How to get a tourist visa for Sri Lanka

How to get a tourist visa for Sri Lanka

How to get a tourist visa for Sri Lanka

We’ve all wanted to travel to unique destinations in the East – and Sri Lanka is no exception, with its fascinating culture and beautiful scenery to explore! But before you can explore this exciting country, you need a Sri Lanka tourist visa.

For tourists from selected countries you need one Visa on arrival for Sri Lanka. Only a handful of countries do not require a visa for Sri Lanka, including three visa-exempt nations such as the Maldives, Seychelles and Singapore. For other nations, you can get a Visa on Arrival for Sri Lanka upon arrival.

In order to simplify the travel process, we have answered the most frequently asked questions that tourists ask when looking for Sri Lanka visa on arrival.

A Guide to Applying for a Sri Lanka Tourist Visa
Temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Frequently Asked Questions on Obtaining a Sri Lanka Tourist Visa

Here is everything you need to know about applying for a Sri Lanka Tourist Visa on Arrival or ETA.

Can I get visa on arrival in Sri Lanka?

If you are from one of 230 countries, you can apply for a visa upon arrival in Sri Lanka. However, it may be quicker to obtain an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization). This document is a digital visa, which means that once you arrive in the country, you do not have to visit an embassy or stand in a queue.

Sri Lanka’s visa-on-arrival system allows visitors for tourism, business travel or transit travelers, granting short stays of 30 to 60 days.

How much does the Visa on Arrival Sri Lanka cost?

Citizens of the Maldives, Seychelles and Singapore can obtain a free visa upon arrival in Sri Lanka due to a reciprocity policy with these countries.

Most other nations have to pay a fee – which can be filled out online or upon arrival. The cost of this visa depends on a few factors, and prices may change based on length of travel, visa type, or third-party application.

Assuming you’re from a country without a treaty and paid online, expect to pay $35 for tourists and $40 for business travelers for a 30-day visa. This cost includes free transit for 2 days for both visa types.

Keep in mind that if you pay on arrival and wait in line, this price increases to $40 for a tourist visa and $50 for business travelers.

There are also occasional visa fee waiver programs for residents of select countries, the last of which ended in 2020, so double-check the rules before applying for your visa on arrival.

Hiking in the hills outside of Kandy in Sri Lanka
Hiking in the hills outside of Kandy in Sri Lanka

Which countries still require a pre-approved visa for Sri Lanka?

There are only 21 countries that require a visa in advance to visit Sri Lanka: Nigeria, Afghanistan, Cameroon, Both Congolese Republics, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Myanmar, North Korea , Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Syria, Uganda and Sudan.

All other nationals can obtain a visa or ETA upon arrival to visit Sri Lanka.

How do I get an ETA for Sri Lanka?

Tourists wishing to obtain an ETA for Sri Lanka must complete one Online application prior to travel. It’s a simple form that requires applicants to enter some basic information, including:

  • name and surname
  • Personal email address
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth, more precisely the country
  • Applicant’s nationality
  • Personal mobile number
  • Passport or travel document number
  • Date of issue and expiry of the passport or travel document
  • The purpose of your visit (tourism, business or transit).

It is important that all data on your ETA form is double checked to avoid it being rejected due to an error or being reapplied for.

Sri Lanka ETA applications typically take around 24 hours to process, so it is best to submit the application a few working days before your departure date to ensure you receive the ETA in good time. Once completed, your Sri Lanka ETA will be sent to your provided email address and will remain valid within the country for 30 days.

Train from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
Train from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

What are the requirements to obtain a Visa on Arrival in Sri Lanka?

While it may seem simple, there are still some basic things you need before you travel. Some requirements that prospective tourists must meet for the ETA are:

  1. A passport that is valid for at least 6 months upon entry into Sri Lanka
  2. A good, up-to-date email address
  3. A scanned copy of each applicant’s passport information page
  4. A credit or debit card to pay the Sri Lanka ETA or Visa fee upon arrival

Upon receipt of your ETA, there are other requirements including: a completed disembarkation card, a printed copy of your approved Sri Lanka ETA, proof of funds for your stay in Sri Lanka, your confirmed return ticket for when your holiday is complete, a visa from another nation ( if applicable) and a yellow fever vaccination certificate (if applicable).

Visiting Sri Lanka

We hope you enjoy your next trip to Sri Lanka. Here are some amazing sights and things to do while visiting:

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