CBR 008 – Issuance of Visa for Sri Lanka
Issuance of Visas for Foreign Passport holders:
Foreign Passport holders are required to obtain prior visas to visit Sri Lanka. Please visit www.eta.gov.lk ( Department of Immigration & Emigration, Colombo, Sri Lanka) and Sri Lanka Tourism “Hello Again Sri Lanka” Travel guidelines https://www.srilanka.travel/helloagain/ for further information.
Any other inquiries: For inquiries on any other matters related to visas , please contact Sri Lanka High Commission in Canberra on +61 2 6198 3756 or email via email@example.com
What are the general eligibility requirements for Sri Lankan Visas?
Sri Lanka Immigration and Emigration may grant or issue a visa to you if –
- Sri Lanka Immigration & Emigration is satisfied that you are bona fide visitor/tourist.
- Sri Lanka Immigration & Emigration approves the purpose for which you are entering Sri Lanka.
- You hold a recognised passport valid for a minimum period of six months from the date you arrive in Sri Lanka.
- Sri Lanka Immigration & Emigration is satisfied that you have adequate funds for your maintenance whilst in Sri Lanka and for the payment of your return passage to the country which issued your passport.
- You are in possession of a written assurance (ticket) to return to the country of domicile or a visa to the next country of destination if you are a visit visa holder.
- Where to apply? Forward your application to the following respective offices, closest to your place of residence.
|Respective area||Office & Contact Details|
|1||New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Samoa
Western Australia (WA), Northern Territory (NT),Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
Sri Lanka High Commission,
61, Hampton Circuit, Yarralumla 2600, ACT, Australia
Fax : 02-6198-3760
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
|2||New South Wales, Queensland||
Sri Lanka Consulate General in Sydney
Level 11, No 48, Hunter Street,
Tel: 02 9223 8729 / 02 9223 8742
Fax :02 9223 8750
Consular Hours: 9.30 am to 1.30 pm
Consular Inquiries: until 4.30 pm
|3||Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania||
Sri Lanka Consulate General in Melbourne
Suite 536, No 1 Queens Road,
Telephone: +61 3 9290 4200
- What is ETA?
- With effect from 1st January 2012, all Holiday or Business travellers must obtain Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) for entering in to Sri Lanka. Please visit http://www.eta.gov.lk for more information.
All payments for applying visas for ETA MUST be made ONLY through the official website; http://www.eta.gov.lk.
It has been found that some third party agents apply visa through ETA on behalf of their clients and collect visa fees. The Government of Sri Lanka has no control over these transactions.
- How to apply?
Visa can be applied online, OR by physically submitting an application to the High Commission, Consulate Offies in Sydney & Melbourne, OR sending the application by post;
- Who are eligible for Visa Exemptions?
- Sri Lankan dual citizens.
- Children whose birth has been registered under section 5(2) of Citizenship Act – 1948 in Sri Lanka and is below 21 years of age.
- Children below 21 years of age born in Sri Lanka to Sri Lankan parents.
- What are the Types of Sri Lankan Visas?
There are two major (02) types visa for Sri Lanka
- Visit visa ( Tourist visa & Business purpose visa) – Details are given below
- Residence Visa– Details are given below
- Visit Visa
A Visit Visa is an entry permit signifying the consent of the Sri Lankan Government for the admission of a foreign national to the country. The Visa contains details of the period of time and condition/s of stay.
There are two (02) sub-categories which come under visit visas:-
- Tourist Visa
A Tourist Visa is issued to bona-fide tourists who want to enter Sri Lanka for sightseeing, excursions, relaxation, visit relatives or yoga training for a short period of time up to 03 months.
Any person arriving in Sri Lanka by Cruise ship and wants to enter the country must obtain Tourist visa prior to travel.
ETA Transit visa for Sri Lanka is only for transit purposes and will not be permitted go out from the arrival point in Sri Lanka.
If you have ALREADY obtained ETA Transit visa for Sri Lanka and INTEND to go out from the arrival point, the most sensible thing is to first CANCEL your ETA Transit visa and APPLY for fresh Tourist visa. (This would not be a difficult task).
- Business Purpose Visa
A Business Purpose Visa is issued to foreign nationals who visit Sri Lanka for business purposes for a short period of time. This visa may be issued for single, double or multiple journeys.
Steps to be taken to apply for Tourist Visit OR Business Visit Visa & the checklist
|1.||Applying through Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) system
|Please log into- http://www.eta.gov.lk
Note: This system is easy, fast and convenient
|3.||On line ETA facility is not available for visits for the following purposes;
Approval from the appropriate Sri Lanka Government authorities should be obtained if purpose of travel is any of the above mentioned.
Potential applicants may obtain the relevant visa by submitting proof of evidence [Ex. invitation issued by respective authority, agreements signed between parties etc.] from the closest Sri Lanka Overseas Mission or from the Visa Section of the Department of Immigration & Emigration, Colombo for the above purposes.
|4.||When the applicant submit a visa application to the High Commission or Consulate Office physically.||
|11.||Visa Fees – w.e.f.
|For Tourists purposes (Electronic Travel Authority- ETA)
Any country other than SAARC countries (Passport holders of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Samoa and Solomon Islands etc) – up to 30 Days – AUD 48.00
For Tourists purposes (Electronic Travel Authority- ETA)
Passport Holders of Australia and New Zealand Only
After 30 Days up to 90 Days – AUD 136.00
|For Business Purposes- (Electronic Travel Authority- ETA – Entry Visa)
Any country other than SAARC countries (Passport holders of Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Samoa and Solomon Islands etc) – up to 30 Days – AUD 55.00
|12.||Processing time 5-7 days|
Note: Credit/ATM/Debit cards AND personal or Company cheques will not be accepted.
Note: If the applicant sends Money orders, Bank Draft or directly credit money into the High Commission or consulate bank accounts, without prior instructions, the responsibility lies with the applicant for any loss/shortage or delay.
- Residence Visa
A residence visa is a permit for a non-Sri Lankan to obtain residence facilities for special purposes. There are sub-categories which come under residence visas –
- Employment Category
- Investor category
- Religious category
- Student Category
- Registered Indians covered by the 1954 Indo-Lanka Agreement
- Ex-Sri Lankans and their dependents
- Family members of a Sri Lankan
- Diplomatic and Official visa
- My dream home visa programme
- Residence guest visa programme
Steps to be taken
- In this case, the visa process should originate from Sri Lanka-end by the individual/institution who/which sponsor/facilitate the applicant. The concerned individual/institution in Sri Lanka should submit the application for residence visa on behalf of the applicant directly to the Controller General/Immigration and Emigration (CG/I & E) of Sri Lanka.
- If the CG/ I & E approve the completed application form, they will then authorize the Sri Lanka High Commission or Consulate offices to issue entry visa (valid for 30 day) to the applicant. An entry visa allows one entry into the country and is valid for 30 days only. The applicant should then contact the High Commission or relevant consulate office to obtain the entry visa.
- Upon arrival in Sri Lanka the applicant must visit/contact the Immigration and Emigration Department of Sri Lanka to obtain his/her residence visa.
- ETA for Official and Diplomatic passport holders
Diplomatic and Official passport holders if travelling for a purpose listed below are also expected to apply online for ETA. However if they are travelling on official government business other than the purposes indicated below, they need to apply through the Sri Lanka High Commission/CG. If they are travelling for private purpose, issuance of ETA on gratis basis will be considered on the basis of reciprocity.
- Visiting friends and relatives
- Tourism/ Sightseeing/ Holiday
- Medical treatment
- Participation in sports, cultural performances
- Business meeting
- Conference, workshops& Seminars
- Short training
- Participation in art, music and dance performance/workshops
- Duly filled application – Download ETA Application for Official/Diplomatic Purpose
- A valid passport with a photocopy (six months validity is required from the date of arrival)
- Formal note [TPN] from the respective government stating the purpose of visit
- Applicable return postage. If needed, courier service should be arranged by the applicant.
- Applicable visa Fee
- Transit Visa
A Transit Visa is an entry permit granted to a foreign national for admission into Sri Lanka for a brief period which is incidental and in the course of his journey to another destination.
- Gratis Visa
The holder of a Diplomatic or Official Passport or a passport with a valid Diplomatic or Official endorsement, and decided by the Diplomatic Mission based on request.
- Visa for Foreign Media Personal and Filming Crew
Sri Lanka has a long standing democratic tradition and therefore respects the freedom of speech and expression. In keeping with this spirit, foreign media personnel are welcome to visit Sri Lanka.
Guidelines for Media Personnel & Filming Crew Visiting Sri Lanka & Check list
|1.||Media||All journalists/media personnel travelling to Sri Lanka need to obtain visa from the relevant Sri Lanka Mission prior to their travel to Colombo.|
|2.||You are requested to apply for visa at least 14 days prior to expected date of travel|
|3.||Media accreditation issued by the Department of Information in Colombo which allows foreign media to operate in Sri Lanka will not be issued under any circumstances for media personnel who enter the country on a tourist visa.|
|4.||The Department of Customs strictly enforces regulations pertaining to the clearance of media equipment. Therefore visiting Journalists should obtain a temporary import document known as ‘international Carnet’ for their professional cameras and media equipment for customs clearance. In the absence of a ‘Carnet’, a bank guarantee should be submitted to the value of the imported items. If the visit is sponsored by any State institution, a guarantee letter from the institution to ensure the equipment will be re-exported, is required|
|5.||A list of equipment carried by audio/visual media should be sent to the Public Communications Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the relevant Sri Lanka High Commission/ Consulate in advance, to facilitate Customs clearance at airport. The list should be accompanied by a letter of undertaking from the relevant media organization stating that all equipment will be taken out of the country at departure.|
|6.||All foreign media personnel working in Sri Lanka are required to obtain media accreditation from the Department of Government Information, issued upon the recommendation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Media accreditation requests submitted to Sri Lanka High Commission will be forwarded to Department of Government Information through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo. Journalists who wish to obtain media accreditation are advised to visit Department of Government Information Centre in Colombo.
|7.||Journalists may contact the Public Communications Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs if they wish to contact the for courtesy meetings, or for requesting interviews with VVIP’s and for any other assistance.|
|8.||FILMING DOCUMENTARIES / FEATURE FILMS||Filming of documentaries and feature films, other than tourism promotional films and wildlife related documentaries, require prior approval from the National Film Corporation (NFC). Please visit nfc.gov.lk “foreign Shootings “for more information.|
|9.||Media teams are required to complete the NFC agreement, and submit it along with the synopsis of the documentary, itinerary of the media team while in Sri Lanka as well as locations of filming. 24 working days are required to process these documents, prior to issuance of visa.|
|10.||TOURISM PROMOTIONAL DOCUMENTARIES||Media teams travelling to Sri Lanka to film tourism promotional documentaries, or taking part in Sri Lanka Tourist Board (SLTB) familiarisation tours, are required to fill the “SLTB Selection Criteria for Journalists/TV crews for FAM tours” form.
The SLTPB requires at least 30 working days for processing the relevant documents prior to the scheduled commencement of the project. Such media teams should also identify a local ground handling team who will be coordinating the project in Sri Lanka.
|11.||FILMING IN WILD LIFE PROTECTED AREAS||Filming in Wildlife protected areas requires prior approval from the Department of Wildlife Conservation. [DWC] The duly completed “Application for filming in wildlife protected areas”, available at DWC(please see below for details), must be completed and handed over to the relevant Mission. The Department of Wildlife Conservation requires at least 14 working days for processing the documents.|
|12.||General Visa Requirements||Visa Application Download application– Compulsory|
|13.||Passport valid for at least six months from the date of arrival– Compulsory|
|14.||Two recent (passport size) colour photographs– Compulsory|
|15.||Confirmed Travel Itinerary– Compulsory|
|16.||Letter of Invitation from Sri Lankan Authority, if applicable [with their contact details] – Compulsory|
|17.||Credentials [letter from employer/organization] – Compulsory|
|18.||Synopsises of the production – a fairly comprehensive report is required. – Compulsory|
|19.||List of media equipment to be cleared by Sri Lanka Customs on arrival|
|20.||Visa Fee as applicable (please refer visa fee schedule under ‘Business Visa’ category and payment method therein – Compulsory|
|21.||Declaration at “Annex A” to be signed by the applicant. Annex ‘A’ can be obtained as a Word Document by clicking on the link Journalist Declaration Annex A– Compulsory|
|22.||Special Notes (Important)
- Guidelines for Issuance of Visas and Work Permits for Expatriates working and seeking to work in a Voluntary capacity in Social Service Organizations/NGOs
Following are some of the key requirements laid down in the guidelines:
- All Voluntary Social Service Organizations/NGOs registered under the Voluntary Social Service Organizations Act No. 31 of 1980, who wish to obtain visas should submit their NGO/INGO registration certificate and MOU signed with the Government of Sri Lanka to the Department of Immigration and Emigration. Visa will only be processed for the organizations that fulfil the above requirement.
- All foreign nationals who intend to work in NGO/INGO sector in Sri Lanka should apply for entry visa prior to travel.
- Residence visas are issued by the Controller-General of Immigration and Emigration for foreign nationals holding entry visas on the recommendation of the Director of National Secretariat for Non-Governmental Organizations, subject to a minimum period of one year. Extension of residence visa will not exceed three years.
- Foreign nationals travelling on tourist visas will not be able to obtain Residence visa.
- Visa fee applies.
Comprehensive details on the new procedures can be obtained from the respective authorities in Sri Lanka [Gov. Information Centre www.gic.gov.lk]
Granting or termination of visas is at the sole discretion of the Controller General, Immigration and Emigration as per Section 14 of the Immigrants and Emigrants Act No. 20 of 1948 and Immigrants and Emigrants Regulations.