The British High Commission yesterday announced that it had started passport passback service for applicants in Colombo from August 11.

Passport passback is a userpay service that enables customers to retain their passports for the majority of the application processing period. Such an option will be useful for frequent travellers, particularly business visitors, holiday-makers planning tours around multiple countries, and settlement applicants.

A2 “The cost to applicants will be an additional LKR 9,400 (At current exchange rates); payable at the point they submit their application at the Visa Application Centre in Colombo. This is the first time such an option has been available to Sri Lankan travellers.

“Customers applying for visit, employment or student visas will need to submit their passports within 10 working days of applying for their visa. Those customers applying under the settlement route will need to submit their passports within 4 weeks of notification.

“This new service will not be available to applicants who want to apply under the UK’s Priority Visa service or Business Express Programme.”

“The passport pass-back service will be welcomed by frequent travellers from Sri Lanka. This will help travellers to plan their itineraries and obtain other visas in a more efficient way,” British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka John Rankin said. The communiqué said: The fee for the passport pass-back is £40 including taxes or LKR 9,400, plus the standard fee for the type of visa being applied for. Further information about the fees, eligibility criteria and how to schedule an appointment are available at

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