Do I Need Visa For Sri Lanka

Do I need visa for Sri Lanka? Yes, citizens of most countries are required to have a visa before traveling to the Sri Lanka,Check out the visa requirements below to find out if you need visa for Sri Lanka and what type of visa is suitable for you.

Visas are a necessary requirement for most people, other than the citizens of the few countries that do not require a visa to enter Sri Lanka. Most people need a visa to travel to Sri Lanka. So the first thing you must decide is whether you need a visa or not.

Sri Lanka is an island country in the Indian Ocean, south of India. It has been called “the pearl of the Indian Ocean” and the “cultural heart of Asia.” The British and Dutch colonial periods left a lasting impact. Nearly 75% of Sri Lankan citizens and 46% of the Sri Lankan Civil Service are Tamil, who form one of the most powerful groups in Sri Lanka. The other ethnic groups include Sri Lankan Moors (descendants of Arab traders), Indian Tamils (the majority), Sinhalese and Burghers (descendants of European colonists) 13. The country also has a number of small ethnic minorities: Veddas, Malaysians and the Portuguese Burgher people such as Goans, Armenians, Jews, and Europeans such as Italians and Dutch 14 .

Do I Need Visa For Sri Lanka

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Do I Need a Visa for Sri Lanka?

Yes, everyone needs some form of visa before they are allowed to travel or enter Sri Lanka. However, for a large number of people, getting a Sri Lanka visa is fairly easy, as it is possible to apply online (Electronic Travel Authorization) or on arrival at the airport.

A smaller group of countries will have to apply for a Sri Lanka visa at an Embassy as they are not eligible for the ETA or visa on arrival.

Sri Lanka Visa Requirements

The requirements to get a Sri Lanka visa are:

  • You have a passport that’s valid for at least another six months from the date of entry.
  • You have enough financial means to sustain yourself during your stay.
  • You have proof that you will leave Sri Lanka before your allowed time is up (e.g. a flight ticket).
  • You have the necessary documents to prove the purpose of your trip. For example, a letter of invitation from a company if you are travelling for business.
  • If you are applying for a residence, long-term visa for Sri Lanka, the embassy you are applying in will notify you about the documents you have to submit.

Three Ways of Submitting a Sri Lanka Visa Application

Depending on what country you are from, there are three ways you can apply for a Sri Lanka visa:

  • On arrival. This is a free-of-charge visa which citizens of a limited number of countries can get at the airport on Sri Lanka.
  • Through the official website.
  • At the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Sri Lanka.

Find the methods of Sri Lanka visa application detailed below, including who can apply for which.

1.  Applying for a Sri Lanka Visa on Arrival

Citizens of the following countries can get a Sri Lanka visa on arrival at the port of entry, free of charge:

  • Maldives (can get a Sri Lanka visa on arrival for 30 days, extendable to 150 days)
  • Seychelles (can get a Sri Lanka visa on arrival for 60 days for a maximum of 90 days in a single year)
  • Singapore (can get a Sri Lanka visa on arrival for 30 days, extendable to 150 days)

2.  Applying for a Sri Lanka Visa Online (Electronic Travel Authorization – ETA)

Everyone (except citizens of countries which must apply for an Embassy visa) can apply for a Sri Lanka visa online. This is known as an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) and you can get it:

  • From your home before you travel.
    • You can submit the Sri Lanka ETA application directly to the Immigration Department via the official website (here).
    • Pay the fee and wait for the ETA to be processed. This usually takes about an hour. You can pay the fee only via Visa, Master and American Express Cards
    • You will receive the outcome of your application via email or you can check the status on the official website using the confirmation number you receive after submitting the application.
  • After you arrive at the airport in Sri Lanka. There are ETA issuing counter at the port of entry in Sri Lanka. However, this is not recommended as you will be required to wait in line so that you can complete the application and pay the fee. If you get it beforehand, you can simply show it to the immigration officers and enter the country.
  • From one of the diplomatic missions of Sri Lanka. You can apply for an ETA with the help of the Sri Lankan embassy or consulate in your country. The application to get a Sri Lanka ETA from the embassy is similar to getting a regular embassy visa.

Once you arrive at the entry port in Sri Lanks, you have to show the ETA to the Immigration officers, along with:

  • Your passport, which has to be valid for at least another six months
  • A confirmed return ticket.
  • Enough funds to cover your stay.

Please note: You have to apply for an embassy visa if you intend to travel to Sri Lanka for a long-term period, such as work or family reunification. You can get an Electronic Travel Authorization only if you are travelling for tourism, business, or transit.

3.  Applying for Sri Lanka Visa at an Embassy

If you are from one of the countries listed below, you have to apply for a Sri Lanka visa at the nearest Sri Lankan embassy or consulate:

  • 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

Application process

The application process for a Sri Lanka visa at an Embassy goes through these simple steps:

  1. You have to contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Sri Lanka. You can find the list of Sri Lanka diplomatic missions abroad here.
  2. Complete the Sri Lanka application form and submit it to the embassy or consulate along with the visa fee, your passport, and the required documents.
  3. The embassy/consulate will forward your application to the Sri Lankan Department of Immigration & Emigration (DI&E).
  4. You will receive a visa application reference number. The embassy/consulate will notify you when your application has been processed. This usually takes about three working days.
  5. You go back to the embassy/consulate and receive your passport with the Sri Lanka visa attached.

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