Sri Lanka visa for US citizens

Sri Lanka is a popular destination for tourists and has been this way for a long time. The country popularly called the teardrop of India has unique landscapes and bizarre flora and fauna that exists nowhere else, which is why it stands out from many other regions. If you are a US passport holder who intends to visit the country, you will need a Sri Lanka visa for US citizens. The visa serves as a travel permit that gives the legal holder access to the country.

Recently, the government of Sri Lanka has simplified the visa application process to make it easier for more visitors to obtain a visa without stress, including US citizens. In this post, we review the application process and requirements in detail for your benefit.

Do US Citizens Need A Visa?

All US citizens require a visa to enter Sri Lanka. This is because the US is not on the visa-exempt list, so her citizens must obtain visas to access the country. Even US citizens who arrive in Sri Lanka without a visa must apply for a visa at the airport; otherwise, they will not be allowed to enter Sri Lanka.

Types of Sri Lanka Visa For US Citizens

Sri Lanka has different visas for foreign nationals, but here are the common ones.

Tourist Visa: US citizens wishing to spend their holidays in Sri Lanka or enjoy sightseeing may apply for a tourist visa. Tourist visas are valid for 180 days and allow up to 30 days of stay in the country.

Business Visa: This one is for business visits from those coming for meetings, conferences, and business events.

Work Visa: US passport holders who have been gainfully employed in Sri Lanka may apply for a work visa which allows them to work legally in the country.

Visit Visa: A visit visa is for US nationals with family members in Sri Lanka. The visa allows them to visit their relatives and friends for a while.

Family Visa: Is issued to those whose family member is a citizen or permanent resident of Sri Lanka.

Transit Visa: Those looking to spend a few hours or days in Sri Lanka before switching flights to another country may apply for a transit visa.

Religious Visa: Although Buddhism is the major religion practiced by more than 70% of the population, Sri Lanka still has other religious practitioners like Christianity, Islam, and more. This visa allows US citizens to attend any religious event in the country.

Sri Lanka ETA

Besides the visas, Sri Lanka also has an electronic travel authorization, like an online visa. Launched in 2012, this program was set up to make it easier for applicants from selected countries to apply for a visa without visiting their embassies. US citizens qualify for ETA, too, so they can ally for one online. Eta is issued solely for tourism and business visits. However, you can use it for transit, medical treatment, or short training programs.

Sri Lanka Visa Cost

The cost of applying for a visa depends on the type of visa. For short-stay tourist and business visas, be prepared to pay between $35-$40, but long-stay visas cost more.

How To Apply For Sri Lanka ETA for US Citizens

  • Visit VisaHQ

  • Select Sri Lanka as your destination

  • Select US as your citizenship

  • Choose the Sri Lanka tourist visa you want

  • Fill out the application form

  • Upload your travel documents

  • Pay the application fee

  • Submit for approval

Sri Lanka Visa Processing Time

If you apply for Sri Lankan, ETA takes about three business days for processing, but conventional visas from the embassy will take about 15 working days or more.

The average visa is valid for 90 days and allows the holder to stay for 30 days and above. 

However, the length of stay depends on the visa in question; residence visas grant the holder a maximum stay of one year or more.

Visa Extension Policy

The Sri Lankan government operates a visa extension policy where the visa holder can extend their visa for up to 90 days, but they must apply for the extension before their current visa expires.

Sri Lanka Visa Requirements

It is important to attach all the necessary documents to your application form; otherwise, it will be rejected. Here are the documents you will need

  • US Passport with at least 6 months validity

  • Credit or debit card to pay the visa fee

  • Email address

  • Travel Insurance, where applicable

  • Proof of Funds

  • Proof of accommodation

  • Travel itinerary

  • Cover Letter

  • Invitation letter, where applicable

These are the documents you will need to apply for a Sri Lanka visa for US citizens.

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    This article was published by VisaHQ, a world leader in visa processing. Since 2003, VisaHQ has 20 offices in 6 countries and has helped countless tourist, business travellers, diplomats, workers, and students obtain their visa. With a 4.42 star rating on, VisaHQ is committed to innovation, service, security, and simplicity in the visa application process.