With effect from 1st January 2012, all Holiday or Business travellers to Sri Lanka must have Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) for entering in to Sri Lanka. Please visit http://www.eta.gov.lk for more information.
A SRI LANKAN VISA IS
A Sri Lankan visa is an endorsement on a passport or a similar document to facilitate the legal entry of on Sri Lankans into the country and to regulate the period of their stay and the conditions governing such stay.
Who are eligible for Visa Exemptions?
- Sri Lankan dual citizens.
- Children who have born overseas and whose birth has been registered under section 5(2) of Citizenship Act – 1948, up to 21 years of age.
- Children born in Sri Lanka for Sri Lankan parents under 21 years of age. Sri Lankan birth certificate should be produced at the Immigration counter at the airport.
TYPES OF SRI LANKAN VISAS
There are four kinds of visas which permit a person to enter and/or stay in Sri Lanka.
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.
There are three sub-categories which come under visit visas
1. Tourist Visit Visa
A Tourist Visa is issued to bona-fide tourists who want to enter Sri Lanka for sightseeing, excursions, relaxation, visit relatives or yoga training for a short period of time. Please visit http://www.eta.gov.lk
Every bona-fide tourist who enters Sri Lanka within the period of the landing permit granted by the Immigration officials at the port of entry can apply for a visa extension before the expiry of the visa. Two (02) months extension beyond 30 days shall be granted at the Department of Immigration Emigration (Head Office) if required. However further extension shall only be considered with valid reasons. This restriction will not be applicable to Ex-Sri Lankans.
2. Business Visit Visa
A Business Visa is issued to foreign nationals who visit Sri Lanka for business purposes for short periods of time. This visa may be issued for single, double or multiple journeys. Please visit http://www.eta.gov.lk
3. Transit Visa
A Transit Visa is an entry permit granted to a foreign national for admission into Sri Lanka for a brief period which is incidental and in the course of his journey to another destination. Those who want to transit through Sri Lanka should also obtain an ETA by paying the relevant ETA Processing fee. However, if the transit period is less than 48 hrs, passengers are not required to pay the ETA Processing Fee. Please visit http://www.eta.gov.lk
For last minute travellers, who need to visit Sri Lanka without prior ETA approval, a limited facility to obtain ETA at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo is available. Additional fees will apply.
The applicants themselves or a third party on their behalf can apply for ETA by submitting an ETA application online via the ETA website.
A residence visa is a permit for a non-Sri Lankan to obtain residence facilities for special purposes. There are eight sub-categories which come under residence visas –
What Eligibility category do I belong?
1. Employment Category
- Project Professional personnel whose services are required for projects approved by the state and expatriate personnel employed in projects under Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka and their dependants
- Personnel employed at banks and their dependants
- Personnel attached to Non-Governmental Organizations
- Personnel employed in a project, institution or organization under diplomatic missions in Sri Lanka
- Personnel employed in a private company and their dependants
2. Investor Category
- Who desire to invest monetary capital in Sri Lanka
- Who engage in business activities in Sri Lanka.
3. Religious Category
- Members of the Clergy
4. Student Category
- University Students
- Students in Educational Institutions approved by the State
- Other Institutions
5. Registered Indians covered by the 1954 Indo-Lanka Agreement.
6. Ex- Sri Lankans and their dependants
7. Family Members of a Sri Lankan
- Children holding foreign nationality.
8. Diplomatic and Official visa
9. My Dream Home Visa Programme
10. Resident Guest Visa Programme
The holder of a Diplomatic or Official Passport or a passport with a valid Diplomatic or Official endorsement will not be required to pay any fees for the visa.
FOREIGN JOURNALISTS / MEDIA PERSONNEL
All journalists/media personnel visiting Sri Lanka need to obtain visa prior to their arrival in Sri Lanka and media accreditation will not be recommended for any media personnel arrive in Sri Lanka on tourist visa.
Media accreditation for the visiting media personnel will be extended only if they are in possession of a relevant visa obtained from the Consulate General in Melbourne/Sri Lanka High Commission in Canberra.
For the clearance of equipment brought in by visiting media personnel, the following are required :
- A temporary import document known as ‘Carnet’ for professional cameras and media equipment.
- In the absence of a Carnet, a bank guarantee for the value of the equipment and cameras.
- A prior license from the Sri Lanka Telecommunications Regulatory Commission for telephone equipment such as satellite phones.
Since there are further requirements applicable to Journalist/Media personnel, who visit Sri Lanka on different purposes such as media coverage, documentaries, filming etc., please contact the Consulate General in Melbourne for further information.
Who are eligible for Visa Exemptions?
- Sri Lankan dual citizens.
- Children whose birth has been registered under section 5(2) of Citizenship Act – 1948 up to 21 years of age.
- Children born in Sri Lanka if they are under 18 years of age. (even when they hold foreign passports)
What are the general eligibility requirements for Sri Lankan Visas?
Sri Lanka Immigration and Emigration may grant or issue a visa to you if –
- Sri Lanka Immigration & Emigration is satisfied that you are suitable to enter Sri Lanka.
- Sri Lanka Immigration & Emigration approves the purpose for which you are entering Sri Lanka.
- You hold a passport valid for a minimum period of six months from the date you arrive in Sri Lanka.
- Sri Lanka Immigration & Emigration is satisfied that you have adequate funds for your maintenance whilst in Sri Lanka and for the payment of your return passage to the country which issued your passport.
- You are in possession of a written assurance (ticket) to return to the country of domicile or a visa to the next country of destination if you are a visit visa holder.
What are the general conditions of a Visit Visa?
- You should not engage in any form of employment, paid or unpaid, or in any trade or business other than that specified in the visa during the period of your stay in Sri Lanka.
- Your visa must be utilized before the date of expiry noted on the visa.
- Validity of your visa is subject to entry into Sri Lanka during the indicated entry period.
- Applications for the extension of all visas should be made to the Department of Immigration and Emigration.