Sri Lanka visa

Sri Lanka visa

Traveling to Sri Lanka

From UNESCO heritage sites to amazing wildlife adventures and a cricket-loving population, Sri Lanka is a wonderful and unique place to visit. Although the entire country is smaller than Ireland, it is jam-packed with opportunities for tourism and business endeavors. 

Since 2012, it has been mandatory for nearly all nationalities who plan to visit Sri Lanka for a short period to apply for a Sri Lanka electronic travel authorization (eTA), which is an online visa authorization facility. Sri Lankan dual nationals can enter the country visa-free. Citizens of Syria and North Korea are required to apply for a visa at the nearest Sri Lankan embassy or consulate before traveling to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has three types of visas available, Visit, Residence, and Transit that are valid from 48 hours up to one year. Travelers can select the visa type that best suits their unique needs.

Sri Lanka visa types

Sri Lanka offers three types of visas that allow travelers to enter and/or remain in Sri Lanka

  1. Visit Visa
    • This visa type is for all foreign nationals who wish to visit Sri Lanka for short-term tourism or business trips. These visas are valid for 30 days and can be extended for up to 270 days.
      There are two types of Visit Visa available: 
      • Tourist Visa: This short term visa is for tourists traveling to Sri Lanka for the purpose of sightseeing, visiting family, medical treatments, cultural activities, or sporting events.
      • Business Purpose Visa: This single or multiple entry visa is issued to travelers coming to Sri Lanka for short term business trips like attending a conference, conducting a business deal, or meeting stakeholders.
  2. Transit Visa
    • This short-term visa is issued to foreign nationals who are passing through Sri Lanka and wish to visit the country for one or two days. It is valid for just 48 hours. Applicants must have proof of an onward destination. This visa is only required if the applicant intends to leave the airport during their transit.
  3. Residence Visa
    • Sri Lanka also offers thirteen different types of Residence Visas. These are typically issued to students, diplomats, and persons employed in Sri Lanka. The application process for these residency permits differs slightly from the shorter-term visas.

Sri Lanka visa requirements

All applicants for Sri Lanka eTAs will be required to fulfill some basic requirements through the online portal: 

Passport or travel document

The passport or identity document must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival.

A complete application form

The visa application form can be completed and submitted through the online portal.

Valid payment method

This should be in the form of a valid credit or debit card to pay the online visa processing fee.

Valid return ticket

This includes any valid return ticket showing the date the applicant will be departing from Sri Lanka. 

Proof of sufficient funds

Applicants must be able to support themselves for the duration of the trip and show proof of financial means.

Depending on the purpose of their trip, applicants may be asked for additional documentation. They should be sure to check the official list before submitting the electronic visa application.

Sri Lanka visa application steps

Applying for a Sri Lanka visa is very straightforward and can be completed entirely online. All applicants for a Sri Lanka visa will complete the following steps to submit their eTA application:

  1.  Visit the official website

    Applicants can visit The Sri Lanka Electronic Travel Authorization System to get started with their online application

  2. Fill in the eTA application form

    The eTA form can be completed quickly and easily online through the electronic portal.

  3. Pay the eTA processing fee

    Fees should be paid online using a valid credit or debit card. Some alternative options are available on the official website.

  4. Submit the application

    Applicants will receive a receipt of submission shortly after the application is successfully submitted.

There are five options for applicants to submit their eTA applications. They can submit the application themselves, use a third party, apply at a Sri Lanka Overseas Mission office, or apply at the head office of the Department of Immigration and Emigration (DI&E) in Colombo. They can also apply on arrival at the port of entry in Sri Lanka.

Where to apply for Sri Lanka visa

For visits to Sri Lanka lasting one month or less, applicants can obtain the eTA through The Sri Lanka Electronic Travel Authorization System. However, if the applicant plans to stay longer than one month, they can obtain the visa at the Embassy of Sri Lanka. Citizens of Syria and North Korea are also required to apply for a visa at the Sri Lankan embassy.

Sri Lanka visa processing time

Sri Lanka eTAs are typically processed within a few working days. Once the eTA application is submitted and the fees are paid, applicants can expect to see a change in their visa status promptly.

Sri Lanka visa FAQ

How can I apply for a Sri Lanka visa?

Sri Lankan visas can be applied for and obtained through the online portal. Nearly all nationalities must log on to the electronic system, submit the eTA application, pay the visa processing fee, and await a decision.

How much does a Sri Lankan visa cost?

Visas for Sri Lanka can cost between $30 and $200 depending on the applicant’s nationality, purpose of travel, and intended duration of stay. Residence visas are the most expensive visa type.

What documents are required for the Sri Lankan visa?

All applicants must have a valid passport and a means of paying the eTA processing fee. They must also present a return ticket and proof of sufficient funds for the duration of their trip.

Can a Sri Lanka visa be extended?

Yes, travelers can extend a Visit Visa for up to 270 days. The initial visa is valid for 30 days. After that period, visitors can apply for an extension of 60 days the first time and 90 days in the second and third instance. Applications for extension should be submitted in-person to the Department of Immigration and Emigration or through the online visa extension portal

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