Sri Lanka is an all-around destination for travellers from across the world. With excellent weather all year round, ancient temples and churches, spice markets, beaches, and hiking trails, there’s always plenty to do on your visit to this incredible destination. Here are the essential things you need to know about the Sri Lanka visa to plan your trip.
|Requirement type||Mandatory for UK citizens|
|Purpose of travel||Tourism, business, transit|
|Valid||6 months after issue; 30 days after arrival Extension: 90 days after your first arrival.|
|Entry/exit||Tourist visa: double
Business visa: multiple
Transit visa: single
|Processing time||Standard processing: Up to 3 working days
Urgent processing: up to 23 minutes
|Cost||Tourist visa: £44.95
Business visa: £54.99
Transit visa: free with proof of onward travel
|Application method||First application: Online only
Extension application: Sri Lankan Immigration Department in Colombo or government authorized agent
Visa on arrival: suspended
|Payment method||Visa, Mastercard, American Express, PayPal
What is the Sri Lanka visa?
The Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) for Sri Lanka is a new online system for receiving approval to visit Sri Lanka. There are no passports, documents, or photographs needed to apply for the ETA. It is an approval notice that you present when you land in Sri Lanka for entry clearance by the immigration authorities.
Types Of Sri Lanka Visas
The Short Visit visa is the most common type of Sri Lanka ETA. It is suitable for tourism, leisure and relaxation, visiting friends or relatives, medical treatment, and participating in sporting events. The Business Visa is also quite common for visitors attending meetings, workshops, symposiums, conferences, or spending a month in a training programme in Sri Lanka or participating in art, music, dance or religious events. Finally, travellers who must go through Sri Lanka to any other destination get a Transit Visa.
Requirements For Sri Lanka Visa
These are the basic requirements to apply for a Sri Lanka ETA:
- A UK passport with at least 6 months validity remaining
- A valid debit or credit card for the application fee payment
- A regularly used email address for registration
- A confirmed 14-day hotel booking
- 2 pre-purchased PCR tests performed on your arrival
- Mandatory Covid-19 insurance
On arrival, you must present the following documents to the immigration authorities for approval:
- Your UK passport
- A printed copy of the ETA
- Proof of sufficient funds to finance your stay
- Proof of onward travel such as your return or outbound ticket if you’re transiting through Sri Lanka
Who Needs a Sri Lanka Visa?
All adults visiting Sri Lanka need a visa, and children over the age of 16 who have their passports. Children under 16 who travel under their parents’ or guardians’ passports can travel under their parents’ issued ETA visas.
How Long Does a Sri Lanka Visa Last?
Each ETA is valid for 6 months after application and a maximum of 30 days per visit, with the opportunity for an extension for up to 90 days after your initial arrival in Sri Lanka. However, the tourist ETA allows you to enter and exit the country twice, while a business ETA allows multiple entry and exit. On the other hand, the transit ETA allows only a single exit, and your stopover in Sri Lanka cannot exceed 48 hours.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Sri Lanka Visa?
It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to apply for the Sri Lanka visa online. Enter your full name as it appears on your passport, your passport number, your date and country of birth, nationality, gender, residence, the issue and expiry date of your passport and the purpose of your visit. Include any minors who travel under your passport or submit a separate application for any children over 16 with their passport.
Once the form is complete and you make the payment, it takes up to 3 days for the government to evaluate your Sri Lanka ETA application. If approved, you will receive a confirmation email containing your ETA, which you should print out and keep together with your other travel documents. For the quickest turnaround, apply for your Sri Lanka visa at least 20 business days before your arrival date because processing might be slower during peak tourist seasons.
How Much Does a Sri Lanka Visa Cost?
The tourist or short visit visa costs £44.95 per application, while the business visa costs £10 more (£54.99). You can pay the Sri Lanka visa fees using Visa, Mastercard, American Express or PayPal. However, ensure that your cards can make international online payments first to avoid any inconveniences. If you need a transit visa, there is no fee, but you must provide evidence of your transit, such as your return or outbound ticket. There is also no fee for visa applications for children under 16 travelling under their parents’ or guardians’ passports.
- Visas on arrival are still under suspension. Previously, UK travellers could get a Sri Lanka visa on arrival, but it was only available at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo. It often meant waiting for many hours for processing, and after a long flight to Sri Lanka, it can be very inconvenient. As a result, only online ETA applications are acceptable today.
- You need a hotel booking before applying for your Sri Lanka ETA visa, but a flight booking is not mandatory for application.
- For transit travellers, your connecting flight should ideally be within 10 hours of arrival in Sri Lanka. Confirm your transit time with your airline before you book your flight.
- If you leave Sri Lanka before the 30-day limit is over and wish to return on the same visa, the authority grants you the remaining days on your previous visit. This can allow you to stay for a bit longer on your next visit to Sri Lanka.
- Suppose you want to travel to Sri Lanka for employment, education, journalism-related work, NGO work or political meetings or conferences. In that case, you must apply for a traditional visa through the Sri Lanka Embassy or overseas mission in the UK.
- If for any reason, your online ETA application fails, you will get a referral to the Sri Lanka Embassy or overseas mission to appeal or reapply. However, your ETA application fee is non-refundable and non-transferrable, so you would need to pay afresh for a traditional embassy visa.
- Pay attention to the online application form and fill out your details correctly. If you submit your Sri Lanka ETA application and find mistakes, you will have to reapply and pay the service fee again.
- Due to Covid-19 regulations, visitors to Sri Lanka must undergo a PCR test before travel and mandatory quarantine on arrival. You can choose from a list of 188 approved “Safe & Secure” hotels and guesthouses for quarantine, which is available along with other travel protocols on the official Sri Lanka travel site here.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in Sri Lanka, but UK citizens require a certificate to travel to Sri Lanka. However, if you already have one, there is no need for a booster shot before travelling to Sri Lanka, as yellow fever certificates are now valid for life.
Apply For Your Sri Lanka Visa Today
Your trip to the paradise island of Sri Lanka is only a few clicks away. Click here for a quick, easy Sri Lanka visa application today.