The majority of foreign citizens are required to get some type of Sri Lanka visa in order to enjoy a stay in this unique tropical island nation in South Asia. The only visa-exempt countries are the Maldives, the Seychelles, and Singapore. Citizens of an additional 21 countries including Egypt, Nigeria, and Sudan, are obliged to get a visa in advance from a Sri Lanka Embassy or Consulate. All other foreign passport holders are able to apply for a Sri Lanka ETA online for short stays for tourism, business or transit purposes.
What Is ETA for Sri Lanka?
The Sri Lanka ETA is an Electronic Travel Authorization introduced in 2012 in order to expedite the process of getting a visa for Sri Lanka. Eligible foreign passport holders coming for short stays are able to apply for the ETA for Sri Lanka through a simple online application, omitting the long waiting times for a visa on arrival at the border.
The Sri Lanka ETA has a total validity of 6 months from the date of issue and allows a stay of up to 30 days in the country, for tourism, business or transit purposes. Those eligible for the ETA for Sri Lanka and who wish to stay longer have the option to renew the visa for a stay of up to 6 months, once they are in the country and before the ETA Sri Lanka expires.
How does ETA work?
In order to apply for the ETA for Sri Lanka, applicants are first required to meet the Sri Lanka visa requirements, which involve having:
- A passport valid from 6 months upon the date of entry
- A scanned copy of the passport data page
- A valid credit or debit card to pay the Sri Lanka ETA fee
- A current email address to which the ETA for Sri Lanka will be sent
Eligible applicants are then required to fill in the simple ETA form online with a range of personal and passport information, which only takes minutes. Upon submitting the form, the ETA Sri Lanka will take around 24 hours to be processed, although travelers should apply at least a couple of working days in advance to ensure delivery before their trip.
It’s also necessary to double-check all the information entered on the Sri Lanka ETA form in order to avoid delays or rejection of the application. Upon approval, the ETA for Sri Lanka is sent to the email address provided by the applicant, who can then download and print a copy to present when entering the country.
During the application, it’s also necessary to select the purpose of the ETA for Sri Lanka, whether for a touristic, business or transit stay in the country.
Sri Lanka ETA for Tourism
The Sri Lanka ETA for Tourism allows applicants to travel to the country for up to 30 days. The purpose of the trip can be for a holiday, to visit friends and family, for medical treatment including Ayurvedic remedies and yoga, or to take part in sporting events, as well as competitions and activities relating to cultural performance.
Sri Lanka ETA for Business
The ETA for Sri Lanka for Business also allows a maximum stay of 30 days in the country. The purpose of the trip could be to participate in a business meeting or negotiation, take part in a conference, workshop, seminar or symposium, or to complete a short-term training program lasting less than a month. Applicants for the business ETA for Sri Lanka are also permitted to take part in art, music, or dance events as well as religious events.
Sri Lanka ETA for Transit
The Sri Lanka ETA for Transit allows a stay of up to 2 days in the country, only for the purposes of transiting through Sri Lanka on the way to an onward destination. However, the ETA for Sri Lanka is not required for passengers in transit who will leave the country within 8 hours, providing they have a ticket or evidence of their onward travel and do not leave the airport transit area during their stay.
Eligible countries for ETA
Passport holders from the following countries are all eligible to apply for the ETA for Sri Lanka online:
Travel to Sri Lanka with an ETA
Once the eligible traveler has received and printed their ETA for Sri Lanka, they will be able to start planning their trip to this exotic South Asian nation. However, it’s also necessary to present some supporting documentation at the border in order to guarantee entry. This may involve:
- A confirmed return ticket to the applicant’s country of residence, or an onward ticket to a third destination
- Proof of sufficient funds to cover the duration of the stay
- Citizens of the following countries must have a yellow fever vaccination certificate at the port of entry to Sri Lanka to comply with International health Regulations: Angola, Argentina, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Gabon, French Guiana, Gambia, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Niger, Panama, Peru, Rwanda, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Somalia, Suriname, Sao Tome and Principe, Togo, Tanzania, United Republic of Uganda, Venezuela.
If the traveler presents this supporting documentation alongside the ETA Sri Lanka and the passport used during the application, then they will be more than prepared to enter Sri Lanka and discover its tropical delights.