How long can you stay in Sri Lanka on a tourist visa?

How long can you stay in Sri Lanka on a tourist visa

Sri Lanka, the beautiful and very popular destination for millions of annual tourists, is an island nation situated south of India in the Indian Ocean. With its slow pace and exotic blend of old British Colonial heritage and stunning landscapes Sri Lanka is fast becoming one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the world.

The country is rapidly recovering from the long civil war and boasting luxury hotels and resorts, sprawling malls, and modern architecture. But in spite of this growth in tourism and commercialism, Sri Lanka is still renowned for its quintessential laid-back pace of life and the charm and friendliness of the locals.

The purpose of your visit will determine the type of visa required. Those who are traveling as tourists will need to apply for a tourist visa. How long you can stay in Sri Lanka on a tourist visa will depend on your circumstances.

Short stay

If your stay is 30 days or less, you can apply online at www.eta.gov.lk and pay the processing fee. If for some reason you can’t submit the application online you can apply at the nearest Sri Lankan consular mission, and the processing fee applies also. For last minute travelers or those in transit who don’t get previous ETA approval, there is a limited facility at the main airport in Columbo to obtain such approval, but an additional fee applies.

Documents required

  • eTA application form
  • 2 passport size photographs
  • Return air ticket
  • Proof of hotel accommodation or invitation letter from resident hosts
  • Passport valid for at least 6 months

Long stay

It is possible to stay longer than 30 days in Sri Lanka as a tourist but the application MUST be made at the nearest Sri Lankan consular mission, and cannot be made online.

Documents required

  • Multiple entry visa application form
  • 2 passport size photographs
  • Invitation or sponsorship letter from resident hosts
  • Bank statements supporting your ability to finance the length of stay
  • A letter explaining the requirement for the length of stay applied for
  • Visa fee
  • Passport valid for at least 6 months

The processing time will normally be 3-7 business days.

Note that if the passport on which the long stay visa expires before the visa, then a new passport will need to be submitted to the nearest embassy for the issue of a new ETA, for which there will be no extra fee.

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