Foreigners /expats

The Government has identified the significance of a healthy real estate ecosystem and has taken initiatives to foster the growth of the real estate sector by introducing policies and regulations to encourage local and foreign investments.

These initiatives taken by the government will make investing in Sri Lanka’s real estate sector much more appealing to foreign investors and is intended to position the country as an ideal investment destination with opportunities for expatriates as well as dual citizens to invest in real estate market.

The government of Sri Lanka has relaxed regulations permitting Domestic Banking Units (DBU) to grant loans to Sri Lankans, residents outside Sri Lanka on PR in another country, and individuals who have obtained dual citizenship in Sri Lanka and any other country irrespective of their residential status for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, developing, renovating a residential property in Sri Lanka. For more information, please visit link.

Relaxation of laws relating to the purchase of property by foreigners paying heed to the fact that the condominium industry is a growing sector in the country with significant potential for foreign investment, the Government has proposed to show its support by relaxing property ownership restrictions imposed on foreigners.

The Government has allowed foreigners to purchase freehold property in condominium developments, without the previous restriction that only allowed them to buy condominium units from the fourth floor or above. As a result, this allows Sri Lankan expats and their children who do not have the country’s citizenship to purchase a residential property and will also allow foreign investors who wish to invest in Sri Lanka, to carry out their businesses while residing within the country. Upon transferring the deed, a Stamp Duty (a levy to be paid to the government) of 4% of the market value of the condominium unit which will be assessed by the Department of Inland Revenue has to be paid which is similar to a local purchaser. Foreigners are allowed only to lease land upto 99 years.

Foreigners have to open a SIA (Securities Investment Account) now called an IIA (Inward Investment Account) in a local bank to transfer money for the purchase of an apartment. Thereafter from the SIA account to GVR Lanka Pvt. Ltd. account which is allowed to accept foreign currency in Dollars ($) and Pounds (£). Once the property has been sold, the money can be taken out (plus any gains) via the same account in the currency that the money was deposited in.

Resident visas for foreign investors with a view of making Sri Lanka an ‘Investment destination’, The Government has proposed to give resident visas for foreigners investing a minimum of US$ 300,000 in Sri Lanka. Accordingly it is proposed to offer 2 – 5 year resident visas to the investors. The opportunity for foreigners to purchase Property in Sri Lanka and the information on “My Dream Home” link.