How to get a Visa for Sri Lanka How to get a Visa for Sri Lanka

How to get a Visa for Sri Lanka

It’s likely you’ve made your best travel decision to date: a trip to Sri Lanka! A country of dreamlike landscapes, heavenly food, and tropical vibes. Planning your dream trip isn’t complete without the boring paperwork of passport control, so this guide aims to give you an easy step by step to booking your visa for Sri Lanka stress-free!

Which visa for Sri Lanka is for you?

The good news is that getting a tourist visa for Sri Lanka is relatively simple and can be booked ahead online as an electronic visa (ETA). This can either be done by yourself or a third party. It is easiest to use an online booking service for speed and efficiency.

safari yala national park sri lanka

However, if you are unable to do this for some reason, you can obtain the ETA visa on arrival at your port of entry in Sri Lanka. Keep in mind that additional fees may apply as well as the minimal risk that your application may not be approved.

Choosing the correct visa

Before you do anything decide which visa is suitable for your trip. The options you have are:

Tourist Visa Sri Lanka

The Tourist Visa is valid for a ‘short stay’ of a maximum of 30 days with a double entry. This means you may leave the country and come back once within those 30 days. It is possible to extend up to 6 months. Apply for your visa online here.

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How to get a Visa for Sri Lanka

Business Visa

A Business Visa for Sri Lanka valid for 30 days with double entry. Apply for the visa when you have meetings, conferences, workshops, seminars or training programs.

Transit Visa

The Sri Lanka Transit Visa is a visa that is valid for a period of 2 days with a single entry.

For any other purposes, such as media/journalism a visa must be applied for through the right governmental channels.

how to get visa

How to apply for a Visa in Sri Lanka

Applying is as simple as filling out the form with your details (have your passport to hand) and the approval will be sent directly to your email within 24 hours. When filling out the form, make sure you have your flight details and the address of your first night of accommodation. You will receive your application within a few days.

Price of Visa in Sri Lanka

Depending on your country of residence, the prices of a visa change. On average, the price for a Sri Lankan Visa is:

  • Tourist Visa – 85 USD
  • Business Visa – 90 USD
  • Transit Visa – Free

    * Please note: Due to COVID-19, Visa prices may be temporarily changed.

A quick reminder to check if you:

  • Are in possession of a passport valid for a period of at least 6 months upon entering Sri Lanka
  • Have a confirmed return ticket or a ticket to your next destination
  • Have sufficient funds to meet the expenses during your stay

How to get a visa extension

There is a strong chance you may fall in love with Sri Lanka on your 30-day visa and want to extend to a maximum extension of 6 months. If this is the case follow these steps BEFORE your ETA is due to expire:

  • Go to the Head Office of the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Colombo.
  • Take with you:
    • Passport photo
    • Passport
    • Evidence of return air ticket (or onward travel)
    • The address and the telephone number of the place of accommodation.
    • Cash/credit card to pay the extension fees (fees are dependent on varying factors such as nationality and/or additional services you may need. You can contact the department for more information on this here.
how to get visa sri lanka

Our experience when applying for a visa in Sri Lanka

We have been lucky enough to travel to Sri Lanka several times and in every case, we applied for the ETA online via the form and got approved within a few days.

Always follow the guidelines, double or triple check your details when you’re filling out the forms, and make sure your passport is up to date and valid for at least 6 months upon entering Sri Lanka. 

Enjoy this beautiful country and everything it has to offer!

Disclaimer: This article is updated regularly, but the visa situation might change. Please always double-check with the local authorities.

Blog comments (2)

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  • Myra Fleming

    Has anyone had to wait more than a week to receive their Visa?
    We applied more than a week ago on line and it was approved the next day. The following day the money was taken from our account, since then nothing.
    We’ve emailed them a few times but have had no response.
    I’m hoping that they are just busy due to an influx of tourists as covid restrictions have been lifted.
    Can anyone tell me how long they waited after their Visa was approved to when they actually received the document – is waiting over a week normal?

    • Salt in our Hair

      Hey Myra, did you apply through iVisa? I’d recommend contacting the service you’ve used. Normally it should be ready within a few days.

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