Oct 15, Colombo: Israeli officials have agreed to grant a five-year work visa for Sri Lankan migrant workers who will be working in the agriculture sector.
The agreement has been reached during bilateral discussions held by Deputy Minister Manusha Nanayakkara and a Sri Lankan delegation, who visited Israel on the instructions of Telecommunication, Digital Infrastructure, and Foreign Employment Minister Harin Fernando, with the Israeli Foreign Ministry officials.
The Israeli authorities have informed the deputy minister that Sri Lankan workers will be given a five-year visa for employment in the agricultural sector after an agreement signed with the coordination of the International Migration Organization.
During discussions, Israeli officials pointed out that out of the 500 Sri Lankans temporarily employed in the agriculture sector, a considerable number has not returned to the country after expiration of their visas and this would cause the future job quota to be reduced. They said those who had returned upon expiry of their visas would be able to get jobs in the same sector again.
At the discussion, the two sides also agreed to immediately sign agreements on providing jobs to 500 Sri Lankans in the nursing services and on the conditions of the employment.
Deputy Minister Manusha Nanayakkara noted that providing visas to the candidates, who were recruited by the foreign employment agencies and had passed the interviews for the employment in the nursing sector, has been delayed and requested the Israeli officials to take necessary steps to expedite the process to issue the visas.
The Israeli authorities have responded positively and assured that the embassy will be informed on issuance of visas.
Sri Lankan Ambassador in Israel Periyasami Pillai Selvaraj and Deputy General Manager of Foreign Employment Bureau Mangala Randeniya, Advisor to the Labor Department of the Embassy Mr. Wijeratne were also present at the discussions.