Sri Lankan Visa and Immigration Process

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A few things you should know about Sri Lankan visa when you’re planning your next trip to the pearl of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka. 

Sri Lanka’s economy heavily relies on tourism. Throughout the year, many foreigners come here to enjoy the sunny beaches and the misty mountains.

As the country attracts many tourists, we must touch on this topic of immigration.

There are four kinds of visas which issued by the Immigration Department of Sri Lanka.

  1. Visit Visa
  2. Residence Visa
  3. Transit Visa
  4. Gratis Visa

First, let’s look at the most issued and most relevant Visa for travellers.

Visit Visa

Visiting Visa is what you need to obtain if you’re planning a trip to Sri Lanka.

However, there are two types Visit Visas, Tourist and Business.

Both can apply through online or upon arrival. You can click here to apply for E-Visa.

There is a fee that you must pay, and it is only 35$ for tourists and 40$ for business people.

But currently Sri Lankan Govt. have waved off the Visa fee from few countries to promote and encourage more and more tourist to come to Sri Lanka.

Below are the listed countries that have been waved off the Visa fee.

  1. All EU Countries
  2. United Kingdom
  3. United States of America
  4. Thailand
  5. Iceland
  6. Japan
  7. South Korea
  8. Australia
  9. Canada
  10. Singapore
  11. Malaysia
  12. New Zealand
  13. Switzerland
  14. Cambodia
  15. China
  16. India
  17. Indonesia
  18. Israel
  19. Ukraine
  20. Philippines
  21. Russia

You could also use the ON-ARRIVAL Visa facility, but you might end up in long ques upon your arrival.

To avoid that, we recommend you get it done prior to your arrival to the country.

If you’re travelling for business, you can apply through here. The ON-ARRIVAL visa option is not valid for business travellers.

Residence Visa

Resident Visa is a special case where foreign national can obtain a visa permit to use residence facilities. There are eight sub-categories which come under residence visa.

  1. Employment Category – This category is for foreign personnel who are employed or attached to Private, Government or Diplomatic operations inside the country.
  2. Investor Category – This is for foreign personnel who invest monetary capital in Sri Lanka or who engage in business activities.
  3. Religious Category – This applies to the religious clergy.
  4. Student Category – This is for Students who are studying in local universities or institutes.
  5. Registered Indians covered by the 1954 Indo-Lanka agreement.
  6. Ex-Sri Lankans and their Dependents.
  7. Family Members of Sri Lankans – This is for instances where a Sri Lankan is married to a foreigner. The Spouse and Kids can apply for residence Visa.
  8. Official and Diplomatic Visa.

Transit Visa

This Visa grant for Foreign national for a brief period which is incidental and during his journey to another destination.

Gratis Visa

Gratis Visa grant for Diplomatic passport holders. This is a permit where you can wave off the visa fee upon entering the country.
Those are the types of Visas which issued from the Sri Lankan Govt. like we mentioned earlier, the most relevant Visa is the visit visa.
Let’s now look at a few conditions you need adhere when you’re on Visit Visa.

  • You should not engage in any form of employment, paid or unpaid, or in any trade or business other than that specified in the Visa during the period of your stay in Sri Lanka.
  • Your Visa must be utilized before the date of expiry noted on the Visa.
  • The validity of your Visa is subject to entry into Sri Lanka during the indicated entry period.
  • Application of the extensions of all visas should be made to the Department of Immigration and Emigration.

There you go, all you need to know in one place. If you ever have queries or comments, please feel free to contact or comment to us.

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