On this website, the electronic Sri Lanka visa can be applied for. This visa is also known as the Sri Lanka e-visa or ETA. Travellers that don’t meet the requirements for the ETA can often still travel to Sri Lanka by making use of a physical visa. This cannot be applied for online, an appointment needs to be made at one of the Sri Lankan consulates. Applying for a physical visa takes several days longer than an ETA, and the costs are higher.
Usually no physical visa required
The physical Sri Lanka visa is stamped on to the passport of the traveller by an employee of the consulate. This is an essential difference with the e-visa, which can be applied for online and printed at home by the traveller. For tourists and business travellers who aren’t staying in Sri Lanka for longer than 30 days, the validity of the online visa (ETA) is equal to the physical variant which can be picked up at the consulate.
When to apply for a physical visa?
Due to the higher cost and longer processing time of the physical Sri Lanka visa, it is only recommended to travellers that do not meet the requirements for the e-visa. There are different types of physical visa, each with their specific target group. Which type is best suited depends on the background of the traveller and the desired travel purpose.
In the following cases, a physical visa needs to be applied for instead of the ETA/e-visa ETA/e-visa:
- The traveller wishes to stay in Sri Lanka for more than 90 days
- The traveller wishes to enter into employment with an organisation located in Sri Lanka
- The traveller is a journalist and/or media producer
- The traveller wishes to take part in media or journalism-related events, including gatherings, conferences, seminars and political gatherings
- The traveller wishes to perform activities for or in cooperation with NGOs
The land in Sri Lanka
What kind of visa do I need?
The physical visa has different variants; it’s very important that you apply for the right one. The following physical variants are available at the consulate:
|Tourist visa (temporary stay)||For holidays, excursions, family visits, visiting friends.|
|Business visa (temporary stay) (also for volunteers)||The traveller cannot enter into service with an organisation located in Sri Lanka. Available as single-entry, double-entry or multiple-entry.|
|Immigration visa (permanent stay)||The traveller is allowed to enter into service with an organisation located in or outside of Sri Lanka. Also suited for volunteers, investors, religious people, students, former residents of Sri Lanka.|
|Transit visa||Visa for transits in Sri Lanka|
Application procedure physical visa
First, you need to check if your passport has an empty page in which the visa can be stamped. If this is not the case, you first need to apply for a new passport. Next, you check which variant you need (see above). The application goes through one of the consulates of Sri Lanka.
The physical visa is stamped onto the passport of the traveller by an employee of the consulate. The approval procedure takes several days, as opposed to the online variant, where urgent applications take as little as 23 minutes to get approved. The physical visa is also more expensive than the online ETA Sri Lanka. The exact costs depend on the visa type and the desired duration of stay.