In Sri Lanka, a scandal erupted involving a Russian citizen: visas will not be extended for Russians

By TravelWiseFeb 28, 2024 22:44 PMNews
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Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka. Source: Wikipedia

Sri Lanka will cease extending long-term tourist visas to Russians and Ukrainians.

According to a letter from the Sri Lankan Immigration Service, Ukrainians and Russians have been allowed to stay in the country since February 28, 2022 - a full two years - with free visa extensions and without penalties for overstaying tourist visas. "There is no longer any need to extend visas in this manner."

"Russian and Ukrainian tourists falling into the aforementioned categories have been given 14 days (until March 7) to depart from the country, and we kindly inform you that this period will not be extended further," the statement said.

In Sri Lanka, a scandal erupted involving a Russian citizen: visas will not be extended for Russians
In Sri Lanka, a scandal erupted involving a Russian citizen: visas will not be extended for Russians. Source: Wikipedia

Later, the Office of the President of Sri Lanka clarified on the social media platform X that the Cabinet had not made a decision to halt free tourist visa extensions for Russian and Ukrainian citizens.

Over the past two years, more than 288,000 Russians and almost 20,000 Ukrainians have visited Sri Lanka. Some of them have chosen to stay in the country and have opened restaurants and nightclubs.

The announcement regarding the refusal to extend visas coincided with criticism on social media directed at a Russian-owned nightclub in the resort town of Unawatuna that organized a "whites only" party. According to The Daily Mirror, the Russian-owned Sarayka Lounge planned to host an Opening White Party on February 24, with an announcement stating that the entrance would be free for "whites only."

As TravelWise wrote, Sri Lanka is becoming an increasingly popular destination among tourists.

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