The DoC  issues recommendations for residence visas on behalf of the Ministry of Trade only for competent expatriates, consultants, specialists and their dependents, employed at liaison offices, branch offices or  foreign companies and other commercial ventures that fall outside the purview of the relevant line ministries. Applications for recommendation for residence visas are strictly assessed taking into account the direct benefits of such employments that will accrue to the National Economy in terms of contribution to export/import trade, technology transfer, productivity improvement etc.

A company or an organization seeking to recruit a foreign national must make a request to the Department of Immigration & Emigration, prior to the arrival of the expatriate, giving details such as the name and nationality, duration of stay in Sri Lanka, nature of the assignment etc. along with the recommendation of the line Ministry. The Controller of Immigration & Emigration, on receipt of the above request and recommendations will inform the relevant Sri Lanka diplomatic Mission to issue Entry Visa for the applicant valid for 30 days with instructions to apply for RV valid for one year duration on arrival

In regard to the renewal of RV, the applicant has to make a request to the Director General of Commerce with adequate reasons to justify continuity of the employee's stay in Sri Lanka. The DOC, in the process of issuing RV recommendations, pays careful attention to ensure that the presence of the expatriate worker in Sri Lanka is essential according to the given reasons, and that it does not, under any circumstances mitigate job opportunities available to Sri Lankans, that the RV applicant's presence is beneficial to the country from the national economic point of view and that the employer has made reasonably adequate efforts to identify a suitable replacement locally.

An application for resident visa according to the above requirements should be made to the Director General of Commerce with the duly perfected application form three weeks in advance.

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