Sri Lanka Visa Types

Apply for Sri Lanka ETA

Most foreigners need a visa to enter Sri Lanka. Several different types of visas and electronic travel authorisations are available for travel to Sri Lanka depending on the traveller’s nationality and reason for visiting the country.

The information below provides details of the following types of Sri Lanka visa and ETA to help visitors select the correct one for their trip.

  • Sri Lanka travel authorisation or ETA
  • Sri Lanka consular visa
  • Sri Lanka visa on arrival

There is also a brief guide to the online ETA application process.

Sri Lanka online visa waiver or ETA

Passport holders from many nations can take advantage of Sri Lanka’s ETA application system. The Sri Lanka Electronic Travel Authorisation is the simplest solution for foreigners who wish to stay in Sri Lanka short-term.

Eligible travelers detailed in ETA Sri Lanka’s requirements can apply in advance and most applicants receive their approved permit within 48 hours. On presenting the ETA and passport at the port of entry, travellers are issued with a 30-day visitor visa.

Three types of Sri Lanka ETA are available catering to the needs of a wide range of visitors.

Sri Lanka ETA for tourism

Sri Lanka is a popular South Asian tourist destination. Holidaymakers who would like to enjoy the country’s tropical climate and sandy beaches should apply for the Sri Lanka tourist ETA online.

Key information:

  • Double entry, the date of the second visit must be within 30 days of the first entry
  • Maximum stay of 30 days from the arrival date
  • Valid for 180 days from the date of issue

Sri Lanka ETA for business

Business travellers can obtain the Sri Lanka ETA for business. Applying for this version is also straightforward, requiring just a few personal and passport details in addition to information about the company in Sri Lanka.

Key information:

  • Multiple-entry: all entries must be within 30 days of the first entry
  • Maximum stay of 30 days from the arrival date
  • Valid for 180 days from the date of issue

Sri Lanka ETA for transit

Passengers with a connecting flight in Sri Lanka should apply for the Sri Lanka ETA for transit. A Sri Lanka ETA is required by foreign passengers who will spend more than 8 hours at the airport before their next flight.

Sri Lanka transit ETA holders must stay within the airport and depart within 48 hours. Applicants must have a return ticket or proof of onward travel in order to be eligible.

Key facts:

  • Single entry: it is not possible to leave the airport
  • Maximum stay: up to 2 days between flights
  • Valid for 180 days from the date of issue

Sri Lanka visa in advance

Only travellers who are not eligible for the Sri Lanka ETA need to apply for a visa in advance at an embassy or consulate. Sri Lanka visa policy states that citizens of the following nations are required to obtain a visa to Sri Lanka in advance at a diplomatic mission.


  • Afghanistan
  • Cameroon
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Gabon
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Mali
  • Myanmar
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Pakistan
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Sierra Leone
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Uganda

Processing times are longer than when applying for a Sri Lanka ETA so it’s important to make an appointment at the embassy well ahead of the intended date of departure. Travellers are required to present paper copies of the application form and supporting documents in person.

Sri Lanka visa on arrival

Travellers who do not have an ETA can get a visa on arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport. Travellers may have to wait in long lines and are required to complete an application form.

Visitors are encouraged to obtain the ETA before travelling, by submitting the application form in advance, the visa can be issued on arrival without delays.

Most foreigners avoid the risk of being denied a visa at the border by obtaining the ETA before departure.

Citizens of the 20 countries listed above cannot get a visa on arrival and must instead obtain the Sri Lanka visit visa in advance.