All travellers to Sri Lanka require a valid visa, except for travellers holding a passport from Sri Lanka, Czech Republic, Singapore, the Maldives, or the Seychelles. Most travellers can use the online application procedure for the Sri Lanka visa. Those who are not eligible can apply for a different type of visa.

How can I apply for the Sri Lanka visa?

The Sri Lanka visa can be applied for by completing an online form For most travellers it is the easiest way to meet the Sri Lanka visa requirement because the online application procedure can be completed within several minutes. The visa that can be applied for online allows a stay of up to 30 days in Sri Lanka after it is granted.

Some travellers do not meet all the e-visa requirements or do not want to apply for the visa online. In this case, there are two alternatives to still obtaining a Sri Lanka visa:

  • You can apply for the visa at the embassy. At the embassy, visa applications can be submitted for different travel purposes. Visas applied for at the embassy are placed in your passport after being granted.
  • You can apply for the visa on arrival in Sri Lanka. However, this option is not recommended because the waiting times are quite long and, furthermore, it cannot be guaranteed that the visa will be granted on time.

View Sri LankaSri Lanka countryside

Visas that can be applied for at the embassy

Different types of visas can be applied for at the Embassy of Sri Lanka for a variety of travel purposes. Before you submit an application, it is important to know which visa is most suited to your travel plans. The following visa types can be applied for at the embassy:

Type Permitted activities
Tourist visa Holidays and recreational activities such as excursions, sightseeing and visiting family and/or friends.
Business visa Business activities such as meetings, negotiations, and meetings with business relations; attending conferences and readings; but also doing workshops or short training programs. Visas from this category are also suitable for artists and entertainers who participate in cultural events such as exhibitions, concerts or dance performances.
Journalist/Media visa Media and journalism. Visas from this category are also suitable for attending readings or conferences regarding these subjects. Professional journalists and media producers always have to apply for this visa type for a trip to Sri Lanka, even if they are travelling to the country for a holiday.
Student visa Studying and related activities.
Work visa Working in Sri Lanka. Before this visa can be applied for, the employer of the applicant first has to obtain special permission from the Sri Lanka immigration service.
Residence visa Long-term residency in Sri Lanka. This visa is available for, among others, investors, diplomats, project developers, volunteers, students and employees in Sri Lanka. This visa can only be issued by the Sri Lanka immigration service. Travellers therefore first have to travel to Sri Lanka on another visa type and subsequently apply for a residence visa from the country itself.

Apply for a physical visa

Before applying for a physical visa, the Sri Lanka Embassy needs to be contacted first. For the application of a physical visa, you need to fill out a paper application form first, and then you can pay the cost and hand in your passport. The application form and your passport can be handed over in person or sent by mail. Because important personal details and documents are concerned, it is highly recommended to send the documents by registered post if deciding to send them by mail. Keep in mind that visa applications through the embassy may take several weeks. Be sure to submit your application well before your planned departure for Sri Lanka.

In most cases, travellers from the UK and Ireland are eligible for the e-visa Sri Lanka (also known as the ETA), which can be applied for online. You only need to complete an online application form to do so. Subsequently, the visa will be delivered to you digitally within 4 days (for standard applications) or within 30 minutes (for urgent applications). Keep in mind that the mentioned delivery times are averages and are not guaranteed maximum delivery times. For more information about this, you can read the page about the costs and delivery times of the e-visa.
Apply for the Sri Lanka e-visa is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the Sri Lanka visa. acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for a visa directly with the immigration service (52.08 USD per visa, via However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via, our support centre is available to you 24/7. We also check your application before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 52.08 USD in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as £39.82 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous Sri Lanka visa was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.