Sri Lanka is exotic, colourful, tropical and a destination of many. But Sri Lanka also has the advantage that you can easily apply for your visa online. How this works, you will learn in this post.
We not only answer the most important questions and show you the difficulties and peculiarities of the application, but also explain how you can apply for your visa for a trip to Sri Lanka in no time.
Have fun while reading!
Tourist Visa Sri Lanka: All the information you read in this article relates solely to the application for a tourist visa!
Apply for visa Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a fascinating country with countless sights. Most inhabitants of the island are Buddhists.
Who needs to apply for a visa for Sri Lanka?
There is a visa requirement in Sri Lanka. This means: You need a valid visa to enter the country for your journey. As a German or Austrian citizen, you can simply apply for your visa for Sri Lanka online.
If you already have a residence permit for Sri Lanka, you do not need to apply for a visa again.
However, entry to Sri Lanka without a visa is not possible. The only exceptions are crew members of commercial aircraft and ships because they do not need a visa to enter Sri Lanka.
For each person who wants to enter Sri Lanka, a separate visa form must be completed (application form). Applications for several persons at the same time are only possible via the service of an agency. Even children must apply for their visa, but if they are younger than 12 years, the visa is free.
Important: When you apply for the visa, state tourism as the purpose of your trip! Otherwise, you may experience problems when entering Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka visa for short stays up to 30 days
If you are planning a short trip or vacation to Sri Lanka, a visa with a validity of up to 30 days is just the thing for you. Within the 30 days, you may enter Sri Lanka twice in total. The visa is valid for 180 days.
Which means: From the date of the issue you have 180 days to enter Sri Lanka. Once in the country, you can then stay for 30 days. It is generally recommended that you apply for your visa at least 90 days before your planned arrival in Sri Lanka.
On-site in Sri Lanka, the tourist visa can be extended by up to 6 months.
To get a visa, you have five options:
1. Apply for ETA yourself ;
2. Apply for ETA through an agency ;
3. Express visa or express visa ;
4. Visa upon arrival at the airport ;
5. Apply for a visa at the embassy.
Apply for an E-Visa for Sri Lanka (ETA) yourself | Option 1
You can conveniently apply online for up to 30 days in Sri Lanka. For this purpose, the Sri Lankan government set up the ETA system. There you can easily process the application form and the visa fee online.
“ETA” stands for Electronic Travel Authorization. By applying for an e-Visa, you can save yourself from having to go to the Sri Lankan Embassy.
After you have entered all the necessary data into the ETA system, completed the application form, and deposited your e-mail address, you will be informed about the status of your application. If your application is successful, you will receive a reference number for your ETA visa, which you will need to present when you enter Sri Lanka at the airport in Colombo.
Advantage: To apply for the ETA, it is the cheapest option for the Sri Lanka visa with 35 USD.
Disadvantage: Travelers report more often that when paying no German credit cards are accepted. German banks also charge a fee when paying in foreign currency, which may incur additional costs.
If your application form contains even a small error, you must repeat the entire application process. Lastly, several travellers can’t complete a common visa application, but the ETA application must be made for each person individually.
Apply for an E-Visa for Sri Lanka (ETA) through an agency | Option 2
The fastest and easiest way to get a Sri Lanka visa is through a specialized visa agency although the visa fee is slightly more expensive (€ 49.95 per person instead of $ 35), you will get the visa in most cases on the same day.
You can complete the application form for any number of travellers at once and in German and you have various payment options available (credit card, Sofortüberweisung, Paypal …).
Also, your data will be checked by the visa agency before submitting the ETA application and if you have any questions, please contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
A visa agency is, therefore, a convenient and safe alternative, especially in the case of Sri Lanka.
Special case: Express Visa Sri Lanka | Option 3
You spontaneously decided to visit Sri Lanka, but you did not have time to apply for a visa?
Also for this case, there is the appropriate express visa for you. You can request a visa with priority and within 15 minutes with a bit of luck, you will already hold your visa for Sri Lanka in your hands!
Although this is also possible via the ETA online procedure, in this case, we strongly recommend the service of a visa agency, because visa agencies are specialists when it comes to the quick procurement of a visa. Urgent requests are processed 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
And the visa fee is the visa via an agency just 5 € more expensive than the fee for a normal visa!
Apply for a visa on arrival at the airport in Colombo | Option 4
For the very spontaneous, there is also the possibility to apply for the visa directly upon arrival at Colombo International Airport.
For just 5 USD more (visa fee of 40 USD total) the visa will be issued before entry. For this, you have to fill in their application form.
Thus, the visa at the airport is just as expensive as the express visa. If time allows, we would recommend that you apply for the visa online beforehand. Because that is a lot less stressful! When applying for entry at the airport in the capital Colombo, you may expect long queues.
You can pay in US dollars or by credit card. As a refund, there are only Sri Lanka rupees.
Our tip: many credit cards charge for payment in foreign currency. Therefore, it is worthwhile to apply for a credit card before travelling to Sri Lanka, with which you can withdraw and pay for free worldwide.
Apply for a visa at the embassy | Option 5
Alternatively, you can apply for your visa personally in the Sri Lankan Embassy in Berlin, the Consulate General in Frankfurt or by post. Just keep in mind that this can take longer.
To be sure that your visa arrives before your trip to Sri Lanka, the Embassy recommends that you apply for it at least five weeks before you leave. There are also additional fees, such as the cost of registered mail.
Sri Lanka visa for extended stays up to 90 days
You can apply for a visa with which you can stay in Sri Lanka for three months at a time (90 days) and which you can extend locally for a maximum of 6 additional months.
In this case, you must contact a Sri Lankan embassy or Consulate General directly. Unfortunately, you cannot use the ETA online system for this visa.
You can apply for a visa in two ways:
1. Apply personally
2. Apply by mail
Personally apply to the embassy | Option 1
If you decide to apply for the visa in person at the Embassy, you should report to the Sri Lankan Embassy at least two weeks before your scheduled departure.
This means that you have to personally check in with all the necessary documents at the embassy to apply for your visa. Do not forget your passport!
The cost of a 90-day single-entry visa is € 57. If you would like to be able to enter the country several times during your stay, the visa costs € 82.
Apply for a visa by mail | Option 2
If you do not have time to appear in person at the Sri Lankan Embassy, you can simply apply for the extended-stay visa by mail. If you apply for your visa on the way to the embassy, you should bring your visa with all necessary documents at least five weeks before your departure to the post office.
It is important to have a stamped return envelope so that the embassy can send you the passport with a valid visa by post.
Applying for a visa for Sri Lanka: Requirements for applying
Whether you benefit from the practical ETA process, apply for your visa at the embassy or by mail, the conditions for applying for a visa are always the same.
You have to fulfil these requirements for the Sri Lanka visa:
·Valid passport with at least one free page. The passport should be valid for at least six months from the date of arrival in Sri Lanka. Children need their passport;
·Completed application form with signature ;
·Copy of a return or onward journey ticket;
·You must be able to prove sufficient financial resources to pay for your stay in Sri Lanka (eg proof by a bank statement) – is controlled in practice only in exceptional cases;
·Copy of the itinerary for Sri Lanka. If you have not yet booked accommodation, simply enter the names and addresses of the accommodation you intend to visit;
·Full payment of visa fees.