EK eases visas for Sri Lankans

Emirates is cutting the red tape for Sri Lankans by launching a visa processing centre at its Colombo city office.

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By  Neil Denslow Published  July 19, 2005

Emirates Airline is simplifying the bureaucracy process for Sri Lankans looking to visit or transit through Dubai by launching a Dubai visa processing centre (DVPC) at its Colombo city office. The DVPC will allow Sri Lankan travellers flying on Emirates from Colombo to Dubai or points beyond to obtain a Visit Visa (60 days) or Transit Visa (96 hours) with the airline as their sponsor. This significantly reduces the visa processing time, as travellers are no longer required to locate a UAE-based sponsor. Travellers will be granted an electronic visa in three or less days, subject to them meeting the required eligibility criteria and having all of their documentation in order. Operated by VFS, which is part of the Kuoni Travel Group, the new centre is at Hemas House, 75 Braybrooke Place, Colombo 2. "Dubai has become an increasingly popular destination for Sri Lankans who visit the emirate either on business or holiday; or as a stopover destination when travelling to America and Europe. We can now expect a larger number of Sri Lankan visitors with the Emirates assistance in visa processing,” said Nabil Sultan, Emirates’ senior vice president, commercial operations, West Asia & Indian Ocean. "Simplified visa procedures were first launched in India in October 2002. The overwhelming response it generated there prompted us to launch the processing centre in Sri Lanka. We hope to extend this facility to other countries within the Indian sub-continent, which we serve with 101 weekly flights,” he added.

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