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Sri Lanka Visit Visa – Application, Duration and Fees

In 2019, Sri Lanka was voted the number one country to visit. And why not? Sri Lanka’s tropical climate, breathtaking beaches, and unforgettable cuisine are just a few reasons to add this Pearl of the Indian Ocean to your travel list. If these are not enough reasons, then the fact that Sri Lanka Visit Visa is one of the most straightforward and most convenient among other visa types.

Sri Lanka is a South Asian island whose closest neighbor is India, followed by Maldives, Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc. 

In addition, the country has a current population of over 21 million, and out of this number, about 648,000 dwell in Columbo – the nation’s capital city and an ancient port. Although Sinhala is the national language of Sri Lanka, many languages are spoken in the country.

Moreover, you deserve to visit this beautiful country, and the first step is to apply for a Sri Lanka Visit Visa. Luckily for you, the procedure for application is quite simple. One important thing to consider is whether you are eligible for a visa to Sri Lanka and what application method would be suitable. Sri Lanka Visit Visa – Application, Duration, and Fees. Read on.

About the Sri Lanka Visit Visa

Generally, a Sri Lanka Visit Visa is an entry permit given by the Sri Lankan Government to an eligible foreign national who wishes to visit the country for a short stay of about 30 days. Also, you can use the visit visa for tourism and business. Moreover, you can obtain the visit visa in any of these three ways – through an online application (ETA), by a Visa on Arrival (VoA), or through a visit to a Sri Lanka embassy or its representative in the applicant’s country of residence (Consular Visa).

The Sri Lanka ETA for tourists

Foreign nationals from about 170 countries are eligible for a Sri Lanka Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). Besides, they can apply online and get a permit to enter the country within a few hours. Some of these countries are:

  • USA
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • European Union Countries

For such, the complete application process can be done online, and they can print out the permit they will travel to the country.

Sri Lanka Visa on Arriva (VoA)

Only three countries are eligible for a VoA to Sri Lanka

  • The Maldives – suitable for a VoA for 30 days with a possibility of an extension to 150 days
  • Seychelles – qualified for a VoA for 60 days with a chance of an extension to 90 days within one year
  • Singapore – eligible for a VoA for 30 days, with a possibility of an extension to 150 days

Sri Lanka Consular Visa

Foreign nationals who are not eligible for the Sri Lanka ETA or Visa on Arrival must obtain a visit visa by visiting the nearest Sri Lanka embassy or representative in their home country. They are:

  • Afghanistan
  • Cameroon
  • Republic of the Congo
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Cote d’Ivoire
  • Gabon
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Mali
  • Myanmar
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Pakistan
  • Sierra Leone
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Uganda

However, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Ghana citizens who would like to apply for ETA may do so through a Sri Lankan Sponsor from the Head Office of Sri Lanka’s Department of Immigration and Emigration.

Categories of Sri Lanka Visit Visa

The Sri Lanka Visit Visa is grouped under two categories – Visit Visa for Tourism and Visit Visa for Business. Each of the two visa types is for a short stay of 30 days, but extending the visit visa to six months is possible.

Sri Lanka Visit Visa for Tourism

Foreign nationals who wish to visit Sri Lanka for tourism can get a Sri Lanka Visit Visa for Tourism. This is for people visiting the country for sightseeing, relaxation, family visits, or excursions.

Sri Lanka Visit Visa for Business

Foreign nationals who wish to visit Sri Lanka to conduct business in the country must get a Sri Lanka visa. This visa is for a short period but can be issued for single or double entries.

What are the requirements for a Sri Lanka Visit Visa?

If you have the following requirements, you can visit Sri Lanka:

1. A passport with at least six months of validity from the date of entry into Sri Lanka

2. Proof of finance to show that you can fend for yourself during your visit

3. Return flight ticket to prove that you will leave the country after the duration of your visit visa

4. Documents to support your visit. For example, if you are visiting friends or family members, you must show an invitation letter from them. On the other hand, if you are visiting for business, you must have a letter of invitation from a Sri Lankan company where you will conduct the business.

Visa exemptions for Sri Lanka

Technically, all foreign nationals must hold a sort of visa for entry into Sri Lanka. But there are certain types of people who are exempt from this process. They are:

1. Holders of diplomatic, official, or service passports from certain countries

2. Citizens of Sri Lanka who have dual citizenship

3. Children born to Sri Lankan parents who are up to 21 years old, not born in Sri Lanka, and do not reside in the country

4. Children born to Sri Lankan parents who are up to 21 years old, born in Sri Lanka but presently live abroad.

How to Apply for a Sri Lanka Visit Visa

There are two ways to apply for a Sri Lanka Visit Visa, depending on your eligibility – Online Application and Embassy Application. Countries whose citizens can apply online can do this in advance and print out an electronic travel authorization (ETA).

Apply for an ETA to Sri Lanka

Here are the steps to apply for an electronic travel authorization to visit Sri Lanka

Step #1. Go to the official website for the Republic of the Union of Sri Lanka

Step #2. Click on the Apply button

Step #3. Choose the preferred visit category

Step #4. Fill out the ETA visa application form

Step #5. Pay the ETA fees and apply for visa

Step #6. You will receive an acknowledgment of your application. Save and print it out.

When you arrive in Sri Lanka, you must show the ETA to the immigration officer at the point of entry. Also, remember to come along with other requirements mentioned above.

Apply for a visit visa at a Sri Lanka Embassy

If you must visit a Sri Lanka embassy or representative and apply for a visa in advance of your travel, here are the steps to take:

Step #1. Contact the nearest Sri Lanka Embassy or representative in your country of residence

Step #2. Complete the application for a Sri Lanka Visit Visa, and submit it with your visa fee and other required documents to the embassy.

Step #3. The embassy will send your application to the Sri Lankan Department of Immigration and Emigration.

Step #4. You will receive a reference number with which you can track your application, but that may not be necessary because the embassy will notify you of the outcome of your application.

Step #5. You will return to the embassy when you receive the notification and receive your Sri Lanka Visit Visa

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the processing fee for a Sri Lanka Visit Visa?

Consular fees for a Sri Lanka Visit Visa depend on the country you are applying from, but they usually hover between US$ 35 and US$ 40.

ETA fees are as follows:

  • For a single or double-entry visit visa – US$ 35
  • For a multiple-entry visa – US$ 40

It costs higher to get an ETA at the airport on arrival

  • For a single or double-entry visit visa – US$ 40
  • For a multiple-entry visit visa – US$ 50

What is the processing time for a Sri Lanka Visit Visa?

It takes a few hours to process a Sri Lanka ETA (up to 24 hours). However, processing an embassy visit visa takes about three business days.

What is the validity period of a Sri Lanka Visit Visa?

A Sri Lanka ETA is valid for 30 days except for citizens of Seychelles whose visa is valid for 60 days. A Sri Lanka embassy visa is valid for three months.

Can I extend my Sri Lanka Visit Visa?

Yes, you can extend your Visit Visa, depending on the visa type and your country of residence. Most countries can extend their visas twice, from 30 to 90 days, then to a maximum of 180 days. However, citizens of Seychelles can extend for only 90 days in one calendar year, while the Maldives and Singapore can extend to 150 days.

Can I work with my Sri Lanka Visit Visa?

No, the visa does not permit its holder to find employment. This is because a visit visa is not a residence visa, and you can only seek jobs in Sri Lanka when you have the Sri Lanka Residence Visa for Employment.


You may have read a lot about Sri Lanka, but nothing you’d ever read can prepare you for your first sight of this lovely country. Sri Lanka has been through its fair share of terrorist attacks, but they could happen in any other country. However, hotels and malls in the country have stepped up to the occasion by taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of citizens and visitors. If this assurance does not dispel any worries you may have about your safety, you can be sure that the moment you step onto Sri Lankan soil, you will be overwhelmed by the warmth of the natives you encounter. Welcome to Sri Lanka.

Here’s more from the Work Study Visa website.

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