• Sri Lanka
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  • Sri Lanka

Visa General


The objective of “Sri Lankan Visa” is to facilitate the legal entry of non Sri Lankans and to regulate the period of their stay and the conditions governing their stay.


Competent Authority for issuing Sri Lankan visas is the Department of Immigration and Emigration. On behalf of the Department of Immigration and Emigration, the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Ankara (and other Sri Lanka Diplomatic Missions) has been authorized to issue visas.  


A visitor should obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization / short term visa to visit Sri Lanka for a short term for tourism, business or transit purposes.

Short Term Visa

A Visit Visa is an entry permit signifying the consent of the Sri Lankan Government for the admission of a foreign national to the country.  The Visa contains details of the period of time and the condition/s of the stay. 

Following sub-categories come under visit visas: 

1. Tourist visit Visa 

A Tourist Visa is issued to bona-fide tourists who wish to visit Sri Lanka for tourism purposes. 

2. Business visit Visa 

A Business Purpose Visa is issued to foreign nationals who visit Sri Lanka for business purposes for short period of time. This visa may be issued for single, double or multiple journeys.

3. Transit visa

Transiting through Sri Lanka 

Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA)

Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) is an online system which provides official authorization for short visits (up to 30 days), and is issued electronically. Those who wish to undertake short-term visits must obtain an ETA prior to their arrival in Sri Lanka.ETA has to be applied via official ETA website http://www.eta.gov.lk

When applying ETA by third parties, payments are to be made through the arrangement made in the website www.eta.gov.lk and an acknowledgement of ETA application should be obtained. Any payments made to other websites or agencies are not valid to process a valid ETA. Therefore, always ensure that the payments made by accessing Sri Lanka ETA website and avoid making repayment at the port of entry to Sri Lanka.

All applicants except children below 12 years of age and transit passengers who enter Sri Lanka up to 48 hours, have to pay an ETA Processing Fee online.

The ETA facility has been extended to all nationalities except those of Republic of Maldives, the Republic of Singapore and the Republic of Seychelles, who on the basis of reciprocity, are exempt from the requirement of obtaining ETA to visit Sri Lanka.

There is no requirement to endorse the ETA on the passport.

The applicants themselves or a third party on their behalf can apply for ETA by submitting an ETA application online via the ETA website.

It is advisable to keep a copy of the ETA approval notice with the traveler to be produced at the port of entry in Sri Lanka.

For last minute travelers who need to visit Sri Lanka on transit purpose without prior ETA approval, a limited facility to obtain ETA at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo is available. An additional fee of US$ 5 will apply.

More information on ETA 

More information on visit visas 



Diplomatic and Official Visas

Diplomatic or Official Passport holders intending to visit Sri Lanka for official purposes should forward their ETA applications to the Department of Immigration & Emigration through the relevant Sri Lanka Diplomatic Mission. They are advised to complete the relevant application (download application here) and submit it to Sri Lanka Embassy in Ankara, Turkey with a Note Verbal from the relevant Mission/International Organization/Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey and the invitation from the relevant Organization in Sri Lanka confirming that the visit is official.

While Gratis ETA and visa endorsement will be issued by the Embassy for Diplomatic and Official passport holders to travel to Sri Lanka for Official purposes, Diplomatic and Official Passport holders also should follow the normal ETA application procedure applicable for tourists for their personal visits i.e. should apply for ETA online by paying the relevant ETA processing fee.

Visa for Journalists

All media personnel intending to visit Sri Lanka should obtain a visa from the relevant Sri Lanka Embassy/High Commission/Consulate prior to their arrival in Colombo.

Media personnel should not apply for or enter Sri Lanka with, tourist or business visas.

Visa approval for journalists is processed only in Colombo by Ministry of External Affairs and Sri Lanka Embassy in Ankara will not issue Visa for journalists unless visa approval is granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo.

Documents Requirement for Journalist Visa

1. Duly filled ETA Business Application Form (download application here)

2. Journalist attestation form - (download from here)

3. Passport copy (for Turkish nationals – front and last pages, for other journalists (nationalities other than Turkish) - data page and Turkish residence card)

• Please note that the validity of the passport must be six months beyond the stay period in Sri Lanka

4. Two recent passport-size colour photographs

5. Letter of Commission: a detailed commissioning letter from respective media organization which includes the tentative programme with dates, places and if it contains interviews the persons to be interviewed and questions etc. (For freelance journalists, a letter from the Editor of a reputed publication)

6. Equipment list for electronic media along with a carnet or bank guarantee for customs purpose Form

7. Letter undertaking that the equipment are re-exported at the end of the visit

8. Copy of return air ticket or flight itinerary

Related documents will be sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo to obtain approval for issuance of journalist visa. Once the approval is granted, the applicant will be intimated to submit visa fee of USD 30/- along with the original passport.

More information on journalist visa: http://www.immigrationlanka.com

Residence Visa & Entry Visa

A Residence Visa is a permit for a non-Sri Lankan to obtain residence facilities for special purposes. It is issued to persons of non-Sri Lankan nationality to whom it has been decided to extend residence facilities for the purpose of investment or otherwise, in circumstances where the prescribed authority is satisfied that their stay in Sri Lanka and the pursuit of their vocations are not prejudicial to the best interests of the population.

To obtain a Residence Visa, it is necessary to arrive in Sri Lanka on an Entry Visa issued by a Sri Lankan Mission abroad with the concurrence of the Controller General of Immigration and Emigration. The fact that you wish to apply for Sri Lankan Residence Visa has to be mentioned when obtaining the entry visa and necessary supporting documents has to be submitted.

Visit Visas can't be considered for conversion into Residence Visa.

For more information on Residence Visa: http://www.immigration.gov.lk

Entry Requirement for all travelers to Sri Lanka:

• A passport with at least 6 months validity

• Valid Sri Lanka visa or ETA, if applicable (refer to the Visa Requirements page for more information)

• Sufficient funds to last for the intended period of stay in Sri Lanka

• Confirmed onward/return tickets, if applicable

• Entry facilities to their onward destinations, if applicable e.g. visas.

• Completed Disembarkation Card

For more information on Sri Lankan Visas visit following websites:

1. Immigration Services Centre: http://www.immigrationlanka.com/Home-0.html

2. Department of Immigration & Emigration:http://www.immigration.gov.lk

3. Official ETA website: http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/