The island jewel of Sri Lanka in the heart of the Indian Ocean has much to offer. From imposing temples and UNESCO World Heritage Sites to paradisiacal beaches and abundant wildlife. However, before you can explore this wonderful country, you will need to apply for a “Sri Lanka Visa“. This guide will provide you with all the necessary information and help you apply for your “Sri Lanka Visa” without any hassle.
Table of contents
1. Sri Lanka visa overview
1.1 Who needs a visa?
Whether you are visiting Sri Lanka as a tourist, traveling on business, or just passing through the country, you will need a visa. Nationals of all countries except Singapore, Maldives and Seychelles must apply for a visa to enter Sri Lanka.
1.2 Types of visas for Sri Lanka
There are several types of visas depending on the purpose of your visit to Sri Lanka:
- Tourist visa: This visa is intended for travelers who wish to visit the country for vacation purposes. It is valid for a stay of up to 30 days and can be extended twice.
- Business visa: If you are in Sri Lanka on business, you must apply for a business visa. It has the same validity period as the tourist visa, but requires additional documents such as an invitation letter from a Sri Lankan company.
- Transit Visa: This visa is for travelers passing through Sri Lanka and staying in the country for less than 48 hours.
1.3 Period of validity and extension of the visa
A normal tourist visa for Sri Lanka is usually valid for a stay of up to 30 days. If you wish to stay longer, you can extend your visa. The application for extension should be made at the immigration office in Sri Lanka.
1.4 Requirements for the visa
To apply for a visa to Sri Lanka you will need the following documents:
- Valid passport: Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond your intended departure date.
- Return or onward ticket: You must be able to prove that you plan to leave the country, either by a return ticket or a ticket to a third country.
- Proof of sufficient financial means: You must be able to prove that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay in Sri Lanka.
1.5 Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA)
The ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) is an online visa system that allows travelers to apply and receive their visa online. Processing usually takes no longer than 24 hours.
1.6 Visa on arrival
While the ETA system is the most convenient and popular, Sri Lanka also offers a “visa on arrival”. However, this option is rather time-consuming and may involve additional fees.
2. Step by step visa application guide
Step 1: Preparation of the required documents
You will need a valid passport that is valid for at least six months beyond your intended departure date. You will also need a digital passport photo and a credit or debit card to pay the fee.
Step 2: Fill out the online form
Go to the official ETA website and fill out the application form. Make sure you enter all the information correctly to avoid delays or rejections.
Step 3: Payment of the fee
After you have filled out the form, you will be directed to pay the visa fee. The fee varies depending on the type of visa and your nationality.
Step 4: Receiving the ETA
After processing, which usually takes no more than 24 hours, you will receive your ETA by e-mail. Print it out and keep it for your trip.
Step 5: Entering Sri Lanka
Upon arrival in Sri Lanka, you will need to show your ETA and passport. Depending on the country you are entering from, additional documents may be required.
3. Sri Lanka Visa Frequently Asked Questions
3.1 Can I extend my visa for Sri Lanka?
Yes, it is possible to extend your tourist visa for Sri Lanka. To do this, you must submit an application to the Immigration Department in Sri Lanka. The extension is possible for a maximum of six months.
3.2 What happens if I lose my visa?
If you lose your visa, you should contact the nearest Sri Lanka embassy or consulate as soon as possible. They will help you to get a replacement ETA.
4. Practical tips and advice
Here are some tips that can help you make the Sri Lanka visa application process smoother:
- Apply for your visa early: It is always advisable to apply for your visa early to avoid possible delays.
- Keep a copy of your visa: It is a good idea to have a copy of your visa with you in case you lose the original.
- Check the requirements regularly: Visa requirements can change, so it is important to check them regularly.
Applying for a visa to Sri Lanka may seem complicated at first glance, but with the right preparation and information, the process will be smooth and uncomplicated. With your “Sri Lanka visa” in your pocket, nothing will stand in the way of your journey of discovery to this beautiful country!
Remember that it is always important to plan your trip well and have all the necessary documents ready. We wish you a safe and unforgettable trip to Sri Lanka!