Saturday, September 18, 2021

Visa & Passport Requirements for Sri Lanka

AsiaSri LankaVisa & Passport Requirements for Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan authorities will arrest and deport anybody who has a tattoo of Buddha or any other tattoo that might be regarded as religiously significant. If you have such a tattoo, it is highly recommended that you cover it up or avoid visiting Sri Lanka.

Visa rules

Except for the Maldives and Singapore, all nationalities may acquire an online tourist visa. It permits for a 30-day stay in the nation and is valid for six months from the day it was granted. Before entering the nation, an application must be submitted in advance and must be done online. Following that, the applicant will be issued an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA), which must be shown at the port of entry in Sri Lanka and exchanged for a tourist visa. Visa fees for SAARC nations (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, and Pakistan) are USD 20 and USD 35 for others (2016). Officially, the ETA is available in two days, however they typically deliver it in 10-20 minutes once money is received.

Furthermore, a tourist visa may be acquired without a planned ETA at Bandaranaike International Airport (at a visa counter in the arrival zone before customs), for USD 40. As a result, an online visa is not required to board a flight/vessel to Sri Lanka.

Important: Immigration officials at Colombo International Airport are extremely particular about the correctness of the passport number on your electronic travel permit acquired online. A single number error is used to compel you to get a new visa and direct you to some obscure government agency in Colombo for refunds on your internet purchases. Take caution with 1 versus. I and 0 vs. O. The number should match the machine-readable portion of your passport precisely, and nothing else (for example, Russian passports have a non-alphanumeric number sign that should be completely excluded).

Visa Extension

Extensions may be obtained at the Department of Immigration, 41 Ananda Rajakaruna Mw, Col 10, Punchi Borella, Colombo, +94 11 532-9300, M-F 09:00-16:30.

A visa extension allows you to remain in the country for an extra two months after your original 30-day entrance visa expires (so in total, you can stay in the country for 3 months). You may apply at any time, from the moment you enter the country until your visa expires. An further 3-month extension (for a total of 6 months) is available, but you must pay the extension cost plus an additional LKR10,000. Extensions beyond this are at the discretion of the department and are subject to a LKR15,000 charge in addition to the extension cost. Fees for the first 90-day extension are shown above.

The cost is determined by the department in US dollars, but you pay in Sri Lankan rupees. The immigration office will need your passport and an onward ticket to complete the extension. Your planned stay in Sri Lanka must conclude at least two months before your passport’s expiration date.

Monday through Friday, at 08:30 a.m., the immigration office starts processing visa extensions. However, a worker often begins to distribute line numbers and forms between 07:00 and 07:30, so come early to be among the first to be processed.

Based on many extensions completed in the summer of 2015, the entire time is about 2.5 hours if you come by 07:00: obtain ticket at 07:15, submit papers at 08:30, make money at 09:00, and get passport back around 09:30. When you arrive at 08:30, the room has typically begun to fill, and you may be there for 3-4 hours. If you arrive after 09:30, it will be filled, and the total duration may be 4+ hours. Arriving after 11:30 is generally not worth it since the payment counter shuts at 14:30; if they haven’t completed the required pre-processing to bring you to the payment step by 14:30, you’ll have to return the following day.

You may leave the room to walk outdoors for a break, but if your number is not called, you may have to wait longer.

Agents may extend your visa for you: they take your passport and papers, wait in line, pay the costs, and return your passport to you. These agencies are often used for extensions by larger tour groups. The agents are familiar with the system: they come early and are assigned the first queue numbers. As a result, being behind one local agent representing a group of 25 foreigners in need of extensions may result in a considerably longer wait period. As a solo traveler, the best suggestion is to obtain your queue number BEFORE the local agents: Arrive before 07:00, and immediately stand in front of the wooden counter on the left right after the door. Do not allow the agents cut in front of you.