Visiting any country outside of your own can be a tricky business. Whether it’s the documentation you need to enter the country, or what you are allowed to bring with you, it’s always a good idea to do some research.
Where to Get a Sri Lanka Visa?
There are several places you can get a Sri Lanka visa.
You can apply to the head office of the Department of Immigration and Emigration in the capital city of Colombo, but that’s only an option if you’re already in the country. You can also apply at Sri Lankan overseas missions. Or you could apply when you arrive – although this can be a risky option!
Most people who want to get a Sri Lankan visa do so using the online ETA process.
Who Can Apply for a Sri Lankan Visa?
Citizens of most European countries and the UK can apply for a Sri Lankan visa without any trouble. Residents of other countries should check the list of eligible countries on the government website.
Other requirements to apply for a Sri Lankan visa using the ETA system include:
- You intend to visit Sri Lanka for a short stay of up to 30 days. This can be extended to 90 days on request.
- You are not a journalist or diplomat.
- You do not work for an NGO or non-governmental organization.
- You are not involved in broadcasting or professional media production.
- You are visiting for business or as a tourist.
- You must have a valid passport, and it must have at least six months left before it expires.
- If you will be travelling with minor children, and both parents will not be accompanying them, you need written permission from the other parent or parents.
When you are applying for a short stay visa, you do not have to have accommodation, or a flight booked. You will be asked for some of that information when you arrive though.
What Can You Do While You Are In Sri Lanka While On a Short Stay Visa?
Once you have a Sri Lankan short stay visa, it’s important to remember that there are certain things you can’t do in the country while you are there.
You cannot work for any Sri Lankan company or individual – although you can have business meetings with local individuals and companies. You also can’t engage in any political activities, or any journalistic investigations or work.
Proof of Means
Like most countries, Sri Lanka requires you to prove that you have the financial means to support yourself while in the country. However, since the minimum requirement is $15 per day, most travelers from western countries will have no problem meeting this threshold!
Proof of a Return Flight
Another important requirement when you travel to Sri Lanka on a short stay visa is that you must prove you plan to leave at the end of your stay. Sri Lankan officials will ask to see your return flight ticket when you arrive in the country, so make sure it’s booked, and you have it ready!