Govt. justifies outsourced visa process amid allegations

Friday, 3 May 2024 00:40 –      – 81

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Amid allegations regarding the outsourced visa application process, the Government Information Department yesterday issued a statement clarifying the situation.

According to the Department, the responsibility for on arrival visa applications was awarded to VFS Global – a company operating in 151 countries and has 3,388 centres worldwide, following a thorough assessment and approval by the Cabinet of Ministers on 11 September 2023. The proposal presented by Public Security Minister Tiran Alles was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

It added that the selection of the company followed the Government’s procurement process and among the two contenders, the aforementioned firm was chosen due to its global reputation and extensive experience. The Public Security Ministry has streamlined the process for foreign visitors to apply for online visas.

“Following a recent problem in the company’s visa issuance process, the Government decided to examine it, but it is false to say that the process was handed over without the approval of the Cabinet. There is no basis in the reports that the work of issuing visas to foreigners visiting Sri Lanka has been completely handed over to a foreign company. Only the work of providing necessary facilities for the visa issuance work has been assigned to this company,” it reads.

The statement also added that the Government was also in the process of implementing suitable actions against officials who made statements and acted confronting the decision of the aforementioned Cabinet decision.