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Services Provided by the SLBFE to Migrant Workers




Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE)

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Sri Lanka

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The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) is committed to providing you with the necessary job security as well as taking care of your family’s welfare through a variety of ways.

The “Videsha Rakiya Insurance Scheme”

All applications for compensation should be submitted directly to the Welfare Division of the SLBFE or through a Regional Centre. These applications should be checked for registration along with the following documents.

Air Ticket
Medical Bills and Reports (for medical claims)
Bank Account Book
Special Medical Reports (If disabled)
Letter of Appeal

You must also remember that:

The application forms are issued only by the Welfare Division of the SLBFE
Only the applications forms issued by the Welfare Division after checking of registration, could be used
You must submit copies of documents as required for death claims

Special scholarships are awarded to your children annually

Description Amount
Those who qualify for the year 5 scholarship Rs. 15,000.00
Those who qualify for the G.C.E. Advanced Level Examination Rs. 20,000.00
Those who qualify for higher studies in Universities and the State Technical College Rs. 30,000.00

School equipment is distributed among the children of migrant workers in three selected
districts annually

Interest subsidized housing loans of up to Rs. 300,000/= in collaboration with the People’s
Bank, Bank of Ceylon and the National Savings Bank

Self employment loan in collaboration with the Bank of Ceylon

Basic amenity loan in collaboration with the Bank of Ceylon

Pre-departure loan in collaboration with the People’s Bank, Bank of Ceylon and the National
Savings Bank

For more details, please contact the Welfare Division of the SLBFE.

Scholarships to children of Migrant Workers

This is a significant project conducted on behalf of the children of migrant workers and is also one of the nation’s premier scholarship awarding campaigns which has seen many students being granted scholarships so far.

These scholarships are provided to those who have passed the Grade 5 Scholarship Examination, the GCE Ordinary Level Examination and those who have passed the GCE Advanced Level Examination and are currently following higher studies. For their children to be eligible for these scholarships, it is a must for the parents to be registered with the SLBFE prior to their departure overseas.

Providing of stationery and other important educational items

The children of migrant workers will stand to receive important educational items vital for their studies as well as English - Sinhala Dictionaries.

Providing Housing loans and loans for self-employment

Through this scheme, housing loans and loans for self-employment are granted at very low interest. More than 70% of the interest on these loans will be borne by the SLBFE.

Repatriation of Migrant Workers

This scheme is intended for migrant workers returning back to Sri Lanka and looks after their social welfare and development. Migrant workers coming back are given the proper guidance and advice on how to spend, save and invest the money that they have earned through their hard work overseas in a manner which is beneficial to themselves as well as the country.

The insurance scheme provided to all migrant workers who register with the SLBFE also falls under this category. The necessary compensation and related welfare services of the insurance scheme are also provided through this programme.

A special unit to provide for the needs of the children of migrant worker parents

This 24-hour service coordinates and provides for the protection and welfare of the children of migrant worker parents and also handles a variety of issues related to them.

Providing housing loans for those who fall in to permanent disability during their overseas employment

For Sri Lankan migrant workers who fall in to permanent disability during their registered period of employment overseas a housing loan of around Rs. 400,000 will be provided (for those without a house for themselves)

Sesatha Retirement Benefit

For migrant workers who return back, this scheme provides a wonderful opportunity to relax and enjoy their twilight years in retirement. This scheme which helps them to live in retirement without being a burden to anyone is coordinated by the Welfare Division of the SLBFE.

Medical treatments for migrant workers returning to Sri Lanka due to illness

Under this scheme, the ill migrant workers can expect free medical treatments at the Sri Jayawardenapura General Hospital while an ambulance is also offered free of charge.

Sahana Piyasa Welfare Service Centre

The SLBFE provides a welfare centre located near the Katunayake International Airport to assist migrant workers who fall in to trouble due to various issues and hardships and return back to Sri Lanka. This centre offers a host of services to migrant workers prior to their departure as well.

Dispute Settlement Services

If a migrant worker faces any problem / hardships while they are in employment overseas, the SLBFE will take instant steps to adequately settle the issue. If a complaint is received about a particular employer, the SLBFE will liaise with the Embassy / High Commission of that particular country in an efficient manner to sort out the issue.

International Relation Services

The SLBFE has excellent relationships with the comprehensive network of Embassies / High Commissions in countries where foreign employment is offered to Sri Lankans. This enables the SLBFE to take instant steps to settle any issue that may arise.

Social, Insurance Service Facilities

This scheme provides a variety of social and insurance services to the family members of migrant workers. To help the families of these migrant workers, the SLBFE conducts medical clinics, advisory service conferences and discussions throughout the island.

Decentralisation of SLBFE tasks

Through this initiative, the services provided by the SLBFE are taken from village to village throughout the island. This ensures that migrant workers or their family members do not have to come all the way to Colombo to get their tasks done but could get them attended to at the district sub offices of the SLBFE.

Special Informative Programmes

The SLBFE, through the divisional secretariats conducts a variety of informative and educational programmes for migrant workers, their family members and the general public on the importance of foreign employment and its related topics. One of the main subjects of discussion is the warning issued to the public against the many fraudulent foreign employment agencies that are in operation at present.

Development Programmes

This programme is aimed at meeting the ever-increasing demand for skilled workers from Sri Lanka. The demand especially for skilled males is on the rise and the SLBFE is very keen on sending skilled males overseas on employment as opposed to sending unskilled female workers overseas. Through this programme the SLBFE hopes to increase the revenues that flow in to the country as well as squelch the various social issues faced by sending females overseas for employment.

Foreign Employment Approval Services

Sending workers overseas cannot be done in an ad-hoc manner; it has to be done through the proper channels after receiving the proper approvals. The SLBFE has taken steps to provide these approval services in a highly efficient manner. The job vacancies offered by the foreign employment agencies are carefully scrutinised and checked through the Embassies / High Commissions in those respective countries before being given the final approval. The foreign employment agency should not break any clauses, pertaining to employees, mentioned on the agreement. The SLBFE is strictly committed to upholding and fight for the rights of migrant workers.

Registration Services

Quite a few divisions and units have been set up to register migrant workers leaving Sri Lanka for overseas employment. Individuals leaving on their own or through an agency can obtain these services without much fuss. This could be done through the SLBFE head office or any of the regional centres located throughout the island.

The Official Website of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment

Accessible online on www.slbfe.lk, this website offers a plethora of services that include obtaining information on job opportunities, finding out accurate information on foreign employment agencies and finding out the necessary procedures followed at the SLBFE and so much more.

Granting of Recruitment Licenses

Honest, clever and people of good standing can apply for licenses to send workers overseas on employment. The SLBFE carefully investigates and follows strict guidelines in issuing licenses to foreign employment agencies.

Grooming of Skilled Workers

In order to meet the ever-increasing demand for skilled migrant workers, the SLBFE conducts various training programmes to develop the skills of prospective migrant workers in the industries that have the most demand. These are efficiently done through the SLBFE’s comprehensive island wide network.

Signing of Service Agreements

Previously, migrant workers used to face many difficulties in their overseas jobs previously mainly because they did not properly understand the conditions stipulated on their service agreements. To negate this, all prospective employees will have to read and understand every word of their service agreements in the presence of an SLBFE officer before signing it.

Opening of Non-Resident Foreign Currency Savings Accounts

It is very important that the hard-earned monies of the migrant workers are directed back to the country through proper channels. The SLBFE has made it compulsory for all workers to open up these accounts and have made a variety of bank booths (of all the major banks in Sri Lanka) available at the head office to facilitate this.

Obtaining of Police Clearance Reports

The SLBFE houses a Police unit at the head office to speed up the obtaining of Police Reports of candidates hoping to go overseas for employment.

Special Investigative Services

This unit has been setup to protect migrant workers against illegitimate and dishonest foreign employment agency operators. The SLBFE will act quickly if any such issues are brought to its notice and will see to it that these errant agency operators are brought to justice. Arresting these errant agency operators is one of the main tasks of this unit.

Information Technology Services

All services provided at the SLBFE have been computerised on a central network to ensure the efficient functioning of the Bureau. Providing various services through Embassies and High Commissions has really been made efficient through this and complaints too can now be addressed very quickly through the use of modern technology.

Research and Library Services

Latest trends and developments in the foreign employment industry are being closely monitored and reported on by this unit of the SLBFE. For those who wish to gain more knowledge on the industry the SLBFE also has a library provided for them.



migrant workers, Sri Lanka, Insurance scheme

Economic sectors

General relevance - all sectors

Content types

Policy analysis

Regulation domains

Labour standards, Health and safety at work, Health care & social services, and Social security

Geographical focuses

China, Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Pakistan

Spheres of activity

Management of human resources