Sri Lanka is a small island country, which is deservedly considered the most beautiful country in the South Asian region. Since ancient times, the deposits of precious stones and the abundance of spices growing on the island have attracted merchants and navigators from all over the world. Nowadays, tourists come here for the picturesque mountain scenery and sunny beaches.
Since January 2012, all foreign citizens wishing to visit Sri Lanka have the opportunity to do so with an electronic permit, which is called ETA – Electronic Travel Authorization. You can get it from the comfort of your home by visiting Natvisa.com and filling out an online application. The Sri Lanka ETA is issued in three cases: tourism, business visits, and transit. Let’s take a closer look at each of the types of ETA and the features of their application.
Sri Lanka Tourist ETA
A traveler who has received a tourist ETA has the right to visit the island of Ceylon only for the following purposes:
– Sightseeing (recreational visits).
– Meeting with friends and/or relatives.
– Holiday visit.
The Tourist ETA entitles its owner to stay in Sri Lanka for 30 days. Any type of business activity is prohibited, and violation of the ban will entail unpleasant sanctions from the migration authorities of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka Business ETA
The ETA business allows the following activities in Sri Lanka:
– Attending business meetings and conferences.
– Participation in various training, seminars, spiritual and religious events.
Note, that during your stay in Sri Lanka, you do not have the right to open a company or acquire a commercial property.
Sri Lanka Transit ETA
Just like for a tourist permit, for a transit ETA, you also need to issue a travel permit on the Natvisa website. The only difference is that a transit visa is issued only for 2 days and does not require any payments.
Transit status has travelers, who visit the country for less than 48 hours. In this case, you should show a local migration service employee a printed ETA and plane tickets to the next destination. Transit tourists do not pay the visa fee.
Documents Required for Visa Application
What documents must be presented at the entrance? Here is the required list:
– A valid international passport (at least 6 months from the date of arrival in Sri Lanka).
– Immigration card. It is filled in in English onboard the plane or already at the airport.
– Migration officials rarely, but ask for return tickets and proof of financial trustworthiness (cash, card statements).
– It is recommended to have a printed copy of the ETA form with you. Despite the fact that this is an electronic document and theoretically it does not need to be printed, user experience shows that almost all airlines when checking in for a flight to Sri Lanka are asked to present ETA or return tickets from Sri Lanka if you plan to get a visa on arrival.
An electronic permit to visit Sri Lanka can be issued up to six months before the trip. We advise you to get an ETA 1-2 months before the trip so that there is time to settle any questions that arise.
Steps to Apply for a Sri Lanka visa
The entire ETA application process on the Natvisa website includes 4 stages:
1) Select the type of visa and the type of application.
You can apply to our website:
– for a double-entry tourist visa for 30 days,
– for a double-entry business visa for 30 days,
– for a free transit visa for 2 days (you can stay in the country for up to 48 hours).
– “Apply for an Individual” – fill out a form for each traveler and pay for each application separately.
Remember that you need to make the same ETA application for children with their own passport as for an adult! If you are traveling with a large family or a tourist group, it is best to apply for a group visa on the official website of the Department of Immigration and Emigration of Sri Lanka. On the Natvisa website, you can only apply for an individual ETA.
2) Filling out the online application form.
In the application for the Sri Lanka ETA permit, you need to fill out forms:
– travel information – the purpose and details of your trip to Sri Lanka (Intended Arrival Date, Purpose of visit, Port of departure, Airline/Vessel, Flight/Vessel Number).
– contact details – information required to contact you (Country, State or region, City, House number, Street name, Apartment number, Telephone Number, Email Address).
– applicant information – your personal data (first name, Last name, Gender, Family status, Date of Birth, Country of Birth, Nationality, Passport number, Passport Issued Date, Passport Expiration Date).
– Declaration – at this point, you need to answer the questions “yes” or “no” about the visa status of the traveler.
Please note that all fields marked with an asterisk are required! After clicking the “Next” button, you can once again view the entered data and, if you want, go back and make edits or proceed to payment.
3) Payment for an ETA to Sri Lanka.
Here you need to choose which card you will pay for Sri Lanka ETA: Master card, Visa, or American Express, just by clicking on the item with the option you need.
If the payment was successful, you will see a message that the ETA application has been sent. The same text will be received in a letter to the e-mail specified in the application.
Tip: Before going to Ceylon, call your bank and ask them not to block your card in Sri Lanka for security purposes. A “surprise” with a blocked deposit card can greatly spoil your vacation.
4) Obtaining ready electronic permit to Sri Lanka by e-mail.
Within 24 hours after the payment, you will receive a letter with the ETA or the reason for the refusal to the previously specified e-mail address. It should be noted that the ETA to Sri Lanka comes in the body of the letter, and not as an attached file. It is necessary to print out the text of the letter.
If you have not received an e-mail with an ETA, then, first of all, you need to check the spam folder. If there is nothing there, you can check the status of your application on our website.
Processing Time For eTA
The processing of ETA applications on the Natvisa website is fully automated and very fast – you can get a response to your application within 30 minutes. The maximum delay with the response is 1-2 days, no more.
In the future, the ETA can be extended, even if you are directly on the territory of Sri Lanka. To do this, you need to contact the Department of Immigration and Emigration. Planning to apply for a permit extension, keep in mind that a tourist ETA can be extended a maximum of two times (for 2 and 3 months), and the total period of stay should not exceed 6 months.
You will need the following documents:
– a filled form of ETA application;
– passport (valid for at least 2 months after leaving the country);
– color photo of a 35×45 mm;
– a plane ticket;
– paid visa fees.
After all the formalities, the applicant is assigned a day when he can pick up his passport.