is also called ‘miniature Asia’. Due to its stable tropical climate (daytime temperatures in the coastal region are between 28 and 32 °C throughout the year), the numerous leisure options and the hospitable population, Sri Lanka has become extremely popular among retirees too. For this target group, Sri Lanka has now introduced the My Dream Home programme.

Main requirements of the My Dream Home programme

Through the My Dream Home programme, the Sri Lankan government aims at attracting more foreign retirees to the country. The retirement visa that can be obtained through this programme costs 150 USD and is valid for two years. The validity period can be extended for 2 years at a time after expiry. The programme is meant for self-sufficient retirees who meet certain requirements and want to enjoy their retirement in Sri Lanka. Retirees who want to make use of the programme may also bring their partner and their (unmarried) children under 18.

To qualify for the My Dream Home programme, candidates must be at least 55 years old and have a nationality other than Sri Lanka. Moreover, applicants are required to deposit at least 15,000 USD in a fixed deposit account of a Sri Lankan bank. In order to support themselves, applicants must also transfer 1,500 USD (plus 750 for each co-traveller) to a savings account at an authorised bank in Sri Lanka.

Other requirements

In addition to the conditions mentioned above, several other requirements must be met. For example, the applicant must hold a valid health insurance and be able to present a clean criminal record. Moreover, after moving to Sri Lanka, travellers are not allowed to participate in political activities, activities that may be considered sensitive by the local population, or activities that may be regarded as threat to national security. Furthermore, it is not allowed to perform paid or unpaid work in Sri Lanka. Holders of this visa must abide by the rules and laws of Sri Lanka at all times and are required to pay taxes.

Application process

All visa applications submitted via the My Dream Home programme are processed by the main office of the Ministry of Immigration and Emigration in Colombo. It is also possible to apply for the retirement visa on-site. However, to travel to Sri Lanka and apply for the retirement visa, you are going to need another visa. For instance, the ETA Sri Lanka allows you to stay on the island for up to 30 days. You could also contact the Immigration Services Centre in Colombo via phone or email. The application form is available for download on the official website of Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Immigration and Emigration. After submitting your application, written notification of the decision taken will follow within two weeks.

If your application is approved, you will receive an approval letter for opening a fixed deposit account in Sri Lanka, as well as an instruction letter for the bank manager. In addition, you will have to transfer the equivalent of 15,000 USD and the first monthly deposit of 1,500 USD (plus 750 USD per co-traveller if applicable), and present a proof of the transfer.

Documents required for retirement visa

To apply for the retirement visa via the My Dream Home programme, you must submit several documents:

  • the filled-in application form;
  • two recent passport photos in colour where both your face and your shoulders are visible;
  • an authenticated copy of all pages of your passport;
  • an authenticated copy of your most recent bank statement or another document that proves that you can support yourself financially during your stay in Sri Lanka;
  • proof of a source of income for the monthly remittance of USD 1,500 for the main applicant and USD 750 for each co-traveller;
  • proof of a clean criminal record, issued by your home country and not older than 6 months;
  • a marriage certificate, if applicable.

The ETA for Sri Lanka

It is not possible to apply for the retirement visa for Sri Lanka via e-Visa.ie. However, you can use this website to apply for the Sri Lanka ETA. This electronic visa is suitable for travellers who want to travel to Sri Lanka for tourism or business and want to spend up to 30 days in the country. Visas for Sri Lanka are delivered in an average of 4 days. If you submit an urgent application, you will receive your ETA within an average of 30 minutes. There is a surcharge of € 17,50 per person for urgent applications, in addition to the standard fee of € 79,95 (tourist visa) or € 89,95 (business visa).

e-Visa.ie is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the Sri Lanka visa. e-Visa.ie acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for a visa directly with the immigration service (52,08 USD per visa, via eta.gov.lk). However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via e-Visa.ie, our support centre is available to you 24/7. We also check your application before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 52,08 USD in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as € 32,26 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous Sri Lanka visa was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.