Sri Lanka Work Visa
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Sri Lanka Work Visa – Documents needed and Applications

Sri Lanka is a fast-paced environment and a more relaxed lifestyle tropical paradise for foreigners to work. But you may need to apply and obtain a Sri Lanka work visa to work in this country.

There are plenty of opportunities for those looking for work in Sri Lanka. From teaching English to working in the health sector, tourism, or manufacturing industry, there’s something for everyone. Also, the cost of living is relatively low, so you can easily save up to live in the comfort of your own.

However, to obtain a Sri Lanka work visa, you must apply and submit the required documents to the relevant authority in the country. This article will guide you on how to apply for a work visa, its requirements, and other helpful information.

About Sri Lanka 

Sri Lanka is an island country off India’s southern coast. The country is home to various cultures, languages, and religions.

It is a popular destination for its beautiful beaches, lush landscapes, and friendly people. Despite its small size, it has a rich history and culture shaped by its unique geographical location.

With a rapidly growing economy and a recent influx of foreign investment, Sri Lanka is poised to become a major player on the global stage in job openings for talented individuals who need a job.

What is a Sri Lanka Work Visa?

It is a legal document granted to eligible foreign nationals to work in Sri Lanka.

It is also called a Residence visa, valid for up to a year. However, if the holder wishes to stay longer than a year in the country, It is possible to extend the visa before it expires. For example, if you are employed as a director in a company or organization in Sri Lanka, your work visa is valid for two years before you renew it.

You can apply for a residence visa when you arrive in the country. Therefore, you must first apply for an entry visa through the Sri Lanka embassy or consulate in your country.

You will be guided at the embassy on the requirements for an entry visa concerning your purpose of visit.

Meanwhile, you may not need the entry visa if your country enjoys Sri Lanka visa-free entry or ETA. You check the list below to know if your country is eligible for electronic travel authorization (ETA) or exempted from the Sri Lanka visa application.

Sri Lanka ETA eligible countries 

  • Australia
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • China
  • Ireland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • Singapore*
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • Ukraine
  • The United Kingdom,
  • The United States
  • All European Union citizens

Note that citizens from Maldives, Singapore, and Seychelles are issued visas on arrival in Sri Lanka. This means that the citizens do not need to apply for a Sri Lanka visa before living in their country.

Citizens from Maldives and Singapore can stay up to thirty days in the country before applying for a visa; you can extend it to one hundred and fifty days. Seychelles citizens can stay up to sixty days and an extension for another ninety days.

So if you are a citizen from any country above, lucky you because it is not necessary to apply for an entry visa again, you will only focus on how to obtain a Sri Lanka Work Visa.

Documents required to apply for a Sri Lanka Work Visa

If you get to Sri Lanka, these are the documents you need to apply for a Sri Lanka Work Visa.

  • An employment letter or contract letter from your employer in Sri Lanka
  • A Board of Investment (BOI) certificate from your employer in Sri Lanka
  • A copy of your traveling passport bio-data page
  • Your employer’s company registration certificate in Sri Lanka
  • A recommendation from the respective Ministry in Sri Lanka

How to apply for.a Sri Lanka Work Visa 

The application procedure is straightforward, and you can complete it in a few days; find below the following steps.

Firstly, visit the Immigration and Emigration Department in Sri Lanka to pick up the residence visa application form; you can also download the form from the official website.

Secondly, you Pay the work visa application fee of thirty US dollars and collect the receipt.

Thirdly, you fill out the application form with your details and ensure they are genuine and verifiable. Then attach all the documents listed above and the receipt for the application fee to the form in the self-addressed envelope.

Then you return to the immigration office to submit your credentials to the officer in charge.

You wait a while for the immigration to verify your documents, process your application and notify you when it is approved.

Processing Time for Sri Lanka Work Visa 

It takes up to eight weeks for the immigration office to process your application. The time starts when you submit your work visa application to the authority. The application’s speed is determined by the number of applications available to process and the ease of verifying the documents.

Nonetheless, you can contact the office via mail to know the status of your work visa application.

Sri Lanka working policies for employees 

Sri Lanka has favorable working conditions and benefits for the employees, so efficiency and productivity will be guaranteed.

The working condition includes:

  • A worker is paid a minimum of ten thousand Sri Lankan Rupee in a month or four hundred Sri Lankan Rupee daily as wages or salary.
  • A maximum of 45 working hours weekly or 9 hours daily excluding launch break or its equivalent. But if a worker is fifteen years the maximum working hour is 12 hours, it should start after six o’clock in the morning and end before six o’clock in the evening. The maximum overtime is twelve hours weekly.
  • Payment for salaries or wages is made daily, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly but must be on a working day. A personal income tax is deducted by your employer based on pay as you earn principles of taxation. The retirement age is fifty-five years.

A worker is entitled to up to 125 public holidays in a year. The public holidays are :

  • Tamil Thai Pongal Day
  • Duruthu Full Moon Poya Day
  • National Day
  • Navam Full Moon Poya Day
  • Mahasivarathri Day
  • Madin Full Moon Poya Day
  • Holi
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Sunday
  • Sinhala and Tamil New Year’s Eve
  • Bak Full Moon Poya Day
  • May Day
  • Eid Ul-Fitr
  • Vesak Full Moon Poya Day
  • The day following Vesak Full Moon Poya Day
  • June Solstice season
  • Eid Ul-Alpha
  • Poson Full Moon Poya Day
  • Binara Full Moon Poya Day
  • September Equinox season
  • Vap Full Moon Poya Day
  • Deepavali
  • III Full Moon Poya Day
  • Unduvap Full Moon Poya Day
  • December Solstice season
  • Nikini Full Moon Poya Day
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day

Note that banks enjoy all the public holidays, Saturdays, and Sundays but work on season days, except they fall on weekends.

 Employees leave entitlement

You will also be entitled to the leave listed below accordingly with pay.

  • Annual leave for up to fourteen days.
  • Casual leave valid for seven days in a year
  • Eighty-four days of maternity leave for female employees with an additional nursing break after the resumption. The leave is reduced to forty-two working days for subsequent child delivery.
  • Seven (7) days of sick leave in a year.
  • Paternity leaves are valid for three working days and must be taken three months from the date of birth of the child.

In addition, the duration of the leave listed below is granted at the discretion of the employer.

  • Marriage Leave
  • Adoption Leave
  • Childcare Leave
  • Death Leave
  • Work-Related Injury Leave
  • Duty leave

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the high-paid jobs in Sri Lanka?

There are many high-paying jobs in Sri Lanka and positions in the fields like engineering, medicine, and law. In addition, there are many opportunities for high-paying jobs in the private sector, particularly in banking and finance.

What is the cost of living in Sri Lanka?

The cost of living in Sri Lanka is relatively low compared to other countries. The average monthly expenses for a single person is around $300, while a family of four can expect to spend up to $950. It includes food, housing, transportation, and utilities. The costs will vary depending on your lifestyle and where you live in the country.

What is the weather condition in Sri Lanka?

The climate of Sri Lanka is tropical and consists of monsoonal flows. The southwest monsoon occurs from May to October, while the northeast monsoon takes place from December to March. Averagely, the temperatures range from 17-25 degrees Celsius.

What is the minimum educational requirement for a job in Sri Lanka?

The requirement for employment in Sri Lanka is a high school diploma, but many jobs require additional training or experience.

What do I need to consider before visiting Sri Lanka?

There are a few things to consider before visiting Sri Lanka, the climate, your travel insurance, and what vaccinations you may need.


In conclusion, if you plan to work in Sri Lanka, it is necessary to be aware of the documents and application procedures needed to obtain a Sri Lanka work visa. The process may seem daunting at first, but by following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure a smooth and successful application.

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