Issuance of VISA

General Information

All foreign nationals intending to visit Sri Lanka must obtain appropriate visa prior to their travel. When applying for an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) through a third party [other than applicant], payments are to be made through the Department of Immigration Emigration ETA website at and approval of ETA obtained.  Payments made through other websites or agencies are not valid to process an ETA.  Therefore, always ensure that payments are made through the official ETA website, to avoid having to make a payment at the port of entry to Sri Lanka.

Under no circumstance can you change the status of visa after arrival in Sri Lanka. For example, a person who visits Sri Lanka on holiday cannot engage in any business/ profession, social work, charity or any other form of voluntary work or paid or unpaid employment  without obtaining prior visa for such purposes.

Where to apply

Sri Lankan nationals residing in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Samoa can forward their applications with required documents to the Sri Lanka High Commission and the Consulates General Offices as indicated below;

Western Australia (WA), Northern Territory (NT),Australian Capital Territory (ACT), New Zealand, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, Solomon Islands- Sri Lanka High Commission, 61, Hampton Circuit, Yarralumla, Canberra. ACT 2600, Australia.

New South Wales, Queensland       – Sri Lanka Consulate General in Sydney
(Please go through

Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania   – Sri Lanka Consulate General in Melbourne
(Please go through

On line ETA facility is not available for under mentioned purposes;

  • To participate in Media/Journalist related conferences, workshops or seminars etc.
  • To engage in Meetings, Seminars, Conferences etc. with Political parties and/or groups
  • To engage in activities carried out by NGOs or INGOs-

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.

Who are eligible for Visa Exemptions

  • Sri Lankan Dual Citizens– will need to produce passport with Dual Citizenship stamp/Dual Citizenship Certificate at the Immigration counter
  • Children born overseas and whose birth has been registered under section 5[2] of Citizenship Act-1948, and who have not yet reached 21 years of age. Certificate has to be produced at the Immigration counter on arrival at the Sri Lankan air port.


Payment can be made in cash at the Consular counter, Sri Lanka High Commission or by Australian postal order/ Bank cheque drawn in favour of “Sri Lanka High Commission”.

Credit/Debit cards will not be accepted. All payments must be in Australian dollars.

Outside Australia: Payment can be made by Bank draft drawn in favour of “Sri Lanka High Commission” or by Postal Order in Australian dollars, and an official receipt will be issued

  • Personal and Company Cheque is not accepted.

Special Notes :

  • Translations will not be accepted as originals
  • All photocopies must be on A4 size paper.
  • This High Commission will not take any responsibility for documents lost or delayed in the post.
  • Money will not be refunded after issuance of a receipt.
  • ETA Visa for 30 days/90 days : ETA Visa (Tourist /Business / Gratis) is valid only for you to enter into Sri Lanka within 180 days, from the date of approval.

 Type of Visa and mode of Application  

A. Online

                30 days ETA for Tourism

   30days ETA for Business

[Less than 30 days Tourist Visa can be obtained through Approval will be received within 2 working days Please note that if you did not receive the approval within 2 working days, you may login to and go to the  ETA home page  to “check status” ; and then enter your application  acknowledgement or passport number to check your visa status. If the status is that, your visa has been approved please take a print out of that page  and take with you when you travel to Sri Lanka.]

Applying online- less than 30 days 

There are two sub-categories which come under visit visas.

i.Visit Visa for Tourism-[less than 30 days] A Tourist Visa is issued to bona-fide tourists who visit Sri Lanka for site seeing, holidaying, excursions, relaxation, visit relatives, friends or for Medical treatment including Ayurvedic and yoga, participate in sporting events, competitions and activities relating to cultural performances, for a short period of time. If required, tourists can apply for a further extension up to 3 months before the expiry of the visa by forwarding the application to the Department of Immigration and Emigration, Colombo. An additional extension fee will apply. However, an extension shall only be considered with valid reasons. Any tourist intending to enter the country for a brief period requires a Visa, as mentioned above.

ii.Visit visa for Business Purpose -[less than 30 days] A business purpose Visa is issued to foreign nationals who visit Sri Lanka for the purpose of business for a short period of time. This visa may be issued for single or double journeys. This Visa is issued to participate in business meetings and negotiations, Conferences, workshops, seminars, Short term Training Programs, Arts, Music, Dance, Symposium and Religious events. If required, a further extension can be applied for, before the expiry of the visa by forwarding an application to Department of Immigration and Emigration, Colombo. However, an extension shall only be considered with valid reasons.

Online ETA Visa Fee

Visit Visa (tourism)     –           30 days USD 35.00

Visit Visa (business)    –           30 days USD 40.00

If there is any inquiry regarding ETA pleases contact:

                Hotline: 0094 71 9967888
fax: 0094 11 2674631

B. Applying Visa through Sri Lanka Missions in Australia 

There are two sub-categories;

  1. Less than 30 days [for Tourism & Business]
  2. Upto90 days [for Tourism & Business] 

Tourist/ Business Visa less than 30 days 

Those who are not in a position to apply online for Tourist or Business Visa for a period less than 30 days may submit applications through the High Commission or Consulate Office [CG] as appropriate. Following documents are required to be submitted with the application. Processing period can take up to 7 working days.

In case of business visa – Letter of invitation or business agreement with two copies [as proof of the business purpose.] 

Visa Fees

                                     For Australian Passports        For New Zealand Passports

Tourist Visa

30 days – Double entry        AUD 50.00                                  AUD 50.00

Business visa

30 days- multiple entry        AUD 60.00                                 AUD 60.00

Postage within Australia AUD 10.00/outside Australia AUD30.00. If required, courier servicers should be arranged by the applicant. If applying in person at the High Commission, payment can only be made in cash for which an official receipt will be issued. Money will not be refunded after issuance of the receipt.

Tourist / Business visa up to 90 days

Visa applications to be submitted to the High Commission/CG [Sydney or Melbourne] with following documents. Processing period is 5-7 working days.

  • A letter of request
  • Duly filled Application form for Tourist Visa/ Business visa, with one photocopy[ Download ETA Application for Tourist/Business purpose –individual ]
  • Passport valid for more than 6 months from the date of arrival with two photo copies of the bio data page. Passports less than 6 months validity will not be accepted.
  • Relevant visa fee
  • 02 Passport size colour photographs
  • A copy of the Flight details or a copy of return Air Ticket

In case of business visa– An invitation letter from the company/organization in Sri Lanka recommending the issuance of visa to the applicant is required.

A request letter from the company or organization abroad recommending the issuance of visa and giving details of the status of the applicant, nature of business, duration of stay, availability of funds, and details of the party in Sri Lanka with whom the business is to be conducted.

Note: Visa applications of children less than 16 years has to provide the  following documents; consent letter from the parents, copy of the parent’s marriage certificate, copy of the child’s birth certificate, copies of parents’ passports, duly filled application forms, relevant visa fees, two recent passport size colour photographs.

Visa Fees

                                                              Australia                     New Zealand

Tourist Visa

90 days Single entry                        AUD   93.00                   AUD 99.00

90 days- Double entry                   AUD 136.00                   AUD 148.00

Business Visa

90 days single entry                      AUD 103.00                     AUD 109.00

90 days double entry                    AUD 146.00                    AUD 158.00

90 days multiple entry                AUD 189.00                 AUD 207.00

Postage [postage within Australia AUD 10.00 outside Australia AUD 30.00] Courier servicers if required should be arranged by the applicant.

Those applying in person at the High Commission can make payment only in cash for which an official receipt will be issued. Money will not be refunded after issuance of a receipt.

Fees applicable for other passport holders– please refer “Country Fees” on this website. [or refer to website]

Visa can be extended beyond 90 days up to a maximum of 06 months period by applying to the Department of Immigration and Emigration, Colombo after arriving in Sri Lanka. However, further extension shall only be considered with valid reasons.

C. On Arrival Visa

Those who are not in a position to apply online or through the Sri Lanka High Commission, or a CG office can apply for ETA on arrival at the airport in Sri Lanka, for purpose of Tourism and Business, for up to 30 days. Please visit http// for more information.

Additional fee will apply.[Schedule i-ETA Application for On Arrival Business/Tourist/Transit]

Following Documents are required;

  • Duly filled ETA application form for on Arrival Business/Tourist visa
  • Payments can be made by VISA, MASTER and AMERICAN EXPRESS [Credit/International Debit Cards] or one of the foreign currencies designated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.[Schedule ii – Foreign Currencies designated by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka]

ETA for Transit up to 02 days is issued after arrival. Following documentary proof is needed. Please refer to “Country Fees” on this website or refer to

Transit visa is an entry permit granted to foreign nationals for admission into Sri Lanka in the course of his journey to another destination.

Required documents: – Passport with a copy

–  Valid return ticket

–  Duly filled Application form

D. Residence Visa

Business organization or the NGO in Sri Lanka should submit the application for work / residence visa on behalf of the applicant directly to the Controller General, Immigration and Emigration (CG/I & E). The CG/ I & E will then authorize this High Commission to issue entry visa to the applicant. Please refer to Sri Lanka Immigration and Emigration website for details. 

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.

  1. Visiting friends and relatives
  2. Tourism/ Sightseeing/ Holidaying
  3. Medical treatment
  4. Participation in sports, cultural performances
  5. Business meeting
  6. Conference, workshops& Seminars
  7. Short training
  8. Participation in art, music and dance

Documents required:

  • 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 the visit
  • Applicable return postage. If needed, courier service should be arranged by the applicant.
  • Applicable visa Fee



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.

Applications for visa for the purpose of media work need to be submitted at least 14 days prior to the expected date of travel. This is due to necessary approvals that need to be obtained from relevant institutions in Sri Lanka (i.e. .Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Information, Film Corporation) prior to issuance of visa.

Guidelines for Media Personnel Visiting Sri Lanka

a) All journalists/media personnel travelling to Sri Lanka need to obtain visa from the relevant Sri Lanka Mission prior to their travel to Colombo. Media teams are advised to submit the visa request well in advance of the expected date of departure. Upon arrival in Sri Lanka they must obtain media accreditation required by all foreign media undertaking media work in Sri Lanka. Please note that Media accreditation will not be issued under any circumstances for media personnel who enter the country on a tourist visa.

b) 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.

c) 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 that the equipment would be carried out of the country at departure.

d) 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 advice to visit Department of Government Information Centre [] in Colombo.

e) Journalists may continue to visit Ministry of Foreign Affairs if they wish to contact the Public Communications Division for courtesy meetings requires Ministry facilitation/coordination to schedule interviews with VVIP’s and for any other assistance required.



General Guidelines And Application For Filming In Sri Lanka By Foreign Nationals

(A). The National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka (NFC) is the main competent authority to grant permission for filming in Sri Lanka by foreign nationals. The following rules and regulations are stipulated by the NFC for this purpose.All foreign nationals who wish to engage in professional filming in Sri Lanka should go through the process below.

(B). By signing this document, the signing party accepts to abide by Sri Lankan laws and regulations, particularly those relating to granting permission to film in Sri Lanka. NFC as the main competent authority on filming by foreign nationals, has the right to approve, reject, inspect, observe and/or decide on all filming related projects of foreign nationals in Sri Lanka.

(C). The filming process and final production shall not adversely affect national security, public order, religious and communal harmony, environment, culture and dignity of Sri Lanka. The filming shall also be free from pornography, violence, direct or indirect marketing of dangerous drugs, alcohol or tobacco, children, women or animal abuse, impinge religious and cultural beliefs of the people of Sri Lanka or any other country.

(D). Requirements based on the categories:

(i). Feature Film > TV Drama > Short Film > Docudrama > Co-production

        • Required to submit the complete final script for approval at least 2 weeks prior to filming with Rs.5,000/- non -refundable payment.
        • Required to assign a professional local production company or fixer for the entire shooting period
        • Recommended to apply visa through the local agent after receiving the script approval
        • Approval fee for Feature Film Rs:150,000/=,TV Drama , Short Film, Docudrama, Co-production: Rs.75,000/=
        • NFC Officer fee Rs.1,500/= per day with food, lodging and transportation (if appointed)

(ii). Reality Series >Commercials>Music Video >Film Song

        • Required to submit the program description/storyboard/product and company profile/ lyrics as applicable
        • Required to assign a professional local production company or fixer for the entire shooting period
        • Recommended to apply visa through the local agent after receiving the approval
        • Approval fee (any category given above) Rs: 50,000/=,
        • NFC Officer fee Rs.1,500/= per day with food, lodging and transportation (if appointed)

(iii). Documentary >Sports >Travel, Tourism and Lifestyle >Photo Shoot

        • Required to submit the storyline/ program description/ profile of the project as applicable
        • Required to assign a professional local production company or fixer for the entire shooting period
        • Recommended to apply visa through the local agent after receiving the approval
        • Approval fee (any category given above) Rs: 25,000/=,
        • NFC Officer fee Rs.1,500/= per day with food, lodging and transportation (if appointed)

(iv). News and Current Affairs >Diplomatic Delegation >Governmental Aid Project Review

        • Not required to follow this process
        • Contact the relevant Sri Lankan mission abroad or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs directly
        • No approval charges required

(v). Religious/ Pilgrimage

        • Required to submit the documents of proof as applicable
        • Required to assign a professional local production company or fixer for the entire shooting period
        • No approval charges required
        • For each expatriate Technician / Artiste fee (Other than Producer , Director and Director of Photography) in I, II,III categories – Rs : 2,000/=

      (E). All foreign nationals who wish to engage in professional filming related to one or more categories mentioned above are required to obtain media visa to enter Sri Lanka. It is a punishable by law for foreigners to be engaged in professional filming in Sri Lanka without a valid visa. Any category applicant can submit this application to the relevant Sri Lankan mission in your country directly. For more details

      (F). However, you can directly apply to NFC by assigning a local professional production company or fixer for a speedy process. The NFC encourages all foreign applicants to use professional local production companies/ fixers for the entire filming period in Sri Lanka. For more details:

      (G). The NFC permission is the main permit required for filming in Sri Lanka. It shall not supersede any other permission or approval needed to be obtained based on the locations or production nature. In such an event, the applicant or his/her local agent should obtain the necessary permissions from any other government or private institution as required. Any stipulated cost, agreement or condition acceptance in this regard with such institution shall also need to be borne by the applicant separately.

      Locations under direct purview of the Department of Archeology, Central Cultural Fund, Department of Wildlife, Department of Forrest, National Zoological Gardens, National Botanical Gardens, Civil Aviation Authority, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Police and Ministry of Defense etc should require separate permissions by using NFC filming permit.

      (H). Filming projects considered as a potential for Sri Lanka tourism promotion, could coordinate with Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) for mutually benefiting contra agreements and assistance through a recognized local agent. For more details

      (I). All applicants should not commence filming without prior approval of NFC. Filming should only be limited to the applied category. The NFC should be informed by the applicant or the local agent well advance should there be any change of category, script, location or crew.

      (J). Equipments intended to be brought for used in filming should use a carnet, bank guarantee or NFC letter of guarantee to be declared to Sri Lanka Customs at the arrival and departure.

      (K). NFC has the right to appoint an officer to monitor filming in Sri Lanka.The monitoring officer’s duty is to observe the filming and advice the production crew based on the guideline. Per Diem payment for the officer plus his/her food, lodging and transportation need to be provided by the applicant or the local agent. Decision to exclude the monitoring officer is solely decided by the NFC.
      If a direct recommendation is given by the relevant Sri Lankan mission abroad, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau or any other government ministry, department or institution involving the project, it would be considered by the NFC to include or exclude the monitoring officer’s service.

      (L). In case a complaint is received regarding the filming content, NFC shall summon the foreign crew, local agent or any other parties involved to preview/ review all footage/ photographs. NFC has the right to cease any such footage/ photograph/ equipment containing the objectionable or NFC guideline violating content to be taken away from the country. Legal action, fine, warning, blacklisting or deportation would result if proved of any misconduct. The NFC shall not be liable for any loss, either financial or otherwise caused in this regard.

      (M). It is advised to insure the foreign crew for the entire filming period in Sri Lanka. However, the NFC may request the foreign applicant or the local agent to insure the NFC monitoring officer based on the locations or the nature of the production.

      (N). In case of co-production, at least 50 percent of the total number of technicians and artistes should be Sri Lankan. The local producer needs to provide the certified copies of legal agreements entered into with the foreign producer, business registration and details of shareholders, directors of all parties, artiste and technician agreements, production/ownership ratio, financial declaration and intended foreign exchange component to be brought to Sri Lanka etc. Co-production which intends to commercially release in Sri Lanka should be done in Sinhala, Tamil or English languages. Co-productions done in other languages which are intended to commercially release in Sri Lanka, should not dub its versions in Sinhala, Tamil or English. Such productions could be permitted to be subtitled with a national language in Sri Lanka.

      (O). After completing the production, the final edited version should be submitted to the relevant Sri Lankan mission where the applicant applies at least one week prior to broadcast or publish. Any objection raised by the Sri Lankan mission should reasonably accommodate and/or a right of reply should be given to the Sri Lankan mission, in the same production with equal priority.The same footage should not be used for any other production without properly acknowledging the Sri Lankan mission.

      However, film, television and media companies who have signed mutual agreements with the NFC, SLTPB and Sri Lankan missions abroad shall be given exemption on mutual understanding for above clause.

Download Application Form

Guidelines on Issuance of Visas and Work Permits for Expatriates working and seeking to work in 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 Center]

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.

Register with the High Commission

The Sri Lankan High Commission in Canberra would like to keep in touch with Sri Lankans and persons of Sri Lankan origin living in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and other Pacific Islands as well as Sri Lankan community organisations in those countries.

If you are a current/former Sri Lankan or an office bearer of a Sri Lankan community organisation we invite you to register with the High Commission.


Contact Us

61 Hampton Circuit, Yarralumla, Canberra
ACT 2600

Tel: (02) 6198 3756
Fax: (02) 6198 3760


Locate Us