News report | | 23-04-2024 | ±4 minutes reading time

Last weekend, Sri Lanka replaced the ETA with an e-visa. The ETA was a digital travel authorization allowing travellers to enter the country without a visa. Read this article to find out what this change means for future trips to Sri Lanka and how to apply for the new e-visa.

ETA Sri Lanka abolished

Last weekend, Sri Lanka unexpectedly abolished the ETA. The government website and the systems used to process applications were taken offline. As a result, travellers can no longer apply for an ETA for their trip to Sri Lanka. The ETA was a popular travel authorization suitable for various trips to Sri Lanka, including holiday vacations. Travellers especially appreciated the speed at which applications were processed and the fact that the entire application procedure took place online. Additionally, once the application was approved, the ETA was electronically linked to the passport, eliminating the need to submit the passport anywhere or print out the ETA. After submitting the application, the ETA was usually issued within a few days, allowing travellers to immediately travel to Sri Lanka.

What will happen to already submitted ETA applications?

All issued ETAs remain valid until the end of their validity period. Holders of a valid ETA can therefore travel to Sri Lanka as planned and do not need to reapply for a visa. It is not yet clear what will happen to applications that have been submitted but not fully processed. Since the systems for processing ETA applications are offline, these ETAs are likely not to be issued anymore. In that case, it is advisable to apply for a visa for Sri Lanka instead.

The new e-visa for Sri Lanka

As a replacement for the ETA, Sri Lanka has introduced an e-visa. Similar to the ETA, the e-visa can also be applied for online. However, the application process has changed. Now, in addition to filling out an application form, applicants must also submit a passport-sized photo and a photo or scan of their passport. This process also takes place online. In some cases, additional documents may be required, particularly for visas with longer validity periods. According to the Sri Lankan government, the processing of applications with the new system should be more efficient. Additionally, the application process for the e-visa is said to be clearer than that for the ETA, making it easier for travellers to apply for their travel authorization.

The variants and costs of the e-visa for Sri Lanka

The new e-visa is available in different variants. The costs of the standard e-visa are significantly higher than those of the ETA, but in return, travellers now have the option to choose from different variants of the e-visa. On one hand, travellers can pick from e-visas with different validity periods. On the other hand, a distinction is made between a tourist visa, a transit visa, and a business visa. The business visa and the tourist visa cost the same and can both be applied for with different validity periods. For applying for a business visa, in addition to the passport photo and copy of the passport, an invitation letter must always be provided. The tourist and business visas are available in the following variants:

  • The e-visa with a validity period of 6 months (double-entry). Within the validity period, two trips to Sri Lanka are allowed, and each stay may last up to 60 days. This visa costs 93.50 USD.
  • The e-visa with a validity period of 1 year (multiple-entry). Within the validity period, multiple trips to Sri Lanka are allowed, and each stay may last up to 90 days. This visa costs 218.50 USD.
  • The e-visa with a validity period of 5 years (multiple-entry). Within the validity period, multiple trips to Sri Lanka are allowed, and each stay may last up to 180 days. This visa costs 518.50 USD.
  • The e-visa with a validity period of 10 years (multiple-entry). Within the validity period, multiple trips to Sri Lanka are allowed, and each stay may last up to 180 days. This visa costs 1018.50 USD.

The visa on arrival is still available

In addition to the e-visa, travellers to Sri Lanka can also avail themselves of the visa on arrival, which can be obtained upon arrival at the airport in Sri Lanka. This visa has been available for some time and remains accessible even after the introduction of the e-visa. Travellers from most countries, including the United Kingdom and Ireland, can therefore travel to Sri Lanka without having to apply for a visa in advance. However, it is recommended to apply for an e-visa before departure. Obtaining a visa on arrival may involve longer waiting times upon arrival. Additionally, there is a possibility that the visa may not be granted, resulting in the traveller being denied entry to Sri Lanka. Those who apply for a visa online can swiftly proceed through passport control upon arrival in Sri Lanka and have the assurance that the visa has already been issued.

e-Visa.ie is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the Sri Lanka visa. e-Visa.ie acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for a visa directly with the immigration service (52,08 USD per visa, via eta.gov.lk). However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via e-Visa.ie, our support centre is available to you 24/7. We also check your application before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 52,08 USD in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as € 32,26 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous Sri Lanka visa was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.