If you’re visiting Sri Lanka for the first time then there are a few things you should know. While every country is different from the rest, one thing that most are synonymous with is a travel visa.
So before you travel to Sri Lanka, you will need to get your visa. Acquiring a visa was easier a few years ago where you could do that just as you arrive. However, things are different now with the introduction of the ETA, which stands for Electronic Visa Authorization. But fear not as the process is much easier and very straightforward.
Who Needs an ETA to Travel to Sri Lanka?
Basically every country apart from the Republic of Singapore, the Republic of the Maldives and the Republic of Seychelles require an ETA to enter Sri Lanka on a short stay.
How Long Will the Application Process Take and When do I Apply?
The application process can be done on their website or on other websites that are partnered with the Sri Lanka government. The process of obtaining an ETA should be done in advance before you travel to the country, at least 90 days to be precise. This means that you can apply for your ETA three months before your trip. The process involves filling out a form and paying a fee for the service and government fee. This takes only a few minutes of your time and you will receive the Visa in the next 24 hours. The fee is determined based on the type of visa. For more information about it, you can visit visit-sri-lanka.net.
What is the Validity of a Sri Lanka ETA?
The two most common types of ETA are “short stay” and “transit” ETA. The “short stay” allows you to travel Sri Lanka for tourist or business purposes and it’s valid for the next 30 days once you arrive. The transit ETA is valid for two days once you arrive and it’s mandatory if you’re passing through the country or on a cruise ship. A transit ETA is free.
How to Apply for the Visa
To apply for the Visa, you will need to visit eighter the Sri Lanka government website or any other website that is partnered with the government. There are three types of “short stay” visas, Tourist ETA, Business ETA, and Transit ETA.
- Navigate to the website and change the language to English (you will have an option for it somewhere on the website).
- Navigate towards the “Apply” section of the website and choose one of the options displayed.
- Agree to all the terms by clicking on the “I Agree” button which will take you to the next step.
- Choose the type of ETA you want (located on the left side of your screen – the default is Tourist ETA).
- Fill up the form – If you have children that don’t have their own passports, then they will be traveling on your information, but you will need to fill that too. There is a section in the same form called “Children Information in Parent’s Passport”.
- Once you finish, review all the information that you just entered – click “change” if you want to correct something, if not click “confirm”.
You will be brought up to the payment section where you can pay by card via VISA/Mastercard or American Express. Pay the fee and your ETA will arrive via email in the next 24 hours.