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How to Apply for a Sri Lanka E-Visa (ETA)

Sri Lanka E Visa

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Sri Lanka, a country known for its beautiful forests and calming oceans, is truly “The Lost Paradise.” It is the fusion of the earth and the sea, a true gem of the Indian Ocean. It is a place embellished with history and culture and is awed for its people – their generosity and smiles – a factor every tourist look for in a travel destination.

The best way to experience this is to visit Sri Lanka. But to do that, travelers should not miss that one important document which will grant them a pass to the country—VISA. It’s very easy don’t worry. 

What is an e-visa?

A visa is a document which will give you access to the country you want to go to. Normally, for someone to get this, he/she shall visit first the embassy of the destination country. But for other countries, such as Sri Lanka, tourists can get their visa though electronic means. In other words, instead of visiting the Embassy of the Democratic Socialist of Sri Lanka in your country, you will do your transactions and receive your visa online. This is also called a Sri Lankan e-visa.

There are basically four types of Sri Lankan visa: Visit visa (Tourist visa, Business visa), Residence visa, My Dream Home Visa Programme, and Resident Guest Visa Programme. This article, however, will only focus on how to get a Tourist visa.

What is an ETA?

As you visit the official government site which will allow you to be granted with visa, you might be surprised that the abbreviation ETA was used instead of an e-visa. ETA is an Electronic Travel Authorization which is granted to tourists who wish to visit shortly the country.

People who desires to apply for a tourist visa shall have the following reasons of stay:

  • Sightseeing, holidaying
    • Visiting friends and relatives
    • Medical treatment including Ayurvedic and yoga
    • Participate in sporting events, competitions and activities relating to cultural performance

One can enjoy the aforementioned activities for a duration of 30 days unless an extension was requested and granted.

Sweet Treat to Tourists

            On a media briefing, the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, announced that effective on August 1, 2019, tourists and business travelers from 48 countries is offered free tourism visas on arrival (As of now, this program will last only for 6 months). These countries include China, India, the United Kingdom, Thailand, the United States, Australia, South Korea, Philippines, Canada, Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysia, Switzerland, Cambodia, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Russia, and other European Union nations. This means that the fees will be waved, but information of tourists will be obtained through their passports and boarding passes. The visa fee exemption is only valid for 30 days and charges apply if traveler decides to stay longer on the island.

Not included in the list? Here’s how to apply for an ETA/e-visa, you may follow these simple steps:

Step 1. Direct to the official Electronic Travel Authorization System of Sri Lanka which is available at

Step 2. Click the “OK button” to view the home page of the site and select language from the options provided.

Step 3. After selecting a language, the site will provide you a brief information about them such as when the site became effective, what the issuing agency is, and what countries are exempted of ETA.

Step 4. Click the “Apply” button which is right next to the “Home” button. After doing so, a document on the terms and conditions before confirming your ETA application will be shown. Read carefully. If you agree with it, click “I Agree.” This is also needed for you to proceed with the next step.

Sri Lanka Visa

Step 5. Next, choose what type of visa you are applying for from the panel shown below.

Step 6. For a tourist visa, four (4) transactions are needed to be accomplished. First is filling in the applicant’s information in the form provided. Make sure all information are true. Here is an example of the form.

Step 7. Click “Next” to be redirected to Review Information. In this part, not only that you will be shown the preview of your personal information, but also the fees you have to pay. In addition, a notice will pop up your screen to make sure that you have testified that the information you provided are true.

Step 8. After reviewing the applicant’s information, tourist is required to accomplish Payment Options. It is important to note that fees for ETA shall only be paid within the official site, unless for on arrival entry in Sri Lanka. Clicking the option you chose will redirect you to their site. Type your credit information and click “Pay.”

Step 9. After a short while, you will receive a message stating the status of your transaction which will reflect in the confirmation part. If you are successfully granted an ETA, your e-visa will be sent to your email account. It usually takes about 24 hours for you to receive you the electronic visa.

By following these instructions, you are a nine-step closer to your dream destination— Experience Sri Lanka!

For more information and questions on e-visa application, you may visit the official website of the Department of Immigration and Emigration of Sri Lanka at


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