Any traveler that wishes to visit Sri Lanka for tourism purposes needs an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). It is necessary for travelers to receive a visa on arrival. You can also request a visa in advance if you wish to stay in Sri Lanka for longer than 30 or 60 days, depending on the motive of your visit.
Visas on arrival are generally free of charge and can be acquired practically immediately upon your arrival in Sri Lanka. However, you must possess an eTA first. Electronic travel authorizations and e-visas or electronic visas are different documents.
Learn what an eTA is and how it is different from an electronic visa.
What is an eTA?
An electronic travel authorization is a digital document that visa-exempt foreign nationals need to travel or transit to a particular country. It is typically issued by travelers who will enter the country by air. It is meant to increase security and visibility, as it allows the authorities from the destination country to screen travelers before they arrive in the country.
The Department of Immigration and Emigration allows people who want to visit Sri Lanka to obtain their eTA via the internet. It is free of charge as long as you process your solicitude through an Official Office State. Electronic travel authorizations are valid within 30 days upon arrival in Sri Lanka and can be extended for up to six months.
Once your eTA application has been reviewed and approved, you will be notified via email.
How to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
The eTA application form is relatively easy. You can complete the process online without problems. You need to reunite the following requirements before you apply for an eTA:
Passport: Your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months upon your arrival in Sri Lanka. The number of your passport is directly linked to your eTA. Therefore, if you change your passport after you obtain an eTA, you will have to go through the whole eTA approval process again.
Mean of Payment: You will need a credit card to pay for the processing fee.
Email address: You must provide a valid email address. Otherwise, you may not be able to receive news regarding the approval of your eTA application form.
The eTA application form is relatively easy. It consists of a few security and personal questions, and some of those only require “yes” and “no” answers. Thus, you can go through the whole process within 30 minutes or one hour.
Who is eligible for an eTA?
As mentioned, eTAs can be obtainable by all travelers who wish to visit Sri Lanka for short stays. This system was first implemented in January of 2012, and since then, it has made the whole visa-on-arrival process easier as Sri Lanka has access to the applicant’s information prior to their arrival in the country.
Some countries are exempt from requiring an eTA, however. As of now, citizens of the following nations are not required to apply for an eTA:
All Sri Lanka eTAs are issued by the Department of Immigration & Emigration located in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Landing requirements to Sri Lanka for Travelers
Besides an eTA, you should be familiar with other processes that you will go through before you can enter Sri Lanka. Starting from April 18, 2022, travelers who are already vaccinated against COVID-19 are not required to take a COVID-19 test before traveling to the country.
You will be considered “fully-vaccinated” if you have obtained COVID-19 at least two weeks before traveling to Sri Lanka. Please note that you should carry proof of vaccination (in English) with you during your arrival in Sri Lanka.
Health Declaration Forms or other extra processes are not required anymore.
Is an eTA the same document as an e-Visa?
No. Electronic travel authorizations and e-visas are completely different documents that are meant for a distinct purpose. An eTA provides the destination country with more information about your persona so the visa-on-arrival process can go more straightforward upon your arrival in the country.
On the other hand, an electronic visa allows you direct entry to the destination country without extra processes. It may take between 3 and 10 days to be issued, depending on the country you intend to visit.
If you wish to visit Sri Lanka soon, the most straightforward way to do so is to apply for an eTA. It will allow you to obtain a Sri Lankan visa on arrival, which will make the whole tourist visa processing easier once you arrive at your destination. If you wish to apply for a residence visa, you must go through an entirely different process and check if you are eligible and possess all the requirements needed.