Sri Lanka has experienced a sharp escalation in the number of positive Covid-19 cases as health professionals warned people of a new coronavirus variant that was quickly spreading across all the districts. As per the official figures, more than 50,000 new cases have been verified within the previous month. Altogether, Sri Lanka has registered 164,201 coronavirus cases in total, with 1,210 deaths reported till now.
Earlier, the Sri Lanka travel restrictions were scheduled to be raised off on May 28. However, on May 24, 2021, the Sri Lankan authorities declared that island wide travel restrictions that were to be imposed till May 28 will most likely be extended till June 7 to prevent the deadly Covid-19 pandemic from spreading any further. Hopefully, the island wide travel restrictions in Sri Lanka will be lifted, and travel will resume.
The Sri Lanka Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) has become an essential travel tool that business travelers and tourists simply love. It serves the primary objective of giving a reliable, simple, and efficient service to all those people who wish to visit Sri Lanka. And indeed, the Sri Lanka ETA has lived up to its expectations. Read this guide to learn all about the Sri Lanka ETA and the different types of Sri Lanka visas so you too can journey to Sri Lanka.
What is the Sri Lanka ETA?
The Sri Lanka ETA is an online endorsement that simply bypasses the standard visa application process. This method streamlines the process of entry for most people who want to enter Sri Lanka. It is easy to obtain the ETA online, and the processing time is also very minimal.
Most applicants can simply apply for their Sri Lanka ETA and have their authorized documents printed out the same day. This permit document explicitly serves the purpose of visiting Sri Lanka, meaning that visitors are not eligible to go beyond what they are granted to, nor can they exceed the maximum duration of stay permitted in Sri Lanka.
Who Needs a Sri Lankan Visa?
If the stay surpasses the number of days permitted or falls outside the list of activities allowed, a Sri Lanka visa might be needed. This might be a long-duration stay visa, student visa, employment visa, or a journalist visa.
These kinds of permits need to undergo a formal visa procedure and guidance from the Sri Lanka Embassy. The applicants might need to collect some relevant documents and information to apply for a Sri Lanka visa in order to complete the visa application process. This can be your employment history, visa application, passport, and financial statements.
After completing the visa application process, your Sri Lanka eVisa will be issued. You will be granted entry to Sri Lanka for a specified purpose. This specific purpose solely depends on the Sri Lankan visa category you apply for, which we will be covering next.
What is a Sri Lankan Visa?
A Sri Lankan visa is basically an authorization on a passport or another similar document that facilitates the official and authorized entry of non-Sri Lankans into Sri Lanka. The utmost aim of this visa is to regulate the duration of their stay and any other conditions governing such stay.
What are the Different Types of Sri Lankan Visas?
Altogether, four types of Sri Lankan visas can grant permission to an individual to enter the country premises and/or stay in Sri Lanka for a specified duration. Here are the four different kinds of visas you can apply for to visit Sri Lanka.
1. Visit Visa
A visit visa is an entry visa that signifies the consent and approval of the Government of Sri Lanka for the admission of a foreign national to Sri Lanka. A visit visa includes all the relevant details of the conditions and period of their stay. Visit visas can be further divided into 2 sub-categories. They are Tourist visit visas and Business purpose visas.
● Tourist Visit Visa
A Tourist Visit Visa is an entry permit issued to all the bonafide tourists who wish to go to Sri Lanka for excursions, vacations, relaxation, sightseeing, yoga training, or visiting relatives for a relatively short time.
● Business Purpose Visa
A Business Purpose Visa is an entry permit that is issued to all foreign nationals who wish to go to Sri Lanka strictly for business and professional purposes. This visa is also granted for a short period.
It might be issued either for a single journey or a double journey. A Business Purpose Visa enables individuals to attend conferences, business meetings, seminars, and training sessions.
2. Residence Visa
The next type of Sri Lankan visa is a residence visa which is an entry visa for non-Sri Lankans to acquire a residence facility for particular reasons. Altogether, the residence visa can be further divided into 8 sub-categories. Here are the residence visa sub-categories to know which eligibility category you belong to:
1) Employment Category
- Project Specialized employees whose services are needed for any projects that have been permitted by the expatriate and state personnel employed in projects under the Sri Lankan Board of Investment (BOI) and their dependents.
- Employees who are working at banks and their dependents.
- Employees who are attached to non-governmental organizations.
- Employees who work in an institution, on a project, or in an organization under diplomatic missions in the country.
- Employees who are working in a private firm and their dependents.
2) Investor Category
- People who are occupied in any sort of business activities in Sri Lanka
- People who would like to invest their finances in Sri Lanka.
3) Student Category
- Students enrolled in state-approved educational institutions
- University Students
- Other Institutions
4) Religious Category
- Members of the Clergy
5) Former Sri Lankans and their dependents
6) Registered Indians who are protected by the 1954 Indo-Lanka Agreement
7) Family members of a Sri Lankan
- Children with a foreign nationality
8) Resident Guest Visa Program
9) My Dream Home Visa Program
10) Diplomatic and Official Visa
3. Transit Visa
The third of Sri Lanka is a Transit visa. This entry visa is issued to all foreign nationals who seek admission into Sri Lanka briefly for a few hours or so, which is incidental. This kind of visa only permits a traveler to pass through Sri Lanka without actually entering the country’s borders and is en route of their journey to another country.
4. Gratis Visa
The holder of an Official or a Diplomatic Passport or a passport with a legal Official or Diplomatic authorization won’t be required to pay any amount for the visa.
Apply for your Sri Lanka ETA Visa Online
Submitting an online application is the initial step to getting an ETA for Sri Lanka. The applicants are requested to provide basic details like name, passport number, date of birth, home address, etc. Once the details have been provided on the application form, don’t forget to double-check it.
You cannot edit the details once the ETA visa is issued. The online form proceeds with a payment screen. After the payment has been made and captured successfully, your application form will be sent for processing. Head over to Natvisa.com to learn all about your Sri Lanka ETA.
Receiving the ETA
Once your Sri Lanka ETA gets approved, a consent email will be sent out. This will comprise all the details on your ETA, including your approval number. Print this document and keep it along with your passport.
You will be asked to show the ETA document upon your arrival to Sri Lanka. You will also be able to download your Sri Lanka ETA from your Natvisa dashboard, which will automatically be generated after you purchase the ETA.