Foreign nationals traveling to Sri Lanka for tourism are required to have a valid visa in order to enter Sri Lanka unless they are passport holders of the Maldives, the Seychelles, and Singapore. All other foreign tourists have the option to apply for the Sri Lanka eTA.
What is Dual Citizenship?
Dual citizenship is also known as dual nationality or double nationality. Dual nationality is allowed in Sri Lanka and many other countries around the world, with certain exceptions. This means you can be a Sri Lankan citizen and also be a citizen of another country.
You can apply for a second citizenship and keep your Sri Lankan nationality.
What Is Sri Lanka Dual Citizenship?
Sri Lanka dual citizenship refers to passport holders who have also obtained citizenship in another country, while retaining the citizenship of Sri Lanka. Dual citizens carry two valid passports, one from Sri Lanka, and another from a second nation. They are considered citizens of both Sri Lanka and their second nation.
In other words, a Sri Lanka dual citizen is a person whose citizenship of Sri Lanka has ceased (under section 19, 20 or 21 of the Citizenship Act, No 18 of 1948) or, a national whose citizenship of Sri Lanka is likely to cease.
Types of Sri Lanka Dual Nationality
There are two categories of Sri Lankan citizens with double nationality:
Sri Lankan Dual Citizenship Resumption:
Individuals whose citizenship of Sri Lanka has ceased since obtaining citizenship in another nation and who desire to resume their status as citizens of Sri Lanka (as contemplated in Section 19 (2) of the Citizenship Act, No 18 of 1948).
Sri Lanka Dual Citizenship Retention:
Individuals who wish to retain their citizenship of Sri Lanka after been granted citizenship in another nation (as contemplated in Section 19 (3) of the Citizenship Act, No 18 of 1948).
Do Sri Lankan Passport Holders with Dual Nationality Need a Visa?
Sri Lanka dual citizens wishing to travel to Sri Lanka are exempt from having to request an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) or visa for Sri Lanka.
How to Obtain Sri Lankan Passport for Dual Citizens?
Individuals who hold citizenship in both Sri Lanka and a second country can apply for a Sri Lankan passport by visiting one of the following offices:
- Head office of the Department of Immigration & Emigration, in Colombo.
- Regional Offices at Kandy, Matara, Vavuniya and Kurunegala.
- Overseas Sri Lankan embassies or consulates.
Dual citizens wishing to obtain a Sri Lankan passport will be required to submit the following documents:
- Completed application form (you may request the form at the addresses above).
- Photo studio acknowledgement.
- Original Dual Citizenship Certificate along with a photocopy.
- Original foreign passport with any Sri Lankan passport the citizen may possess (you will also be asked to submit photocopies of the bio data pages of both passports)
- Original National Identity Card with a photocopy. Citizens who have obtained dual citizenship by resumption are also required to obtain a new Sri Lankan National Identity Card).
- Original Birth Certificate with a photocopy.
Do Citizens of Other Nationalities Need an ETA for Sri Lanka?
Foreign nationals from all countries except 3 are required to obtain a Sri Lanka visa before traveling to Sri Lanka. The immigration department now allows travelers the possibility of applying for an ETA for Sri Lanka entirely online. Sri Lanka eVisa saves tourists with a valid passport from a qualifying country, the time and effort of having to visit an embassy or consulate.
Do Other Passport Holders with Dual Nationality Need a Visa or ETA for Sri Lanka?
Passport holders from the Maldives, the Seychelles, and Singapore are exempt from having to obtain a visa or ETA for Sri Lanka. Therefore, travelers who have either of those 3 nationalities amongst their 2 valid passports may enter Sri Lanka visa-free.
Which Passport Should Sri Lankan Dual Citizens Use When Traveling to Sri Lanka?
Travelers visiting Sri Lanka using their foreign passport after obtaining the Dual Citizenship, will be required to provide a copy of the Dual Citizenship Certificate granted by Sri Lankan authorities along with their foreign passport at the Immigration counter at Colombo Airport in order to be permitted entry into Sri Lanka without visa.
Dual citizens are required to get the “Holder is a Dual Citizen” endorsement on their foreign passport should they wish to continue using it during future visits to Sri Lanka. This endorsement may be obtained from the Immigration Department at Battaramulla while you are staying in Sri Lanka.
Which Nationalities Can Visit Sri Lanka Without a Visa or ETA?
Citizens from all countries except nationals from the Maldives, the Seychelles, and Singapore are required to get a Sri Lanka visa before their trip. Foreign nationals from 21 of those countries are required to apply for a Sri Lanka visa in advance. Citizens from all other countries have the option to apply for the Sri Lanka online visa in order to avoid queueing at the airport for a visa on arrival.