Sri Lanka Visa Policy

Familiarize yourself with the Sri Lanka visa policy and discover the travel requirements for your nationality.

Visa Policy for Sri Lanka

On this page, you can check Sri Lanka’s visa policy and find the requirements for travelers of each nationality to visit the country with the correct documentation.

The visa policy of Sri Lanka is the collection of laws, rules, and regulations that detail which foreign nationals are eligible to visit the country, the type of visa they will require to do so, and the requirements for obtaining these visas.

There are no countries whose citizens are visa-exempt for visits to Sri Lanka as a rule. With the exception of diplomats and certain other individuals, all foreign nationals require a visa.

Sri Lanka has different types of visas for travelers from different countries.

The majority of travelers may apply for an electronic travel authorization (ETA) for Sri Lanka via an online application form. The ETA must be presented to a Sri Lankan immigration officer upon arrival along with the visitor’s passport.

Visitors from 3 sovereign states (the Maldives, the Seychelles, and Singapore) may obtain a free visa on arrival for Sri Lanka with no other requirements.

The Sri Lanka visa on arrival permits travelers to stay in the country for up to 30 days (or 60 days for nationals of the Seychelles), but this period can be extended (to 90 days in a single year for Seychellois; to 150 days for Maldivians and Singaporeans.

Nationals of around 4 countries are not eligible for the ETA or the visa on arrival and therefore must apply for a visa in advance at a Sri Lankan embassy.

Find further information about the different types of visa for Sri Lanka below.

Tourist Visa Policy for Sri Lanka

Foreign nationals arriving in Sri Lanka for the purpose of tourism may enter the country using an ETA , a consular visa or a visa on arrival.

Nationals of around 170 different sovereign states, including the USA, Canada, Japan, and all EU countries, are eligible to apply for the ETA, which grants them a travel authorization for Sri Lanka.

Eligible citizens can apply for the ETA for Sri Lanka through a simple online form, to receive an approved travel authorization electronically linked to the applicant’s passport.

Visitors who arrive with the ETA may stay in Sri Lanka for up to 30 days, although an extension of up to 180 days may be requested.

The ETA does not grant permission to live or work in Sri Lanka. All foreigners who wish to live and/or work in Sri Lanka must go to an embassy to obtain the relevant visa and permits.

Those arriving in Sri Lanka without an ETA are able to obtain a visa on arrival at border control, but this involves a lengthy wait to receive an application form, which must then be completed and approved.

Eligible travelers are advised to apply for the ETA for Sri Lanka in advance to speed up this process.

Citizens of countries that are not eligible for the ETA or a visa on arrival should visit a Sri Lankan embassy to apply for a visa in advance for Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka ETA

The Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) for Sri Lanka is a digital form of travel authorization.

The ETA for Sri Lanka is available for citizens of over 230 countries.

An ETA allows the holder to visit Sri Lanka for the purposes of tourism, business, or transit.

The Sri Lanka ETA is available through an online application, in which the traveler submits some basic personal details, passport information, and travel plans, in addition to answering a few security-related questions.

The online application for the Sri Lanka Electronic Travel Authorization is quick and simple and usually takes a few minutes to complete, to receive an approved eTA for Sri Lanka electronically linked to the traveler’s passport.

  • An ETA for tourism is a double entry travel authorization that allows the visitor to stay for a maximum of 30 in Sri Lanka from the date of arrival.
  • The ETA for business is a multiple entry travel authorization which allows the holder to enter Sri Lanka multiple times for a total stay of 30 days from the date of arrival.
  • The transit ETA is available for travelers passing through Sri Lanka who do not intend to leave the airport. It is valid for a stay of up to 2 days.

Those who do not acquire an approved ETA in advance of their trip, will have to face long delays at the border to obtain an approval for a visa on arrival from immigration officers.

Furthermore, it is not always guaranteed that a visa on arrival will be granted. Therefore, the safest option is to obtain an approved ETA in advance.

ETA holders who wish to stay for more than 30 days may apply for an extension from the Visa Section of the Department of Immigration while in Sri Lanka.

Find below a list of nationalities that are eligible for the ETA for Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka ETA: Country list

Click on the links below to find out more about each country

ETA Required

The nationalities who are eligible to obtain the visa on arrival for Sri Lanka are able to do so at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA).

However, travelers from the following 21 countries are not eligible to get a visa on arrival and must obtain an ETA in advance in order to gain entry to Sri Lanka:

Afghanistan, Cameroon, Congo Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Myanmar, Nigeria, North Korea, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Syria.

Sri Lanka Visa on Arrival

The visa on arrival for Sri Lanka is a short stay visa that travelers receive at their port of entry to the country.

Visas on arrival are granted if the purpose of the traveler’s visit to Sri Lanka is either tourism or business.

Visitors who have applied for a Sri Lankan ETA before their trip will gain expedited entry to the country upon arrival and do not need to wait in a queue for a visa on arrival.

Overseas travelers who are eligible for the ETA, , but who arrive in the country without an approved ETA travel authorization, will have to stand in line to fill out a Sri Lanka visa on arrival application at the border. They will then be issued with their visa on arrival.

Nationals of the Maldives and the Seychelles are not eligible for the ETA and must obtain a visa on arrival. However, they are granted a Sri Lankan visa on arrival free of charge.

Most visas on arrival grant a maximum stay of 30 days and 2 entries to the country.

Seychellois visitors receive visas on arrival that allow them to stay up to 60 days.

Check the list below to see if your nationality is eligible for the Sri Lanka visa on arrival.

Sri Lanka Visa on Arrival: Country list

Click on the links below to find out more about each country

Extending a Visa on Arrival for Sri Lanka

It is possible to extend a visa on arrival once in Sri Lanka.

Normally, the visa on arrival is valid for 30 days for travelers of most nationalities. The only exception is for citizens of the Seychelles, whose visa on arrival is valid for 60 days.

However, if the traveler intends to stay longer, they can contact the Department of Immigration in Sri Lanka and request an extension.

The process involves downloading and completing some forms and then visiting the government office of the Department of Immigration to submit the visa extension application, which can take a few hours.

The visa on arrival can be extended twice. For the majority of travelers, the first extension will increase their initial 30 days to 90 days. The second extension will take the total to a maximum of 180 days in Sri Lanka.

Seychellois visitors, on the other hand, may only extend their visa on arrival to a maximum of 90 days per calendar year.

Maldivian and Singaporean travelers can extend their visas to no more than 150 days.

Embassy or Consular Visa Required for Sri Lanka

Nationals of around 4 different sovereign states must apply for a visa in advance to visit Sri Lanka, according to the country’s visa policy. For these travelers, this is the case regardless of the purpose of their visit.

The visa in advance can be obtained by going to a Sri Lankan diplomatic mission (either an embassy, high commission, or consulate-general) and completing an application in person.

This should be done with plenty of time before the planned trip to Sri Lanka to allow time to process the visa application.

In order to obtain an embassy visa for Sri Lanka, the applicant must bring supporting documentation, including their passport.

The passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival in Sri Lanka.

Applicants must also provide proof that they have sufficient funds to support themselves while in Sri Lanka and proof of onward travel such as a return air ticket.

Any foreign national who wishes to live, study, and/or work in Sri Lanka must also apply for a visa in advance and any relevant permits from a Sri Lankan embassy, and provide proof of an offer of employment (if applicable).

See the list below for nationalities that require a visa in advance from a Sri Lanka embassy.

Embassy or Consular Visa Required for Sri Lanka: Country list

Click on the links below to find out more about each country

Special Visa Exemptions for Sri Lanka

No nationalities are granted visa exemption when visiting Sri Lanka, meaning that, as a rule, travelers from all countries must have an ETA, a visa on arrival, or a visa in advance to pass through Sri Lankan border control.

The only exception to this visa policy is for holders of non-ordinary passports. For example, nationals of certain countries holding diplomatic, official, or service passports may visit Sri Lanka visa-free.

The following travelers are also visa-exempt:

Sri Lankan dual citizens
Children up to 21 years of age born to Sri Lankan parents, whose births have been registered under section 5(2) of Citizenship Act – 1948 .
Children born in Sri Lanka to Sri Lankan parents under 21 years of age, now living abroad

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