Sri Lanka is a small island country surrounded by the water of the Indian Ocean. It is situated in Southeast Asia. This island has all kinds of places, from lush green forests to pristine beaches. Therefore, it is considered to be a perfect tourist destination. Sri Lanka is distinguished for its cultural richness. It is the birthplace and stronghold of Theravada Buddhism. So you can explore the spiritual and religious ceremonies of Theravada Buddhism by joining daily poojas. If your timing is right, you can walk up to Adam's Peak to experience pilgrimage to the holy mountain to Buddhists. Some of the historical temples remain intact. However, it is not fair to define the country only with Theravada Buddhism. The geographical position of the country is also of uttermost importance. It has been one of the most visited trade posts in Southeast Asia. Back then, especially during the early modern period of Arab, Malay, Portuguese, Dutch, and British merchants traded different goods. However, this richness enticed the appetites of colonialist powers, leading to many wars and invasions. During the colonial age, many settlers from the British, Dutch, French empires came to the island and subtly transformed its culture, architecture, and cuisine. Since 1948 the country has been independent, and many successful tourism campaigns have been launched to attract more tourists. Srilanka's lush green nature manages to amaze the travellers. You can watch from the beaches hoards of whales moving or explore lush rainforests. Minneriya National Park is an excellent place to be closest to nature. Here you can encounter elephants in these lush rainforests hidden in many Buddhist monuments, temples. Sri Lankan cuisine is unique with full of flavours. Although rice is the main ingredient, you will find tasty combinations of spices. Especially things get better during the festivals. Reasons to travel to Sri Lanka are many. However, is it easy to travel to Sri Lanka? Well, like others, it can take effort and time to be eligible to enter Sri Lanka. Do I need a tourist visa for Sri Lanka? You might need a visa which you will identify in this article. Luckily, for this article, we will look at Sri Lanka tourist visa. We will cover things like Sri Lanka tourist visa extension, cost of Sri Lanka tourist visa and most importantly, we will seek an answer to "how to get a Sri Lanka visa?". First, we got to briefly introduce the visa policy of Sri Lanka to hopefully help you identify whether you need a visa to enter the country or not.
Visa policy of Sri Lanka
To answer the question of "do I need a tourist visa for Sri Lanka?", we need to know the visa policy of that particular country. The mutual relations define the Visa policy of Sri Lanka it has with other countries. In this regard, they can be divided into two main groups, which are visa-required and visa-free. Visa-required countries are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America Countries that are not on the list are visa-required, and these countries can visit the country after having a visa. Note that only nationals of Maldives and Seychelles can benefit from visa on arrival. Regarding visas, we can divide them into two major types: short-term visas and long-term visas. Short-term visas have mainly consisted of Sri Lanka tourist visa, business visas which do not exceed 90 days in most cases, while long-term visas are for travels for long periods. They are mainly residence and work permits. Since we are now aware of the visa policy of the country, we can move on to other issues like Sri Lanka tourist visa online, Sri Lanka tourist visa fee, Eta Sri Lanka tourist visa, etc. Without further ado, let's have a look at the details of the tourist visa.
Tourist visa, requirements, fees
You might be thinking "How to get a Sri Lanka visa?" To get a visa for Sri Lanka you need to apply for Sri Lanka tourist visa online except for the nationals of Afghanistan, Cameroon, Congo Republic, DR Congo, Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Syria, Uganda. They need to apply to the embassy or consulate of Sri Lanka. The online application is carried out using ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation). What is an ETA? It is an online system that grants visas through the web. ETA only issues short-term visas like tourist, business, and transit visas. What are the advantages of ETA? Well, to start, it can be easily done. The system has guides explaining to you how to apply. Secondly, the process can be handled to a third party in which you do not need to handle the process. Last but not least, it saves time and money to apply ETA. If you can not apply for Eta Sri Lanka tourist visa due to technical errors, you can apply to the embassy or consulate of Sri Lanka in your country or the nearest country. A tourist visa will be granted for 30 days for a single entry. To acquire the visa, you or an authorized third party can start the process. On the list below, you will find the required documents for the application:
- ETA application form duly completed, signed and dated by the applicant
- Passport with a validity of a minimum of six months starting from the date of departure from Sri Lanka.
- Two photographs in the color. The size should be equal to 5.08 x 5.08 cm or 51 x 51 mm. The background should be white and shadow-free. No facial expression is needed. Photos should be taken recently, preferably in the last 3 months. Furthermore, photos of bad quality are not accepted.
- Air ticket bookings, including return tickets.
- Proof of accommodation. It can be a hotel reservation or an invitation from the host in Sri Lanka.
- Applicants should have sufficient financial meaning to finance the travel. A personal bank statement indicating your financial movements for the last 3 months, cash, credit card, payslips, evidence of employment, personal property, assets can be acceptable.
How much does a tourist visa to Sri Lanka cost?
There is no single answer to the question as the cost of Sri Lanka tourist visa varies from country to country. Sri Lanka tourist visa fee is around 20-40 USD. For the nationals of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Countries, the nominal fee is 20 USD. For other countries, it is around 35-40 USD. Bear in mind that, fees can only be paid in Sri Lankan Rupees, and the payment can be made at the Bandaranaike International Airport. Although the visa is granted for 30 days, it can be extended. The main requirement for Sri Lanka tourist visa extension is to apply for the extension before the visa expires. To complete the application following are needed:
- Tourist visa application form duly completed, signed and dated by the applicant.
- Applicant's passport.
- One photo in color with a size of 3.5x 4.5 cm.
- Applicants should have sufficient financial meaning to finance the extended stay. A personal bank statement indicating your financial movements for the last 3 months, cash, credit card, payslips, evidence of employment, personal property, assets can be acceptable.
- Air ticket proving the returning to the country.
To extend the visa you or the authorized person should attend Immigration Services Centre in Sri Lanka. There all the documents required for the extension should be presented, and the fees will be paid. Your application will be forwarded to the Department of Immigration. Upon completion of processing your application, you can take your passport back. To conclude, acquiring a visa for Sri Lanka is not that hard, thanks to ETA. Every year many people from all around the world visit the country using this system. In most cases, applications are accepted if there is no problem with documents or the application process. However, being cautious is always beneficial. Get the latest information from the official website of ETA before starting the application. Check the requirements, fees for your country if you are wary of such procedures. You can rely on Pickvisa.com to handle your application. With the professional service provided by Pickvisa, the only thing that remains puzzling you will be your travel activities.