The requirements include:
- The maximum stay limit is for up to 30 days from the date of arrival in Sri Lanka.
- Applicants who want to make a business trip to Sri Lanka can apply for Business visa.
- The tourist visa is issued for double entry and the business visa is issued for multiple entries.
- The details on your visa application will be verified by DI&E (Department of Immigration & Emigration) of Sri Lanka.
- The applicant cannot obtain a new ETA while being in Sri Lanka irrespective of whether the ETA is valid or expired.
- Citizens of the Republic of Singapore, the Republic of Maldives and the Republic of Seychelles can visit Sri Lanka without a visa.
- A passport valid for six months starting from the date of your arrival in Sri Lanka.
- Sufficient financial means to afford your stay in Sri Lanka.
- Proof that you will leave the county before the expiration of your stay period, such as a return ticket.
- Necessary document(s) to prove the purpose of your travel, such as a letter of invitation from a company if you are travelling for business purposes.
- If you want to apply for a residence visa or any long-term visa, you must apply through an embassy because ETA and VoA both will allow you to stay in Sri Lanka for a short period.
Sri Lanka Visa Application
Depending on your nationality, there are three methods to apply for a Sri Lanka visa. These include:
On Arrival- This is free of charge visa given to citizens of a selected few countries. You can obtain this visa at the airport in Sri Lanka.
Through a Website- You can fill out an online application form and obtain a digital visa, also called the Electronic Visa/ETA.
Embassy or Consulate- You’ll have to apply for the relevant visa through the nearest embassy or consulate for a long-term stay in Sri Lanka.
- Applying for a Sri Lanka Visa on Arrival
Citizens of the following countries can obtain a visa on arrival from any designated port of entry in Sri Lanka without paying any fee or charges.
- Maldives (Visa on arrival is issued for 30 days and extendable to 150 days)
- Seychelles (Visa on arrival is issued for 60 days and can be extended for a maximum of 90 days in a year)
- Singapore (Visa on arrival is issued for 30 days and could be extended to 150 days)
- Applying for a Sri Lanka Electronic Travel Authorization – ETA
Except for the nationalities required to apply for a visa through an embassy, travellers can apply for an electronic visa to Sri Lanka, called Electronic Travel Authorization. You can submit the application form from the comfort of your home after filling out personal and travel-related details and paying the visa fees.
You can obtain an ETA within a few hours. Use any credit or debit card (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express) to pay the visa fees when applying. Provide a valid email ID in your application form because the ETA will arrive in your email inbox, which you can get printed and keep in your luggage to show the border control officials.
However, if you are part of a diplomatic mission, you are entitled to apply for an ETA via the Sri Lankan embassy or consulate in your country of residence. This process is similar to obtaining a regular embassy visa.
When you arrive at the airport or any other port of entry in Sri Lanka, along with the ETA, you will have to show your passport, with the required validity date, a confirmed return ticket, and proof of sufficient funds to the border control officials.
ETA is generally issued for tourism and business purposes, and it is a short-term visa. If you intend to stay in Sri Lanka for a long time, seek employment or study in the country, please consult the embassy or consulate for further guidance.
- Applying for a Visa at an Embassy
Here is the list of countries the citizens of which must obtain a visa via an embassy/consulate as they are ineligible to apply for an ETA or VoA.
- Republic of the Congo
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Cote d’Ivoire
- North Korea
- Sierra Leone
You can apply through an embassy just as quickly as you would apply online, and the only difference is that you have to contact and visit your nearest Sri Lankan embassy or consulate. After booking an appointment and identifying the support documents you will have to submit with the visa application, all you have to do is visit the embassy with your passport and other required documents. Once there, you will fill out the application form, pay the visa fee and submit all the documents.
Your application will be forwarded to the Sri Lankan Department of Immigration & Emigration (DI&E), and they will issue a reference number. The embassy, within three business days, will duly notify you about the status of your application. If your application is approved, revisit the embassy to receive the passport with the visa.
The nature of stay, such as single, double, or multiple entries, is determined according to your visa validity. Generally, a visa is valid for three months. Just like the case with ETA, when travelling with a sticker visa, please keep the stamped visa, your passport, a confirmed return ticket and proof of sufficient funds, e.g. bank statement, with you to show them to the immigration officials after you arrive in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Visa Validity
- A Sri Lanka ETA has an initial validity period of 30 days, but it can be extended to up to six months after you arrive in Sri Lanka.
- A Sri Lanka embassy visa will have an initial validity of 3 months and allows single-, double, or multiple entries to the traveller.
- A Sri Lanka transit visa will be issued for 2 days.
Sri Lanka Visa Extension
Sri Lanka visa can be extended easily by applying to the Sri Lankan Department of Immigration’s Visa Section before your current visa expires. Also, you need to have a solid and valid reason to seek an extension on your visa. The maximum period for which your visa can be extended is six months. Here’s what you will need to extend the Sri Lanka visa validity period:
- A passport valid for at least another six months.
- A recent passport-size picture (colored, 3.5 cm x 4.5 cm)
- Proof of financial stability to support your stay in Sri Lanka.
- Proof that you will leave Sri Lanka before the visa extension expires (e.g. a flight ticket)
Sri Lanka Visa Processing Fees
An online visa to Sri Lanka or ETA can be obtained for:
- US$ …. for a single/double-entry visa
- US$ …… for a multiple-entry visa
There are no charges for a transit visa.
The ETA price would be higher if you decided to get it at the airport. Here’s the cost of obtaining an ETA at the airport.
- US$ …. for single/double-entry visa
- US$ …. for multiple-entry visa.
For Sri Lanka, sticker visas issued by the embassy/consulate are subject to change from country to country.
In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic that has gripped every country in the world since 2020, Sri Lanka has imposed certain entry/exit guidelines for travellers. As per the recent changes to the entry/exit requirements, only fully vaccinated tourists can stay in any type of accommodation in Sri Lanka without taking an on-arrival PCR test.
If the traveller is not fully vaccinated, as per the latest health guidelines issued by the Sri Lanka Health Ministry, the traveller will have to reserve a safe and secure certified Level o1 hotel for quarantining. Then they will have to seek approval from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) for staying at the level o1 hotel.
Visitors from Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, and Ghana intending to apply for ETA can also apply through a Sri Lankan Sponsor from the Department of Immigration & Emigration, Sri Lanka’s head office.