All foreign travelers are required to get a Sri Lanka Business visa to conduct business in the country, excluding the 3 visa-free countries of the Maldives, the Seychelles, and Singapore.
Citizens of 21 countries, including Egypt, Ghana, and Syria, are required to apply for a Sri Lankan business visa from an Embassy or Consulate in their country of origin. All other foreign passport holders are able to apply for the Sri Lanka ETA online through a simple application form.
What Is the ETA Visa for Business?
Similar to the United States ESTA visa waiver program, the Sri Lanka ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) was introduced in 2012 in order to expedite the process of getting a visa for Sri Lanka. Eligible foreign citizens coming to the country for short stays can now apply for the business visa for Sri Lanka online through a simple visa application, which will only take minutes to complete.
It’s possible for the same citizens eligible for ETA to get a Sri Lanka visa on arrival for business at Sri Lankan border entry points. However, it’s highly recommended to apply for a ETA Sri Lanka business visa before traveling in order to save time waiting in long lines and organizing a visa on arrival at the border.
Those not eligible to apply for the ETA for Sri Lanka are required to apply for a business visa at a Sri Lankan Embassy or Consulate in their country of residence, or from the head office of the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. Fixed employment is not permitted with the business visa for Sri Lanka.
Fixed employment is not permitted with the business visa for Sri Lanka.
How does Business ETA Work?
In order to apply for the Sri Lanka business visa, it’s first necessary to meet some visa requirements for the country. These involve:
- Having a passport valid for 6 months from the entry date to Sri Lanka
- Providing a current email address to receive the business ETA for Sri Lanka
- Paying the business visa Sri Lanka fee using a credit or debit card
- Providing proof of sufficient funds for the duration of the stay (upon entry at the border)
- Having a confirmed return ticket, or ticket for onward travel (upon entry at the border).
Applicants are also required to provide supporting documentation to prove the intent of the visit to Sri Lanka for business. To complete the online application, it’s necessary to fill in personal and passport information correctly, including passport number, nationality, and date of birth, as well as provide contact details.
After reviewing the information provided and paying the visa fee, the Sri Lanka visa application can be submitted. It should take around 24 hours for the visa to be processed, with the business visa for Sri Lanka sent to the applicant’s inbox if approved.
Upon receiving the ETA Sri Lanka business visa, applicants can then print a copy to present upon arrival at Sri Lankan border entry points alongside the passport used to complete the application, as well as the supporting documentation.
What You Can Do with the ETA Business Visa
Sri Lanka has a booming economy, with consistently strong annual growth rates in recent years, so there has never been a better time to do business in the country.
The ETA business visa for Sri Lanka allows the traveler to visit the country for the following purposes:
- To participate in a conference, workshop, symposium, or seminar
- To take part in a business meeting or negotiation
- To participate in a cultural or religious event
- To complete a short-term training course (lasting less than a month).
However, the online Sri Lanka business visa is not available for the following work-related activities:
- To engage with political parties and/or groups in meetings, seminars, conferences, or similar
- To participate in media/journalism conferences, workshops or seminars
- To engage in activities affiliated with an NGO or INGO.
Eligible citizens wishing to travel for these purposes are required to apply for a physical business visa for Sri Lanka from an Embassy or Consulate, or from the Department of Immigration & Emigration (DI&E) in Colombo, providing supporting documentation for the purpose of the stay.
How Long You Can Stay in Sri Lanka with ETA Business Visa
The business visa for Sri Lanka is available as either a single, double or multiple entry travel document and when applied for through the ETA online system is available for a stay of up to 30 days in Sri Lanka, with a total validity of 6 months from the date of issue.
Eligible travelers wishing to stay in Sri Lanka to conduct business for longer have the option to first enter the country with the electronic travel authorization and renew the Sri Lanka ETA for a physical business visa for Sri Lanka from the DI&E in Colombo. The Sri Lanka business visa can be renewed for either a 3-month or 6-month stay in the country.