Sri Lanka Visa – Application, Types, Fees and Requirements

Are you planning a trip to Sri Lanka or sometime in the future? You will need a Sri Lanka Visa to gain legal entrance into the country. Whether you’re planning a short trip or you hope to immigrate there, read this article to understand what Sri Lanka visa options there are and which one suits you.

Sri Lanka is a stunning nation with breathtaking tropical scenery, unending beaches, and lush landscapes that let visitors blend in with nature. Visiting Sri Lanka should be close to the top of your budget vacation to-do list. Sri Lanka is known for being one of the world’s top tea producers and for its wealth of cinnamon. In 2019, Lonely Planet named it the best country to visit. You could experience it too, but first, you must have your Sri Lankan visa issued by the department of immigration and emigration.

With so many Sri Lanka visa options, you may wonder which one is right for you. This article will discuss all the available types of Sri Lankan visas, the cost, and the requirements.

Sri Lanka Visa

A Sri Lankan visa is a stamp on a passport or similar document that allows non-Sri Lankans to enter the country legally and regulates the length of their stay and the terms of their stay.

Types of Sri Lankan Visas

There are many types of Sri Lankan visas. These different types are categorized based on your reason for visiting the country. The four major Sri Lanka visa programs are;

#1. Sri Lanka Visit Visas

Sri Lanka Visit Visa is authorization for a foreign citizen to enter the country for a short time. The visa specifies the length and terms of the stay. The visit visa has two subcategories. They are:

  • Tourist Visit Visa: This visa is issued by the Sri Lankan government to tourists who want to enter Sri Lanka for sightseeing, excursions, visiting relatives, or yoga training for a brief period.
  • Business Purpose Visa: This visa is issued to foreigners who want to visit Sri Lanka for business purposes for a short period. This visa may be a single-entry or multiple-entry visa. It covers business or business-related activities, business meetings and negotiations, conferences, workshops, seminars, short-term training programs, art, music, dance, religious, and symposiums.

#2. Sri Lanka Residence Visas

A residence visa permits a foreign national to obtain the right to live in Sri Lanka for particular purposes. There are eight subtypes of residence visas, and anyone who receives one must get a Sri Lanka residence permit when they get to the country.

Employment Category:

Foreign nationals who apply for visas in this category usually get a Sri Lanka work visa. This category is for people who satisfy any of the following requirements:

  • Project Professionals needed for state-approved projects, as well as foreign workers hired for projects overseen by Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment (BOI) and their dependents
  • Bank employees and their dependents
  • Volunteers
  • Employees of non-governmental organizations
  • Staff working for a project, establishment, or group supported by diplomatic missions in Sri Lanka
  • Private firm employees and their dependents

Investor category:

The investor category of Sri Lanka visas is for foreign nationals who wish to come and invest money in the Sri Lankan economy. It also covers those coming to engage in various business forms in the country. Those who fall under this category are eligible for the Sri Lankan Investor visa.

Religious Category:

The Sri Lanka religious visa is for clergy members coming to the country on official duty. It could be on a religious mission, transfer, or any other activity that your religious organization permits you to go on.

Student category:

Next, we have the Sri Lanka student visa. This visa program allows you to come into the country and study in a Sri Lankan institution of higher learning. To qualify for this visa, however, you must meet any of the following criteria:

  • You must be a university student
  • Student in a state-approved educational institution
  • Direct relative of a Sri Lankan: this visa category covers:
  • Student of any other institution of learning
  • Sri Lankan spouse holding foreign nationality.
  • Sri LaLankanhild holding foreign nationality

Other Sri Lanka Residence Visas:

#3. Sri Lanka Journalist Visa:

This visa is for journalists or other media professionals who want to go to Sri Lanka for work. They must also provide a list of the equipment they want to bring with them to Sri Lanka in addition to the visa application.

#4. Resident Guest Visa Program:

This visa also has two subcategories under it:

  • Transit Visa: The Sri Lanka transit visa is a travel authorization that allows you to enter Sri Lanka temporarily En route to another country. The aim is that you stop at a Sri Lankan Airport or any other entry port while you wait for a connecting flight to reach your final destination.
  • Gratis Visa: This visa exempts its holder, the holder of a diplomatic or official passport or official passport with a valid diplomatic or official endorsement, from paying any visa fees. However, you must submit an official request through a diplomatic note or any other official communication.

Sri Lanka ETA

An ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) is a formal, electronically-issued authorization for a brief trip to Sri Lanka. The ETA offers a quick, dependable, and uncomplicated procedure for foreigners who want to visit Sri Lanka. Any foreigner who wishes to enter Sri Lanka must get an ETA before doing so. After that, ETA holders will receive a 30-day short visit visa for Sri Lanka at the port of entry.

ETA is issued online electronically. No passport copies, documents, or photographs are required. Upon arrival at the port of entry in Sri Lanka, submit your passport to the immigration officer to obtain the necessary clearance. You should bring a copy of the ETA approval notice with you when you travel.

Types of ETAs

  • ETA for tourists with double entry for 30 days
  • ETA for business purposes with double-entry for 30 days
  • Transit ETA for two days free of charge
  • ETA for media/journalist activities

General Requirements for a Sri Lankan Visa

Like any country, there are several Sri Lanka Visa Requirements you have to meet for the embassy to approve your visa application. These requirements differ by the kind of visa you need. However, they still have some conditions common to all of them. These are;

  1. Sri Lanka Immigration & Emigration has determined that you are qualified to enter Sri Lanka.
  2. Sri Lanka Immigration & Emigration authorizes the purpose for which you are entering Sri Lanka.
  3. You have a passport valid for at least six months after arriving in Sri Lanka.
  4. Sri Lanka Immigration & Emigration is inevitable that you have enough money to cover your living expenses while there and the cost of your return flight.
  5. You have a return ticket to your home country, or if you have a visit visa, a visa to your next destination.
  6. A yellow fever vaccination card, if applicable.

To get your Sri Lankan visa, you must submit your application with the above documents. You can do this at a Sri Lankan diplomatic mission in your country or the port of entry if you get a visa on arrival.

Sri Lanka Visa Fees

The price of a Sri Lankan visa varies according to the visa type and the applicant’s country of citizenship. Note that the visa fee is non-refundable. For citizens from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Countries, the visa fees are:

  • Tourist visa with double-entry for 30 days: $20
  • Business visa with multiple entries for 30 days: $30
  • Transit visa with a single entry for two days: Free

For citizens from all the other countries, the Sri Lankan visa fees are:

  • Tourist visa with double-entry for 30 days: $35
  • Business visa with multiple entries for 30 days: $40
  • Transit visa with a single entry for two days: Free

Sri Lanka Visa Exemptions

The following classes of people are exempt from a Sri Lankan visa when entering the country:

  • Sri Lanka dual citizens
  • Children under 21 years born abroad and whose parents are from Sri Lanka.
  • Singaporean and Maldivian nationals for up to 30 days of travel and business
  • An individual whose passport has a SAARC visa exemption stamp

General conditions of a visit visa

During your visit to Sri Lanka, you should not carry out any other trades or businesses, whether paid or unpaid, than those authorized by the visa.

  • You must use your visa before the date of expiry noted on it.
  • You must enter Sri Lanka during the designated entry period for your visa to remain valid.
  • The immigration officer at the port of arrival retains the right to refuse entry at their discretion.
  • You should contact the Department of Immigration and Emigration if you need to extend your visa.
  • Immigration authorities have complete discretion to revoke, modify, or adjust any terms or conditions included in such a visa.

Frequently asked questions

#1. What types of Sri Lanka ETAs are available?

Only those traveling to Sri Lanka for a brief period on business, vacation, or transit are granted an ETA.

#2. Are Sri Lanka ETAs and e-Visas the same?

Yes, Sri Lanka Electronic Travel Authorization is also called an e-Visa. Find out more about the Sri Lanka e-Visa.

#3. Can I get a Sri Lanka Visa on arrival?

If a visitor is visiting Sri Lanka for either business or tourism, a visa on arrival will be issued by the immigration officers at the port of entry. Visitors who present a copy of their ETA at the port of entry will be granted a visa immediately upon arrival and spared from queuing.

#4. Who needs an ETA for Sri Lanka?

An ETA is sufficient for business and tourism visitors to Sri Lanka if the trip is for fewer than 30 days, no job has been contracted with a company, and the visitor is not a journalist or media personnel.

#5. What can I do if I make a mistake in my application?

You cannot cancel a transaction once it has been processed and made; the payment also cannot be refunded. Therefore, please verify that you input your information accurately. Before confirmation, you must fix any mistakes you may have made. Once you have verified the information, the non-refundable service charge will be deducted from your electronic payment card. If you discover your error later, you must reapply and pay the applicable price.


Getting a Sri Lankan visa is not difficult once you figure out which category to apply for. A few documents are required, and the conditions are pretty straightforward. So, you can get your visa in no time and have a wonderful time exploring the beauty and rich culture of Sri Lanka.

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