The Sri Lankan ETA is an electronic travel authorisation that allows Colombian nationals to travel to Sri Lanka without requiring a standard visa. It is fully available online, and Colombian applicants can submit their request from the comfort of their homes. There is no need to schedule a visit to an embassy or consular building. The Sri Lankan government introduced the ETA in 2012 to facilitate international short term travels to their country.
Colombian passport holders who plan a visit to Sri Lanka for tourism, business, or merely transiting can enter the country without a visa. They are simply required to apply for a Sri Lanka ETA (also referred to as a visa waiver). Provided they travel for one of the reasons mentioned and their stay does not exceed 30 days, they are fully eligible and can enter Sri Lanka visa-free.
If Colombians are travelling to Sri Lanka for other purposes or for more extended periods of time, they should schedule a visit at the Sri Lanka Consulate in Bogota.
The government of Sri Lanka offers Colombian citizens 3 different Sri Lanka ETA types for short stays:
The Sri Lanka ETA for tourism is a multidisciplinary travel authorisation that allows Colombians to enter Sri Lanka for various reasons. It covers the following activities:
It is valid for 6 months once granted and allows a stay for Colombian visitors of 30 days.
The Sri Lanka government offers the Sri Lanka ETA for business to Colombian professionals or investors interested in the following activities:
Like the tourist ETA, the business ETA is also valid for 6 months and grants a stay in the country for 30 days.
Colombian travellers interested in visiting Sri Lanka for professional activities such as meeting with political parties, journalists, or NGO’s should note the ETA is not compatible with them. They are still welcome to travel to Sri Lanka but must request a standard visa to do so.
Colombians transiting through Sri Lanka en route to a third destination and with a connection flight after 8 hours or more will have to apply for a Sri Lanka ETA for transit. Passengers with a confirmed onward ticket and a shorter connection period are naturally exempt from needing this ETA. If their stay is longer than 48 hours, then the Transit ETA is not valid, and they must request a tourist ETA or an alternative visa.
Colombian passport holders, before they proceed to the application form, must check they meet the Sri Lanka visa waiver requirements, which include the following:
With a passport set to expire in less than 6 months from their intended arrival date, Colombian nationals must renew it before proceeding with their application. The email address they provide must be one they regularly use since it will be used for all communications related to their request and the ETA granting. Finally, they must ensure the card they plan to use for payment has been previously authorized for online transactions and carry sufficient funds for the ETA cost.
The application form for the Sri Lanka ETA is available for Colombian citizens online. The process is relatively quick to complete, and applicants must ensure they have a stable internet connection and 15 minutes before beginning. They will submit the following personal and passport information:
After completing the form, Colombian applicants need to confirm that all the information they provided is entirely correct and error-free. If there are any mistakes or discrepancies with the passport information, the ETA approval may be delayed or even rejected. To finalize the application form they will pay the ETA processing fee online. Most international debit and credit cards are accepted, and the payment is carried out through a secure online system.
Once Colombians have submitted their application form and paid the ETA fee, their request is evaluated by the Sri Lankan government. The evaluation is a swift process that usually takes 24 hours. Applicants are nevertheless advised to submit their form in advance to account for any delays due to national holidays or mistakes in the form.
The Sri Lankan government issues the approved ETAs to the Colombian applicants securely by email as an attached PDF. Colombian travellers must print out a copy of the approved ETA before their departure.
Once they receive the approved ETA, Colombian visitors are authorized to travel to Colombia. Before their departure, they must ensure they comply with the following conditions:
For the latest information on visiting Sri Lanka, Colombian visitors are advised to check the regular updates on the Sri Lanka ETA news page.
Colombian citizens who have not had time to apply for the ETA before their departure are eligible to fly to Sri Lanka and request a visa on arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport. They should note that this option, while still available, entails having to wait for long queues once they reach Sri Lanka.
They must carry all of their original documentation and pay at the passport controls counter. Though minimal, there is also a risk of denial of their application, forcing them on the next outwards flight. The online ETA is a much more convenient and preferred option for Colombian visitors travelling to Sri Lanka.