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 landscapes to explore! But before you can explore this exciting country, you will need a Sri Lanka tourist visa.

You will need to obtain a visa when you arrive in Sri Lanka, if you are a tourist from specific countries. Only a handful of countries do not require a visa for Sri Lanka, including three visa-exempt countries such as the Maldives, Seychelles and Singapore. For other countries, you can get Sri Lanka visa on arrival upon your arrival.

To simplify the travel process, we have answered the most common questions that tourists ask when searching for a visa on arrival in Sri Lanka.

Guide for Sri Lanka Tourist Visa
Temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Frequently asked questions about 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.

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

The Sri Lankan visa on arrival system allows visitors for tourism, business or transit, and grants short stays ranging from 30 to 60 days.

How much does a visa cost on arrival in Sri Lanka?

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

Most other countries need to pay a fee – it can be completed online or upon arrival. The cost of this visa depends on several factors, and prices can change depending on the length of your trip, the type of visa or the request of the third party.

Assuming you’re from a country without an agreement and you pay online, you can expect to pay $35 for tourists and $40 for business visitors for a 30-day visa. This cost includes free two-day transit for both types of visas.

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

There are also occasional visa fee waivers schemes for residents of select countries, the latest of which expired in 2020, so double-check the rules before applying for a visa on arrival.

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

What countries still need a pre-approved visa for Sri Lanka?

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

All other citizens can obtain a Visa on Arrival or ETA to visit Sri Lanka.

How do I get an ETA for Sri Lanka?

Tourists wishing to obtain an ETA for Sri Lanka must complete Online order before traveling. 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, specifically, country
  • The nationality of the applicant
  • Personal mobile phone number
  • Passport number or travel document
  • Issuance of passport or travel document and expiration dates
  • The purpose of your visit (tourism, business or transit).

It is essential to double-check that all data in your ETA form is correct to avoid rejection or re-submission due to an error.

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

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

What are the requirements for obtaining a visa on arrival in Sri Lanka?

While it may sound easy, there are still a few basic things you need before your flight. Some of the requirements that budding tourists need to fulfill in order for an ETA include:

  1. Passport valid for at least 6 months upon entry into Sri Lanka
  2. A good current email address
  3. Scanned copy of each applicant’s passport information page
  4. Credit or debit card for Sri Lanka ETA or Visa on Arrival payment

There are other requirements after receiving your ETA, which includes: a complete disembarkation card, a hard copy of the approved Sri Lanka ETA, proof of funds for your stay in Sri Lanka, a confirmed return ticket after the end of your holiday, a visa for another country (if applicable) and a yellow fever vaccination certificate ( If any).

Sri Lanka visit

We hope you enjoy your next trip to Sri Lanka. Here are some great places to see and things to do when you visit:


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