While planning for trips is usually fun and exciting, visas are sure to put a stump in the process. Here is a guide that hopes to answer all your questions. Sri Lanka is a beautiful country to spend your days lazing around in, and rest assured, it also has a pretty straightforward visa process.

1. Types Of Visas Required For A Short Visit To Sri Lanka

There are three types of short-stay visas for entry into Sri Lanka – tourist, business and transit. A tourist visa is for people who visit Sri Lanka for a vacation. A business visa caters to foreigners who visit for business meetings or transactions, and a transit visa lets travelers pass through on their way to another country.

2. Basics of ETA

As of 2012, Sri Lanka introduced ETA, an electronic travel authorization (e-visa) by the government to enter the country with the intent of a short stay. Instead of visiting an embassy or consulate, a visa can be applied for through their official online web portal.

3. ETA Visa Allocations

Anyone on a short visit to Sri Lanka needs to present an ETA on arrival. Citizens of the Republic of Maldives, Republic of Singapore and the Republic of Seychelles are exempted from presenting ETA.

4. ETA Application Process

All you need to do is fill an application form on the website, pay a fee and hit apply. You will then receive an acknowledgement or a referral code. Upon arrival in Sri Lanka, visitors must present the printout of the ETA approval to the immigration officer along with the passport. He will then issue a short-stay visa. The entire process is quite hands-on and hassle-free. An ETA visa can be applied two months prior to the journey date. Once you’ve applied, your ETA visa should be obtained within 24 hours.

5. Documents Required

It is advisable to carry the following documents:

  • Passport with six months validity
  • Print out of the ETA
  • Confirmed Round trip flight ticket
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover expenses in Sri Lanka
  • Confirmed accommodation
  • Your recent passport size (4.5cm x 3.5cm) color photographs

6. Tourist ETA Visa Validity

A tourist ETA visa has an initial validity of 30 days. You will have to visit the Immigration Department in Colombo in need of an extension.

7. ETA Visa Fee Structure

The fee for a tourist visa is $65 for SAARC countries and 75$ for others. It costs around 4,500 INR for Indians. The visa fee has to be paid in cash at the Embassy. Applicants under 12 years of age are exempt from fee payment, but should obtain a visa.

8. Tourist Visa Extension Requirements

While the initial ETA visa is valid for 30 days, it can be extended, so you can enter the country twice with an extension of 30 days each time. Applications for extension must be applied at the Department of Immigration. As extensions can take a while to process, be sure to account for the extra time.  

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