Time in Sri Lanka:     srilanka_map

Sri Lankan Visa

Foreign nationals who wish to enter in to Sri Lanka are required to obtain a Sri Lankan visa. You should also hold a Passport valid for six months or more.

What is a Sri Lankan Visa?

A Sri Lankan visa is an endorsement on a passport or a similar document to facilitate the legal entry of non Sri Lankans into the country and to regulate the period of their stay and the conditions governing such stay.

You could either get your visa before your arrival to Sri Lanka through www.eta.gov.lk (Online) OR on arrival. (Fees vary for these services).

What is an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization)?

ETA is an official authorization for a Short Visit to Sri Lanka (For more info...) and is issued electronically. The ETA is introduced with the intention of providing an efficient, reliable and simplified service to those who visit Sri Lanka. ETA holders will be issued a 30 day Short Visit visa at the port of entry in Sri Lanka and extensions will be granted on request with / without a fee depending on the reason for stay.

The ETA is issued through an on-line system. No passport copies, documents or photographs are required. There is no requirement to endorse the ETA on the passport.

View sample ETA approval notice and/or referral notice.

When applying ETA by third parties payments are to be made through the arrangement made in our website www.eta.gov.lk and obtain acknowledgement of ETA application. Any payments made to other websites or agencies are not valid to process a valid ETA. Therefore, always ensure that the payments made by accessing to Sri Lanka ETA website and avoid making repayment at the port of entry to Sri Lanka.

On arrival at the port of entry in Sri Lanka

Upon arrival, produce your passport to the immigration officer at the port of entry to obtain the necessary clearance. It is advisable for you to bring a copy of the ETA approval notice along with you

Types of Sri Lankan Visas

Visit Visa

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 two 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.

  2. Business Purpose Visa
    A Business Purpose Visa is issued to foreign nationals who visit Sri Lanka for business purposes for short period of time. This visa may be issued for single or double journeys.

Residence Visa

A residence visa is a permit for a non-Sri Lankan to obtain residence facilities for special purposes.

  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 dependents
    • Personnel employed at banks and their dependents
    • Volunteers
    • 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 dependents
  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 dependents
  7. Family Members of a Sri Lankan
    • Spouses
    • Children holding foreign nationality.

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.

Gratis Visa

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.

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 for Sri Lankan parents under 21 years of age.

What are the general eligibility requirements for Sri Lankan Visas?

Sri Lanka Immigration and Emigration may grant or issue a visa to you if –

  1. Sri Lanka Immigration & Emigration is satisfied that you are suitable to enter Sri Lanka.
  2. Sri Lanka Immigration & Emigration approves the purpose for which you are entering Sri Lanka.
  3. You hold a passport valid for a minimum period of six months from the date you arrive in Sri Lanka.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

pplications for the extension of all visas should be made to the Department of Immigration and Emigration

Department of Immigration and Emigration
Ananda Rajakaruna Mawatha,
Colombo 10.
Tel: +94-11-5329000 / +94-11-5329316/20/21/25

Sri Lanka Customs

Sri Lanka Customs: www.customs.gov.lk

Custom Imports

You are allowed to bring into the country duty free 1.5 litres of spirits, two bottles of wine, a quarter-litre of Eau de toilette, and a small quantity of perfume and souvenirs with a value not exceeding US $250. The import of personal equipment such as cameras and laptop computers is allowed but must be declared on arrival. However, personal equipment must be taken out of the country upon the visitor's departure. The import of non-prescription drugs and pornography of any form is an offence.

Foreign Currency Regulations

Visitors to Sri Lanka bringing in more than US$10,000 should declare the amount to the Customs on arrival. All unspent rupees converted from foreign currencies can be re-converted to the original currency on departure as long as encashment receipts can be produced.

Custom Exports

On leaving the country you are allowed to export up to 10kg of tea duty free.

No antiques can be exported without permission from the Director National Archives & Director General, Department of Archaeology.

Antiques – Anything defined as more than 50-years-old, rare books, palm-leaf manuscripts and anthropological material

National Archives,
7 Reid Avenue,
Colombo -07.
Tel: +94-11 2694523/ 2696917

And the

Director General,
Department of Archaeology,
Sir Marcus Fernando Mw,
Tel : +94 11 2692840/1
Tel. +94-11-2694727, +94-11-2667155 ,

Purchase and export without license of any wild animal, bird or reptile, dead or alive also the export of parts of animals, birds or reptiles, such as skins, horns, scales and feathers is prohibited. Occasional exports are, however, permitted exclusively for bona fide scientific purposes. It is prohibited to export of 450 plant species without special permits. The export of coral, shells or other protected marine products is also strictly prohibited.

Applications for special permission to export fauna should be made to the

Department of Wildlife Conservation,
382 , New Kandy Road,
Tel: +9411 25060380

And flora should be made to the

Forest Department,
82, Rajamalwatta Road,
Tel : + 94 11 28666 16/ 2866632