Facilitated Migration Services and Operations
IOM is uniquely positioned to assist governments seeking solutions to the challenges faced by their overseas visa and immigration offices in processing more complex and increasing caseloads with limited resources. With visa and immigration fraud as an ever-present challenge, governments are increasingly looking to trusted external service providers to facilitate reliable and affordable document integrity and verification solutions in support of sound visa decision-making and risk analysis skills in immigration-related matters.
Through its Operations and Migrant Services Centre in Colombo, IOM will continue to deliver accurate, objective, timely, and migrant-centred Immigration and facilitated migration services (FMS) to Government clients and migrants. These faciliated migration services include Document Integrity and Verification Solutions services for verifiable documents including academic records and trade qualifications and work references and records, as well as civil status documents such as birth, death, marriage and divorce certificates, adoption papers and passports.
Other services conducted through the faciliated migration services are the provision of logistical support for visa processing, the provision of visa application assistance, and the conducting and facilitation of immigrant interviews and self-payer travel assistance. At the request of governments and with the consent of the applicant, faciliated migration services are conducted prior to or in connection with the visa application process and on a fee-for-service basis.
Extending or expanding IOM facilitated migration services in the upcoming strategy period, wherever appropriate and relevant, constitutes a key priority for IOM as an important means for contributing to the prevention and controlling of high irregular migration incidences from Sri Lanka.
Cultural Orientation and Counselling
Inaccurate or unrealistic expectations held by Sri Lankan migrants and their families who seek long-term or permanent residence in various countries can cause stress to the newcomers upon their arrival. This transition can also put pressure on the social service providers of the host community to work to help the newcomers adjust. IOM’s provision of cultural orientation services commissioned by some destination countries can reduce such anxiety on the part of migrants by painting a more realistic picture of what awaits them, equipping them with coping skills to deal with an unfamiliar environment, and helping them shape attitudes towards life in their new setting. Furthermore, IOM offers independent and confidential immigration advice, visa application assistance and travel services to individuals, their sponsors and businesses. In certain countries of destination IOM has in place a network of registered migration agents who link with IOM Offices in countries of origin such as Sri Lanka to extend services and assistance to prospective migrants, their spouse, and partners.
Refugee Resettlement Assistance
Refugees who are nationals from countries other than Sri Lanka will continue to receive assistance from IOM’s Resettlement Services. These services are delivered in Sri Lanka on behalf of the IOM’s Resettlement Support Centre for South Asia based in Kathmandu, Nepal. IOM Sri Lanka’s case processing services include document processing, health assessments, cultural orientation and international travel assistance in preparation for refugees’ resettlement to third countries. To date, IOM Sri Lanka has assisted over 2,000 recognized refugees across 19 countries with United States and Canada featuring as the two top destination countries. IOM will also continue its family reunification programme which assists family members in Sri Lanka to join their relatives in the country of resettlement.
Humanitarian Assistance for Stranded Migrants
IOM further assists, through travel and operational support services, the Government of Sri Lanka in the provision of return assistance to nationals of other countries who are stranded in Sri Lanka as well as with the return of Sri Lankan nationals stranded overseas during conflict, distress, or other emergency situations.