In order to visit Sri Lanka for tourism purposes, the majority of foreign passport holders are required to get some kind of Sri Lanka visa type, depending on their nationality.
There are only 3 visa-exempt countries for Sri Lanka; Singapore, the Seychelles, and the Maldives. An additional 21 countries are required to apply for a Sri Lanka tourist visa from an Embassy or Consulate. All other foreign citizens are able to apply for a Sri Lanka visa for tourism through the simple online ETA application.
What Is the ETA Visa for Tourism?
The Sri Lanka ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) is similar to the United States ESTA visa waiver system and 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 apply for the Sri Lanka ETA for tourism through a simple online form, eliminating long waiting times for a visa on arrival at the border.
Travelers coming to Sri Lanka for a short holiday who are not from countries eligible for the ETA or visa on arrival are required to apply at an Embassy or Consulate for a visa for Sri Lanka before their trip.
How Does Tourist ETA Work?
Before applying for the Sri Lanka tourist visa though ETA, eligible citizens must first meet some visa requirements, which include having a passport valid for at least 6 months upon entry to Sri Lanka. Applicants are also required to have a valid credit or debit card to pay the Sri Lanka tourist visa fee, a current email address to receive the visa for Sri Lanka, and a scanned copy of the passport information page.
Eligible travelers are then able to fill in the simple online Sri Lanka tourist visa application, which will only take minutes to complete. Applicants are required to fill in a range of personal and passport data, as well as provide contact details.
It’s essential to double-check all the information entered on the form in order to avoid rejection or delay in receiving the tourist visa for Sri Lanka. Applications are normally processed within 24 hours, with the traveler notified of the visa status and sent the Sri Lanka tourist visa via email.
Upon receiving the tourist visa for Sri Lanka, the applicant should print a copy to later present upon arrival at border entry points. It may also be required to provide supporting documentation to gain entry at the Sri Lankan border, which can include proof of sufficient funds and proof of return of onward travel.
What You Can Do with the ETA Tourist Visa
When traveling with the tourist visa, the purpose of the trip can be for:
- A holiday
- To visit friends and family
- To receive medical treatment including Ayurvedic remedies and yoga
- To take part in sporting events
- To participate in cultural competitions and activities
How Long You Can Stay in Sri Lanka with ETA Tourist Visa
The Sri Lanka tourist visa online is valid for a stay of up to 30 days, with a total validity of 6 months from the date of issue. If the date of travel is later than 6 months from when the application is submitted, then the visa will be sent prior to the trip taking into account the intended entry date to Sri Lanka.
Once in the country, ETA holders can apply to renew their travel document for a visa for Sri Lanka valid for up to 6 months, from the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka.