Sri Lanka Visa Guide – Things You Need to Know

One of the things that worry travelers is the visa requirements for entry, but like all things good with Sri Lanka, the paperwork requirements are minimal, and the visa process is hassle-free. The Sri Lanka visa process is simple, and you can even finish the entire process online, get it done at their consulate in your country, or you can even choose to get your visa stamped on arrival at your port of entry. The costs are nominal, and the approval turnaround times are pretty fast.

visa travel in Sri Lanka

Apply online

Technically you are applying for an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) rather than a Sri Lanka visa, and the visa itself is given at the airport. All it requires is a fully filled application form to be submitted on the ETA Sri Lanka website, which can be accessed at https://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa. Choose your preferred language option, hit the Apply tab, fill up the online form, pay the required fees online, and you are done. Processing typically takes two business days, after which you will be notified whether your application was accepted or rejected. Accepted applicants are entitled to enter Sri Lanka within three months of the date of issue of the approval. There is no need to print out the emails you receive on completion. You just present your passport at the airport and they add the visa, no additional money required.

Types of Sri Lanka ETA Visa

There are four kinds of visas on offer by the Sri Lankan government currently through ETA. These are – ETA tourist visa with a double entry that is valid for 30 days; ETA business visa with multiple entries and a validity of 30 days; ETA single entry transit visa that allows a stay of up to seven days, and an ETA single entry transit visa with a validity of up to two days. Charges vary depending on the type and it is advisable to check their website for the latest charges.

Sri Lanka visa

How do you apply for a visa to Sri Lanka offline?

You can submit your visa application and payment at Colombo International Airport on arrival. Currently, a fee of USD 5 for a tourist visa and USD 10 for a business visa, in addition to the visa fee charges are levied when you apply for a visa on arrival. The visa-on-arrival does offer flexibility to the traveler but if it can be avoided, it is better to get a visa approval beforehand. This is just to avoid the long visa stamping queues at the airport.

You can choose to submit your visa application in person at the Sri Lanka Overseas Mission situated in your country at least two weeks prior to travel. If you come personally to their visa offices, please do not transfer money to the bank, but pay cash to the cashier and obtain a receipt.

You can also submit visa application by post at least five weeks prior to travel date. Please include passport, necessary documents, and proof of payment by way of a photocopy of the bank transfer. If the passport and documents are to be returned by mail, a self-addressed envelope with required stamps should be included with the application. Applications sent without a stamped return envelope will be retained until the applicant collects them personally.

Sri Lanka visa travels

Requirements for visa application

Duly completed visa application form with signature is necessary. Please clearly write applicant’s name, address, and telephone number. A valid passport with at least one unused visa page is required. The passport should be valid for six months from the date of your arrival in Sri Lanka. Along with your application, to include a copy of flight booking or cruise-ship reservation. A detailed travel itinerary in Sri Lanka is required to be submitted with the application form. If hotel reservations are not done, the names and addresses of planned visits/overnight stays will be enough.

Who does not require a Visa?

Nationals from Singapore, Maldives and Seychelles do not need a visa under the bilateral agreement. Anyone else is required to have a visa for entry into the country.

How to extend a short visit visa?

A visitor wishing to stay for more than 30 days in this lovely country may apply for an extension. The short visit visa may be extended up to 90 days from the date of arrival at the first instance and a further period of 90 days at the second instance. Please check their website for details on procedures and fees.

Sri Lanka travelling