IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1.        Short title.

PART I

Preliminary

2.        Exemption from operation of Act.

PART II

Administrative Arrangements

3.        Ports of entry and departure.

4.        Officers and servants.

5.        Powers and duties of officer.

6.        Authorisation by Minister of Controller to act on his behalf.

7.        Authorisation by Controller of other officers to act on his behalf.

7A.     Powers and duties of authorised members of the Forces.

PART III

Control of Entry into Sri Lanka of Persons Other than Citizens of Sri Lanka

8.        Application of part III.

9.        Entry to be at approved ports of entry only.

10.      Documents required at the time of entry.

11.      Documents of entry not to be issued to certain persons.

12.      Power of Minister to declare persons to be prohibited immigrants or prohibited visitors.

13.      Requirements as to endorsements.

14.      Requirements as to visa.

15.      Stay in Sri Lanka of persons to whom this Part applies.

16.      Terms and conditions of documents of entry to be complied with.

17.      Documents of entry to be void in certain circumstances.

18.      Examination and medical examination upon arrival.

19.      Inspection of letters.

20.      Detention of persons for examination and inspection.

21.      Detention of certain persons.

22.      Removal from Sri Lanka of certain persons.

23.      Regulations.

PART IV

Supervision of Activities of Persons Other than Citizens of Sri Lanka

24.      Application of part IV.

25.      Power to impose restrictions on persons by order.

26.      Registers to be kept by authorised officers.

PART V

Removal from Sri Lanka of Persons Other than Citizens of Sri Lanka

27.      Application of part V.

28.      Power of Minister to direct the removal from Sri Lanka of persons other than citizens of Sri Lanka.

29.      Money and property of persons removed may be applied in payment of costs and charges.

PART VI

Deportation from Sri Lanka of Persons Other than Citizens of Sri Lanka

30.      Application of Part VI.

31.      Power of Minister to deport from Sri Lanka persons other than citizens of Sri Lanka.

32.      Money and property of persons deported may be applied in payment of costs and charges.

PART VII

Departure of Persons from Sri Lanka

33.      Application of Part VII.

34.      Persons to leave Sri Lanka from approved ports of departure.

35.      Passports required for departure from Sri Lanka.

35A.   Taking of finger printing for passport purposes.

36.      Regulations.

PART VIII

General

37.      Identification of persons entering and leaving Sri Lanka.

38.      Identification of persons.

39.      Power of authorised officers to enter and board ships.

40.      Controller deemed to be peace officer.

41.      Persons detained deemed to be in legal custody.

42.      Returns as to passengers and members of crews of ships.

43.      Expenses of administration of Act.

44.      Proof of instruments, made or issued by Minister.

45.      Offences.

45A.   Offences of bringing persons into Sri Lanka in contravention of Act.

45B.   Presumption with regard to certain certificates.

45C.   Facilitating persons to leave Sri Lanka.

46.      Offences to be cognizable and to be triable by Magistrate.

47.      Certain offences to be non-bailable.

47A.   Granting of bail.

48.      Detention of persons suspected of or charged with commission of offence under section 45(1)(a).

49.      Burden of proof.

50.      Power to search any ship of arrest

51.      Seizure and detention by police, authorised members of the Forces or authorised officers, of vehicles, suspected of being used in the commission of offences under section 45A(1)(a) or section 45A(1)(b).

51A.   Proceedings under the Act to have priority in court.

51B.   Evidence, in connection with certain offences, of a person about to leave the Island.

51C.   Court may impound travel document to procure attendance of accused, suspect or witness.

52.      Regulations.

53.      Act not to apply to Journey between places in Sri Lanka.

54.      Interpretation.

55.      Construction of Act.

56.      Omitted.

57.      Savings.

20 of 1948,

16 of 1955,

68 of 1961,

16 of 1993,

42 of 1998,

31 of 2006,

7 of 2015.

AN ACT to make provision for controlling the entry into Sri Lanka of persons other than citizens of Sri Lanka, for regulating the departure from Sri Lanka of citizens and persons other than citizens of Sri Lanka, for removing from Sri Lanka undesirable persons who are not citizens of Sri Lanka, and for other matters incidental to or connected with the matters aforesaid.

[Date of Commencement: 1st November, 1949]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Immigrants and Emigrants Act.

PART I

Preliminary

2. Exemption from operation of Act.

(1) Every person who—

(a)  is a member of the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka; or

(b)  is duly accredited to the Government of Sri Lanka by the Government of any other country; or

(cis sent to Sri Lanka on a special mission by the Government of any other country; or

(d)  is any expert, adviser, technician, or official whose salary or principal emolument is not payable by the Government of Sri Lanka and who is brought to Sri Lanka by the Government of Sri Lanka through any Specialised Agency of the United Nations Organisation, or under the Point Four Assistance Programme of the Government of the United States of America, or through the Colombo Plan Organisation (including its Technical Assistance Bureau), or any similar organisation approved by the Minister; or

(e)  is any trainee from abroad who is sent to Sri Lanka under any of the Technical Co-operation Programmes of the United Nations Organisation and its Specialised Agencies or of the Colombo Plan Organisation, or of any similar organisation approved by the Minister; or

(f)   has entered or is under an agreement to enter the service of the Government of Sri Lanka; or

(g)  is a member of the official staff or household of any person referred to in any of the foregoing paragraphs (a) to (f); or

(h)  is the wife or any dependent child of any person referred to in any of the foregoing paragraphs (a) to (g); or

(i)   is a member of the crew of a ship in the territorial waters of Sri Lanka, shall be exempt from the operation of Parts III, IV, V, VI, and VII of this Act to such extent or subject to such conditions or restrictions as may be specified by order of the Minister. An order under this subsection may be either a special order in respect of any person or group of persons, or a general order applicable to any class or description of persons, being in either case persons referred to in this subsection.

(2) In accordance with any regulations made under this Act for the purpose of prescribing—

(a)  the classes or description of persons, other than those specified in subsection (1), to whom exemption may be granted from any of the provisions of this Act; and

(bthe extent to which or the terms, conditions or restrictions subject to which such exemption may be granted, the Minister may by order exempt any prescribed class or description of persons or any person belonging to any such prescribed class or description, to the prescribed extent or subject to the prescribed terms, conditions or restrictions:

Provided that in the absence of any such regulations or on the occurrence of any public emergency, the Minister may so exempt any person or class or description of persons from any of the provisions of this Act to such extent or subject to such terms, conditions or restrictions as may appear to him to be necessary in the public interest.

PART II

Administrative Arrangements

3. Ports of entry and departure.

The Minister may, by Order published in the Gazette, declare any place in Sri Lanka to be an approved port of entry or an approved port of departure for the purposes of this Act.

4. Officers and servants.

(1) There may be appointed, for the purposes of this Act, whether by name or by office—

(a)  a fit and proper person to be or to act as the Controller of Immigration and Emigration;

(b)  a fit and proper person to be or to act as the Deputy Controller of Immigration and Emigration;

(c)  a fit and proper person or each of two or more such persons to be or to act as an Assistant Controller of Immigration and Emigration;

(d)  a fit and proper person or each of two or more such persons to be or to act as an authorised officer.

(2) There may also be appointed such clerical and minor staff as may be necessary to assist the aforesaid officers in the administration of this Act.

5. Powers and duties of officer.

(1) In the exercise, performance or discharge of the powers, duties or functions conferred, imposed or assigned by or under this Act—

(a)  the Controller shall be subject to the general or special directions of the Minister;

(b)  the Deputy Controller, each Assistant Controller and each authorised officer shall be subject to the general or special directions of the Controller.

(2) The Controller, the Deputy Controller and every Assistant Controller may exercise, perform or discharge any power, duty or function vested in, or imposed or conferred upon, an authorised officer, by or under this Act.

(3) The Secretary to the Ministry or any Assistant Secretary to the Ministry may exercise, perform or discharge any power, duty or function vested in, or imposed or conferred upon, the Controller or an authorised officer, by or under this Act.

6. Authorisation by Minister of Controller to act on his behalf.

The Minister may either generally or specially authorise the Secretary to the Ministry or any Assistant Secretary to the Ministry or the Controller to exercise, perform or discharge any power (other than the power conferred by section 2 or section 31 or section 52), duty or function vested in, or imposed or conferred upon, the Minister, by or under this Act.

7. Authorisation by Controller of other officers to act on his behalf.

The Controller may either generally or specially authorise the Deputy Controller or any Assistant Controller to exercise, perform or discharge any power, duty or function vested in, or imposed or conferred upon, the Controller, by or under this Act.

7A. Powers and duties of authorised members of the Forces.

(1) The President may, for the purposes of this Act, by Order published in the Gazette designate all or any of—

(a)  the members of the army raised and maintained in accordance with the provisions of the Army Act,

(b)  the members of the Sri Lanka Navy raised and maintained in accordance with the provisions of the Navy Act, and

(c)  the members of the Sri Lanka Air Force raised and maintained in accordance with the provisions of the Air Force Act, as authorised members of the Forces.

(2) The powers and duties conferred and imposed upon authorised members of the Forces by this section shall be exercised and discharged notwithstanding that such powers and duties are not conferred or imposed upon them by the provisions of the Army Act, the Navy Act, or the Air Force Act.

(3) The Minister may, by Order published in the Gazette, specify the area or areas in which the powers and duties under this Act may be exercised and discharged by authorised members of the Forces.

(4) Within the area specified under subsection (3), an authorised member of the Forces shall, in respect of (a) any offence under paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section 45—

(b)  any offence under subsection (2) of section 45 so far as it relates to paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of that section, and

(c)  any offence under subsection (1) or subsection (2) of section 45A, be deemed to be a peace officer within the meaning of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act for the purpose only of exercising any power conferred upon a peace officer by that Act.

(5) An authorised member of the Forces making an arrest without warrant shall without delay hand the person so arrested to the custody of a police officer.

[S 7A ins by s 2 of Act 68 of 1961.]

PART III

Control of Entry into Sri Lanka of Persons other than Citizens of Sri Lanka

8. Application of part III.

This Part shall apply to every person seeking entry into or entering Sri Lanka unless—

(a)  he is a citizen of Sri Lanka; or

(b)  by virtue of any order under Part 1 for the time being in force, he is exempted from the provisions of this Part.

9. Entry to be at approved ports of entry only.

A person to whom this Part applies shall not enter Sri Lanka at any place other than an approved port of entry.

10. Documents required at the time of entry.

A person to whom this Part applies shall not enter Sri Lanka unless he has in his possession—

(a)  a valid passport which bears an endorsement in the prescribed form granted to him by an authorised officer under this Part; and

(b)  if so required by regulations made under this Act, a visa granted to him under such regulations.

11. Documents of entry not to be issued to certain persons.

(1) No endorsement under this Part shall be granted by an authorised officer to any person unless that person has in his possession—

(a)  a passport which is a valid passport; and

(b)  if so required by regulations made under this Act, a visa granted or issued to him under such regulations.

(2) Except in such circumstances as may be prescribed, no endorsement or visa shall be granted or issued to any person who—

(a)  is, in the opinion of the authority empowered to grant or issue any such document of entry, unable to support himself and his dependents; or

(b)  is a person of unsound mind, or is mentally defective; or

(c)  is certified by a prescribed medical officer to be a person whom, for medical reasons, it is undesirable to admit into Sri Lanka; or

(d)  has been sentenced outside Sri Lanka for an extraditable offence within the meaning of any law which was or is in force in Sri Lanka relating to fugitive persons and their extradition; or

(e)  is a prostitute or procurer or person living on the prostitution of others; or

(f)   fails to fulfill such other requirements as the Minister may impose in the public interest by special or general instructions issued in that behalf; or

(g)  is the subject of a deportation order in force under this Act; or

(h)  is a stowaway; or

(i)   is declared by order of the Minister under section 12 to be a prohibited immigrant or a prohibited visitor.

(3) Any endorsement or visa granted or issued in contravention of the preceding provisions of this section shall be deemed to be void and of no effect for the purposes of this Act.

12. Power of Minister to declare persons to be prohibited immigrants or prohibited visitors.

The Minister may, by order, declare that any person to whom this Part applies and who—

(a)  is deemed by the Minister, from information received by him, through official or diplomatic sources, to be an undesirable person for the purposes of admission into Sri Lanka; or

(b)  is shown by evidence which the Minister deems sufficient, to be likely to conduct himself so as to be dangerous to peace and good order in Sri Lanka, or to excite feelings of disaffection to the Government of Sri Lanka, or to intrigue against the authority of the Government of Sri Lanka; or

(c)  has been convicted in any country and has not received a free pardon in respect of an offence for which a sentence of imprisonment has been passed and, by reason of the circumstances connected therewith, is deemed by the Minister to be an undesirable person for admission into Sri Lanka, shall be a prohibited immigrant or a prohibited visitor for the purposes of this Act.

13. Requirements as to endorsements.

(1) An endorsement under this Part by an authorised officer shall be required of a person to whom this Part applies in every case where, on his arrival by ship at any place in Sri Lanka, such person desires to enter Sri Lanka and to remain therein for any period or purpose whatsoever.

(2) Every endorsement granted by an authorised officer under this Part to any person—

(a)  shall be signed by such officer;

(b)  shall be in the prescribed form; and

(c)  shall, if such person is not the holder of a visa, specify the period for which and the terms and conditions subject to which such person may enter and remain in Sri Lanka.

(3) An authorised officer may require as a condition precedent to the grant of an endorsement under this Part to any person that such person shall, or some other person resident in Sri Lanka and approved by the authorised officer shall on behalf of such person, furnish security, either by deposit of such sum, not exceeding the prescribed sum, as the officer may deem fit or in such other manner as may be prescribed, for the repayment to the Government of any costs and charges that may be incurred in respect of that person. All sums so deposited by way of security shall be disposed of in the prescribed manner.

14. Requirements as to visa.

(1) A visa may be granted by the prescribed authority for such period, not exceeding two years, as may be specified in the visa.

(2) A visa may, with the approval of the Minister, be granted by the prescribed authority for such period, exceeding two years but not exceeding five years, as may be specified in the visa.

(3) The period specified in any visa may be extended by the prescribed authority from time to lime, for such period and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, upon application made to that authority in that behalf. Where the authority which granted the visa obtained, by reason of subsection (2) of this section, the approval of the Minister before making the grant, such authority shall before extending the visa obtain in like manner the approval of the Minister.

(4) The fact that a person is in Sri Lanka for the time being shall not prevent or be construed to prevent the grant or issue in his case of a visa or endorsement, or the extension in his case of the period specified in such visa or endorsement.

15. Stay in Sri Lanka of persons to whom this Part applies.

No person to whom this Part applies and who enters Sri Lanka shall—

(a)  if he is not the holder of a visa, remain in Sri Lanka after the expiry of the period for which he is authorised to remain in Sri Lanka by the endorsement granted to him at the time of his entry; or

(b)  if he is the holder of any visa, remain in Sri Lanka after the expiry of the period for which he is authorised to remain in Sri Lanka by that visa or by virtue of any extension of that visa; or

(cif his entry into Sri Lanka is in contravention of the provisions of section 9 or section 10, remain in Sri Lanka.

This section of the article is only available for our subscribers. Please click here to subscribe to a subscription plan to view this part of the article.


Recent Updates

LAW COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 19 OF 2016


VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2016


PORTS AND AIRPORTS DEVELOPMENT LEVY (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2016


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 22 OF 2016


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


LAW COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 19 OF 2016


VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2016


PORTS AND AIRPORTS DEVELOPMENT LEVY (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2016


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 22 OF 2016


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


LAW COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 19 OF 2016


VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2016


PORTS AND AIRPORTS DEVELOPMENT LEVY (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2016


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 22 OF 2016


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


LAW COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 19 OF 2016


VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2016


PORTS AND AIRPORTS DEVELOPMENT LEVY (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2016


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 22 OF 2016


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


LAW COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 19 OF 2016


VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2016


PORTS AND AIRPORTS DEVELOPMENT LEVY (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2016


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 22 OF 2016


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


LAW COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 19 OF 2016


VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2016


PORTS AND AIRPORTS DEVELOPMENT LEVY (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2016


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 22 OF 2016


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


LAW COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 19 OF 2016


VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2016


PORTS AND AIRPORTS DEVELOPMENT LEVY (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2016


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 22 OF 2016


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015


LAW COMMISSION (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 19 OF 2016


VALUE ADDED TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 20 OF 2016


PORTS AND AIRPORTS DEVELOPMENT LEVY (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 21 OF 2016


NATION BUILDING TAX (AMENDMENT) ACT, NO. 22 OF 2016


IMMIGRANTS AND EMIGRANTS (AMENDMENT) ACT, No. 7 OF 2015