A trip to Sri Lanka should definitely be on your bucket list. The perfect way to see everything Sri Lanka has to offer is by a 3-week travel route. Sri Lanka is a country with beautiful nature, magical sunset, rich wildlife, and exciting culture. But before you can experience all this you have to do some boring paperwork. This is a guide with everything you need to know about getting a visa for Sri Lanka. It can be a complicated process but we have tried to make it as simple as possible.
Disclaimer: You should always double-check with local authorities as the visa situation might change.
Are you required to get a visa for Sri Lanka?
The process of getting a visa can be very complicated. Whether you need a visa or not can sometimes be difficult to understand.
When traveling to Sri Lanka most visitors are required to have a visa. The only exceptions concerns citizens of The Republic of Singapore, The Republic of Maldives, and The Republic of Seychelles. That means that if you are not from these countries you are required to have a visa before entering Sri Lanka.
Choosing a visa for Sri Lanka
Before you can get any further with your application for a visa for Sri Lanka you must decide which one suits you and your planned travels the best. You can choose between a tourist visa, a business visa, and a transit visa.
Tourist Visa for Sri Lanka
The tourist visa for Sri Lanka is valid for 30 days. This means that you are only allowed to be in the country for 30 days. With the tourist visa, you get a double entry. That means that you can leave the country and come back once within the 30 days your visa applies.
We had this kind of visa during our trip to Sri Lanka.
Business Visa for Sri Lanka
The business visa for Sri Lanka is valid for 30 days and has a double entry as well. You should apply for this kind of visa when you are traveling to Sri Lanka for work. Meaning if you attend a meeting, seminars, training programs, workshops, or conferences this is categorized as work and therefore you apply for a business visa for your Sri Lanka trip.
Transit Visa for Sri Lanka
A transit visa for Sri Lanka is only valid for 2 days and has a single entry. This kind of visa is therefore perfect for a layover.
Applying for a visa for Sri Lanka
There are more ways to apply for a visa for Sri Lanka. The two most common ways are to apply online or on arrival in Sri Lanka.
The best way to apply for a visa for Sri Lanka is by doing it online as an electronic visa (ETA). Applying online is efficient as well as quite simple. It can either be done by yourself or by a third party.
When applying for your ETA for Sri Lanka you must fill out a form with your details. Therefore, you should have your passport on hand. When filling out the form you need your flight details as well as the address of your first accommodation. Afterward, the approval will be sent directly to your email. And a few days later you will, if it’s approved, receive your ETA.
It’s always a good idea to at least apply for a visa 1-2 weeks before your trip. That way you are sure to get the visa. As well as figuring out what to do if it’s not approved. After receiving your visa for Sri Lanka, you can enter the country within 3 months of the date of the issue of the visa.
Order your visa for Sri Lanka online right here.
If you don’t want to apply for an ETA to Sri Lanka it’s possible to obtain the visa on arrival at the port of entry in Sri Lanka. The things you should be aware of when applying for a visa on arrival is that there may be additional fees as well as there is the possibility that your application can get rejected.
The price of a Sri Lanka visa
The prices of a Sri Lanka visa vary whether you are a citizen of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries or all other countries. The following prices are for citizens of all the other countries. If you want to know the prices for SAARC-countries you can find them right here.
|Visa type||Price online||Price on arrival|
|Tourist Visa||35 USD||40 USD|
|Business Visa||40 USD||50 USD|
In addition to the prices of the visas, you are required to pay processing fees. These fees are the same whether you apply for the visa online or on arrival. The processing fees for a Sri Lanka visa are as follows:
|Visa type||Processing fee|
|Tourist Visa||35 USD|
|Business Visa||40 USD|
Requirements for a visa in Sri Lanka
When applying for a visa for Sri Lanka there are some requirements.
- Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months upon your entry into Sri Lanka.
- You need a confirmed return (plane)ticket or (plane)ticket to your next destination.
- And lastly, you need sufficient funds to meet your expenses during your stay.
Extra tip: We would always recommend you print out your visa (if you have applied online), as well as your plane ticket, and your bank statement.
Read more: 8 Great Things you must do in Sri Lanka
Visa extension in Sri Lanka
If you end up loving Sri Lanka as much as we do you don’t have to worry. It’s possible to extend your 30-day visa to a maximum extension of 6 months. If you want to make an extension to your visa you must follow the following steps before your visa expires:
- Fill out this form.
- Take the filled out form to the Head Office of the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Colombo.
For your visit to the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Colombo you need to bring:
- Passport photo.
- Evidence of a return plane ticket (or a ticket for onward travel).
- The address and telephone number of your place of accommodation.
- Cash or credit card to pay the extension fees.