Before submitting a visa application, it is wise to closely read this page about the Sri Lanka visa requirements. Only if all the requirements are met can this visa be used. In practice, tourists and business travellers almost always meet the requirements set by the Department of Immigration & Emigration. Regardless, major problems can occur if all of the requirements are not met.
Requirements regarding travellers
- The traveller has the British nationality (British citizen) or the nationality of one of these countries
- The traveller is not a journalist or diplomat
- The traveller does not work with or for an NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation)
- The traveller does not make professional media productions (also in the home country)
Requirements for the trip
Only trips that meet the following Sri Lanka visa requirements can be made with the online visa:
- The stay in Sri Lanka lasts a maximum of 30 days, or a maximum of 90 days if an extension is granted
- The trip has a tourist or business purpose (visiting family or friends falls under this)
- The traveller does not enter into service with an organisation situated in Sri Lanka
- During the trip, no paid or unpaid volunteer work is performed
- No political gatherings are attended during the trip
- No journalism events are attended during the trip
Flight ticket and financial means
On arrival in Sri Lanka, travellers need to be able to provide a ticket for a return flight or a transit to another country. If a transit is made to another country that has a visa obligation, the visa for that country needs to be provided as well. Travellers also need to be able to show that they possess sufficient financial means to pay for their stay in Sri Lanka. The minimum amount that you need to possess is $15 per day.
The visa can solely be used for the purpose indicated during the visa application. Example: you have applied for a visa to work at company A in Sri Lanka. You have acquired a business visa for this. However, you then want to work with company B in Sri Lanka. This cannot be done with the business visa you applied for. To still be able to work for company B you need to apply for a new visa, and have it approved before you arrive in Sri Lanka.
On a trip to Sri Lanka
Requirements when submitting an application
The Sri Lanka visa requirements you need to meet before submitting an application are:
- Each traveller needs to possess their own passport, including underage children
- The passport needs to be valid for at least six more months from the moment of arrival in Sri Lanka
- It is not necessary to have booked a flight ticket to apply for a Sri Lanka visa
- It is not necessary to have established a staying place in Sri Lanka
- If you apply for a visa for someone else, you need to have their passport information and (oral) permission
- If you travel with underage children and not all parents, you need to bring a signed permission slip, which has been signed by all parents
After submitting and paying for a visa, it is no longer possible to make changes in the filled-in information. It’s also not possible to reverse the payment, regardless of the reason.
Travellers need to check all provided information for any potential mistakes, and guarantee that all of the filled-in information is complete and truthful. In particular the passport number, the nationality and the date of birth are important. If any of these fields are not filled in 100% correctly, this can cause problems on arrival in Sri Lanka. It will not lead to British nationals being denied entry, but it can lead to unwelcome delays.
What to do if the passport does not suffice
If your passport does not meet the Sri Lanka visa requirements, you need to apply for a new passport. Only after you have received this new passport can you submit a visa application: after all, you are asked for the passport number of the passport with which you will be travelling. If you already applied for a Sri Lanka visa with a passport that does not meet the Sri Lanka visa requirements when your trip commences, the validity of this visa expires. An entirely new Sri Lanka visa needs to be applied for.
Travellers that do not meet the requirements
Above are all of the Sri Lanka visa requirements. With those are meant: the electronic variant of the visa, also known as ETA or e-visa. Travellers that do not meet all of the requirements mentioned on this page (check the explanation page) might qualify for a physical visa.