Are you planning a visit to the beautiful island nation of Sri Lanka? If so, you’ll need to obtain a tourist visa before you can embark on your journey. The process of acquiring a tourist visa may seem daunting at first, but with the right guidance, it can be a straightforward and hassle-free experience. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to get a tourist visa to Sri Lanka, covering everything from the application process to the required documents and fees. Let’s dive in!

Understanding the Sri Lankan Tourist Visa

A tourist visa is a mandatory requirement for foreign visitors who wish to explore the mesmerizing landscapes, rich culture, and ancient heritage of Sri Lanka. The visa allows you to enter the country for tourism purposes, including sightseeing, leisure, and visiting friends or relatives.

Types of Tourist Visas

Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA)

The Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) is the most common and convenient way to obtain a tourist visa for Sri Lanka. It allows you to apply for a visa online, eliminating the need for a physical visit to an embassy or consulate. The ETA is linked electronically to your passport and grants you a 30-day stay in Sri Lanka, which can be extended up to 180 days.

Visa on Arrival

If you’re unable to apply for an ETA or prefer the traditional method, you can opt for a visa on arrival. This type of visa allows you to obtain the necessary visa upon your arrival at one of Sri Lanka’s designated entry points. However, it’s important to note that the visa on arrival process can be time-consuming, and there may be long queues at the immigration counters.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a tourist visa to Sri Lanka, you need to fulfill the following criteria:

  • Hold a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months from the date of arrival.
  • Have a return ticket or onward travel arrangements.
  • Possess sufficient funds to cover your stay in Sri Lanka.

Documents Required for the Application

  • Valid passport with at least six months’ validity.
  • Completed visa application form.
  • Proof of accommodation in Sri Lanka (hotel reservations, etc.).
  • Proof of sufficient funds (bank statements, credit cards, etc.).
  • Travel itinerary or return ticket.

It’s essential to note that additional documents may be required based on your nationality and the type of visa you are applying for.

Application Process

Online Application

If you opt for the ETA, you can apply for your tourist visa online through the official Sri Lanka ETA website. Fill in the required information accurately, including personal details, passport information, and travel plans. Pay the relevant visa fee using a debit or credit card, and submit your application. Once approved, you will receive the ETA confirmation via email.

On Arrival Application

For the visa on arrival option, you can apply for the visa upon arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo or any other designated port of entry. Complete the visa application form available at the airport, submit it along with the required documents, and pay the visa fee in cash. Upon approval, you will receive the visa, allowing you to enter Sri Lanka.

Find the Official ETA website

Official ETA to Apply for Sri Lankan Visa

Since there are so many fraud ETA websites out there and some of them aren’t even run in Sri Lanka, it’s crucial to find the right one when applying for an electronic visa.

A client paid sum of $300 USD to obtain visas for two guests for a website that didn’t even have a contact information (the Fee is obviously way more expensive than the right amount). When we contacted Sri Lanka Immigration for legal actions, they said they couldn’t do anything about it because the websites in question are run from overseas. At the end of the day, the guest was out $300.

Always check the URL to see if it contains to find the correct website. The appropriate website appears as shown in the below-mentioned image.

Sri Lanka Official ETA Website

Visa Fees and Payment Methods

The visa fees for Sri Lanka’s tourist visa vary depending on the duration of your stay and the type of visa you choose. The payment methods also differ based on the application method:

  • ETA Application: The visa fee can be paid online using a debit or credit card during the application process.
  • On Arrival Application: The visa fee is payable in cash (USD) at the immigration counter upon arrival.

For SAARC Countries  (Including India) the Visa fee will be 20 USD per 30 days entry and all the other countries Visa fee will be 50 USD.

Visa Fee Sri Lanka

Applying for ETA

You will be directed to the home page after choosing your language on the website. When you click the apply tab on the home page, you will be presented with three options for a tourist visa. My advice is to apply as an individual even if you are traveling as a group or a family to ensure a smooth process.

Apply for Individual Sri Lankan VIsa

The website will then take you to the application window, where filling it out is easy but takes some time. Just make sure you fill the form up with the correct informations.

Visa Application 02
  • Address in Sri Lanka- Address of a hotel that you staying.
  • Email address- This email address is intended to be your email address, not the hotel’s email address, and it is where you receive notification that your visa application has been approved.
Visa Application 01

Processing Time

The processing time for an ETA application is usually quick, and you can expect to receive the approval within 24 to 72 hours. In contrast, the visa on arrival process may take longer due to potential queues and processing delays at the airport.

If you did not receive your ETA withing expected time, you or your travel agent can always contact Department of Immigration and Emigration through there Hotline number

Contact Details

Department of Immigration and Emigration
Suhurupaya, Sri Subuthipura Road, Baththaramulla

Hotline : 0094 71 9967888
Telephone : 0094 70 1777555 , 0094 11 5329422
Fax : 0094 11 2674631
E-Mail : [email protected]
Web Site:

Email : [email protected]

Extending Your Tourist Visa

If you wish to extend your stay in Sri Lanka beyond the initial visa duration, you can apply for an extension at the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Colombo. It’s advisable to start the extension process well before your current visa expires to avoid any legal complications.

Tips for a Smooth Visa Application Process

To ensure a smooth visa application process, consider the following tips:

  1. Apply for your tourist visa well in advance of your travel dates to allow for any unforeseen delays.
  2. Double-check all the required documents and ensure they are accurate and up to date.
  3. Keep copies of all your documents, including your passport and visa, in a safe place while traveling.
  4. Familiarize yourself with Sri Lanka’s visa regulations and follow them strictly.
  5. Seek assistance from a reliable travel agency or consult the official Sri Lankan embassy or consulate in your country if you have any doubts or concerns.

Sri Lankan Visa Requirement for Children

  • Children up to 12 years visa will be free.
  • 12 years old and above will be considered as an adult and has to apply for visa.
  • And if the kid has a seperate passport, the kid will be considered as an Individual and will be subject to get a seperate Visa.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I apply for a tourist visa to Sri Lanka online?  A: Yes, you can apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) online through the official Sri Lanka ETA website.

Q: How long can I stay in Sri Lanka with a tourist visa? A: With an ETA, you can stay in Sri Lanka for up to 30 days, which can be extended to a maximum of 180 days.

Q: Can I extend my tourist visa while in Sri Lanka? A: Yes, you can apply for a visa extension at the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Colombo.

Q: How much does a tourist visa to Sri Lanka cost? A: The visa fees vary depending on the duration of your stay and the type of visa. Check the official Sri Lanka ETA website for the current fees.


Obtaining a tourist visa to Sri Lanka is a crucial step before embarking on your exciting journey. By following the outlined process and ensuring you have all the required documents, you’ll be well-prepared to explore the enchanting landscapes, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality of Sri Lanka. Remember to plan your trip in advance, apply for the appropriate visa type, and comply with the visa regulations. Enjoy your visit to this captivating island paradise!

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Good Luck!