To encourage travel to the country, Sri Lanka is working on a unique idea called a "Digital Nomad Visa". This visa is intended for so-called digital nomads: people in technological/online fields who do not need to be present in a certain location for their work.
What is a "digital nomad"?
The concept of the digital nomad emerged at the beginning of the 21st century as the internet became increasingly important in everyday life. The book “The 4-Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferriss played a large role in the development of this lifestyle. In his book, Ferriss states that the usual 40-hour work week is outdated, and that one can and should make more room for personal growth. Digital nomads follow this mentality. They do not work in one fixed location, such as an office or even in one country, but instead travel the world. This is possible because they only need a laptop and an internet connection for their work.
Technological developments have made it increasingly easy to lead such a lifestyle. More and more professions can be carried out wholly or largely online. Tools such as Skype, Zoom or Dropbox ensure that physical meetings are no longer necessary in many cases.
The coronavirus pandemic has greatly increased the use of these tools that are essential to the digital nomad lifestyle. As a result of Covid-19, many employees have had to work from home, forcing companies to use mainly digital communication tools such as Zoom or Skype for calls or meetings.
Digital nomad Sri Lanka visa
In July 2021, there were reports that the new visa would be valid for one year and might cost $500. On 24 August, the Sri Lankan government reported that the visa will be valid for 3 months and will cost $85. Like the Sri Lanka e-visa (ETA), this visa will also be available online.
Beautiful nature in Sri Lanka
According to Club Med, Sri Lanka is a "paradise" for digital nomads. One of the tour operators stated that this is because of the scenic nature that can be found almost everywhere in the country. For many digital nomads, the biggest motivation for choosing this lifestyle is to escape the stress of city life. Sri Lanka has beautiful national parks with a huge diversity of wildlife, such as Yala National Park and the Horton Plains. Active travellers can climb the mighty Sigiriya Lion Rock, or simply backpack through the country. With an area of about 65,000 square kilometres, Sri Lanka is small compared to other Asian countries, so the sights are close together. You are rarely far from adventure in Sri Lanka.
Holiday in Sri Lanka: requesting an ETA
Sri Lanka has been a popular holiday destination for the UK and Europeans for years. From the national parks to the pearly white beaches and bustling cities like Colombo, there are plenty of attractions to enjoy in Sri Lanka. For tourists, Sri Lanka has made a special visa available: the ETA Sri Lanka. This visa can be applied for online. A visit to the consulate is therefore not necessary. The ETA is valid for a stay of 30 days, but this can be extended to 90 days after arrival. When applying for the ETA, please make sure that you meet the visa requirements. For example, you must have a passport that is valid for 6 months after the date of arrival and have a return flight or other flight leaving the country that has already been booked.