Sri Lanka Transit Visa – Eligibility, Validity and Application

Do you want to pass through Sri Lanka to other countries? Then, you must learn how to apply for a Sri Lanka Transit Visa. Travellers travelling to the neighbouring country don’t need to worry as the Sri Lanka Transit Visa covers them.

Sri Lanka is a gorgeous island country situated in the Indian Ocean. The Sri Lankan government offers a transit visa for travellers in transit to another country. The transit visa is valid for up to 72 hours and allows the traveller to stay in Sri Lanka.

In this article, we’ll explain who is eligible for a Sri Lanka transit visa, how long it is valid, and how to apply for one.

What You Should Know About Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a nation in the South Asian part of the world. The land, formerly known as Ceylon, has its capital in Colombo. As of 2020, the country’s population is around 22 million, with Sinhala and Tamil as official languages. Sri Lanka is a developing country, and most of its population depends on agriculture as a livelihood.

One of the ways to enjoy yourself in the country is to climb Sigiriya. When you’re coming down from the 40m high area, you’ll sight some of the finest examples of South-Asian apsara painting. The painting is popularly known as the Sigiriya ladies. Additionally, you can ride the rails to Ella. It’s considered the most beautiful Hill Country rail route in the country. With this iconic trip, you will be able to pass through the tea country with your feet dangling from the carriage doorways.

While stopping at the airport, you can use your Sri Lanka transit visa to get up close to wild elephants in a National park. Elephants usually perform functions like working on a tea plantation, running wild in the national park, or leading the Esala Perahera parade in Kandy. Furthermore, tea lovers will want to visit a tea empire in Nuwara Eliya. The fantastic thing is that you can buy your tea samples and take them home.

What is Sri Lanka Transit Visa?

A Sri Lanka Transit Visa is an entry permit that allows foreigners to gain entrance into Sri Lanka for a short period which is incidental and during their journey to another destination. Please note that foreigners that won’t leave the airport don’t need to apply for a transit visa.

If you are visiting Sri Lanka for more than 48 hours, you will have to pay an ETA processing fee of USD 35.00. The processing time for a Sri Lanka Transit Visa is one to two business days. You can pay the Sri Lanka transit visa fee by cash/money orders/bank drafts /cheques.

Sri Lanka Transit Visa Requirements

If you plan to transit through Sri Lanka, you can obtain a Sri Lanka Transit Visa on arrival for up to 48 hours by presenting the following documents to Immigration Officers:

#1. Sri Lanka Transit Visa Application

A duly filled ETA application form is a vital part of Sri Lanka transit visa requirements for Indian citizens. After filling it out online on the official ETA website, you can print it out. Alternatively, you can submit it physically at the embassy in your home country.

#2. Valid Passport

A legal passport is essential for Australian citizens applying for a Sri Lankan transit visa. It should be legal for six months after entry into Sri Lanka. It’s also advisable to obtain a scanned copy of the passport information page.

#3. Passport-size Photographs

Two recent passport-size pictures are part of Sri Lanka transit visa requirements for Indian citizens. With a dimension of 2 by 2 inches, the photographs should be in colour and must be taken in clear full-face view. It should also be in portrait style, with both ears visible. The applicants must take it on a plain white or off-white background, visibly shot in coloured dress and neutral facial expression.

#4. Proof of future travel

Your air ticket within the next 24 hours should serve as a piece of evidence for future travel. It’ll help to demonstrate that you’re passing through the country to other destinations.

#5. Sri Lanka Transit Visa Fee

Applicants that want to stay more than 48 hours in Sri Lanka will have to pay a Sri Lanka Transit Visa fee.

How to obtain a Sri Lanka Transit Visa

To apply for this Visa, the applicants should follow these steps carefully:

#Step 1. Follow the link to access the visa application website.

First, please visit the site of the application for visas. Once you are on the site, follow the instructions detailed there.

#Step 2. Click the Apply Now button.

Go to the white button and select Sri Lanka’s transit visa application. Then, you will see a form to apply for a Sri Lanka Transit Visa.

#Step 3. Complete the Sri Lanka Transit Visa application form.

Take the time to apply for a Sri Lanka Transit visa online so that you can finish the process. Just provide the necessary details, or they won’t permit you to the next stage. The immigration agency could deny that even if you prefer to enter the country. However, the requirements entail the applicant’s name, place of birth, country of origin, and travel destination.

#Step 4. Complete the payment for the Sri Lanka visa fee.

The Visa Processing Charge is what you must pay with a credit or debit card online. The applicant must make the price, and your passport must be approved before receiving your Sri Lankan transit permit.

#Step 5. Wait for the Visa to be processed.

The time it takes for Sri Lanka to issue a visa online could vary between one to two business days. It is because you must provide the complete documents before obtaining your permit. You also need to make payment on time. You’ll get the transit eTA for Sri Lanka when your application is approved at your current email address. With your transit eTA, you can be on your way to passing through Sri Lanka.

How can I extend a Sri Lanka Transit Visa?

You can’t extend your Sri Lanka Transit Visa. You must apply for another type of Sri Lanka visa if you wish to stay for more than 48 hours. For instance, if you want to enjoy the unique places in the country, you should apply for a Sri Lanka tourist visa quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a transit visa at Colombo airport?

Yes, travellers can apply for a transit visa on arrival at the Colombo airport.

Can you exit the airport during a layover in Sri Lanka?

Yes, if your layover is between 8 hours to 24 hours. For instance, you might have a 14 hours overnight layover while going to the Maldives. However, you can stay at the Colombo airport’s transit hotel. Due to security reasons, you won’t have to wander the streets of Colombo at night.

In contrast, you can convert your layover to a relaxing beach stay. You can also engage in wildlife tours, cultural tours, historical monuments, shopping, etc. Going for the Colombo city tour, you’ll get to explore the city’s colourful history. Apart from that, you’ll be able to visit places such as temples, churches, forts, and other ancient structures.

Where can I sleep at Sri Lanka airport?

Based on the review, you can sleep comfortably in the airside area of the Colombo airport. It has a calmer vibe, better air conditioning, and numerous seats. Furthermore, it would be best to look for the area close to Gates 5-8. It’s advisable to avoid the landside area because of the crowd. Please note that you’ll need mosquito repellant to counter mosquitoes. As earlier stated, you can also stay at the Serenediva Transit Hotel inside the airport. It’s situated on the 2nd level near the immigration counters.

Are there showers at Colombo airport?

No, but if you are staying at the Serenediva Transit Hotel, you can enjoy complete shower services. It will cost each person $15. With this service, you will enjoy showering with shampoo, shower gel, conditioner, body lotion, dental kit, shaving kit, and so on. If you are security conscious, you’ll get a lockable cupboard to keep your property safe.

Is Sri Lanka safe to pass through?

Yes, it is safe to pass through Sri Lanka. However, it would be best to be careful of petty crime because the rate is high. Since you’re just passing through the country, you don’t need to worry about the current economic crisis in the country. Lastly, avoid scams and fraud while you’re at the airport. Keep your credit card safe at all times.


In conclusion, travellers who wish to stopover in Sri Lanka en route to another destination can apply for a transit visa. This type of Visa is legal for up to 72 hours and allows the holder to enter Sri Lanka one time. To use, travellers must have a passport valid for at least six months from the date of arrival in Sri Lanka, a confirmed onward ticket, and proof of ETA processing fee.

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