The ETA Sri Lanka that can be applied for online is suitable for tourist and business purposes. An ETA Sri Lanka does not suffice for voluntary work in Sri Lanka. For this, a physical Sri Lanka visa must be applied for.
Why Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka as a beautiful holiday destination
The island of Sri Lanka is not very large, but nevertheless has a fairly diverse landscape, from coral reefs to mountains and from desert plains to fields. In addition, Sri Lanka is known for its beautiful temples, huge tea plantations and various animal species.
Because more and more tourists are discovering the beauty of the country, tourism is also one of the most important sources of income of the country, next to the export of tea, coffee, rubber and coconuts.
Sri Lanka in recovery
Throughout the years, Sri Lanka has had to cope with various events, the effects of which can still be felt. Between 1983 and 2009, a civil war raged between the Tamil population (the largest ethnic minority) and the government. The country also had to deal with floods, and the 2004 tsunami left its mark. Thirty thousand people did not survive the tsunami and one and a half million people became homeless.
These events have had an impact on nature, prosperity and healthcare in the country. Facilities in schools, hospitals and homes are minimal and 5% of the population has no access to sanitation. In addition, several animal species are threatened with extinction.
Benefits of volunteering in Sri Lanka
Of course, the main goal of volunteering is to help others. There are various opportunities to contribute, and it is important that you choose something that suits you and your skills, so that you can enjoy it and get satisfaction from it. In addition, volunteering allows you to gain valuable knowledge, skills and experience. Volunteering also looks good on your CV. You gain work experience, show that you are socially involved and not afraid to get your hands dirty. In addition, you will come into contact with the local population.
With a GNP of almost 13,000 dollars per year per capita (for comparison: the UK has a GNP of 47,880 dollars per year per capita) and a low unemployment rate of 4.4%, Sri Lanka is one of the most prosperous countries of South-East Asia. In addition, the Sri Lankan government and various organisations have worked hard in recent years to limit the number of residents living below the poverty line. Despite the fact that the percentage has dropped from 23% to 7% in the last 13 years, the country is still considered a developing country by the International Monetary Fund. The country still has a long way to go until it fully recovers from its devastating events, and you can do your bit to aid in this recovery.
For example, do a medical internship in a hospital, have a chat with the elderly in a home, help with the daily care for children with mental disabilities, help in education, give a football training or dedicate yourself to nature conservation, for example by cooperating in a project that tries to prevent the extinction of turtles.
Application procedure physical Sri Lanka visa
To be able to volunteer in Sri Lanka, a number of preparations need to be made, including applying for a Sri Lanka visa. The ETA or e-visa Sri Lanka was created to facilitate the application process. This visa is an electronic travel authorisation that can be applied for in minutes and is issued by the Department of Immigration and Emigration. This allows the complicated procedure of applying for a visa at an embassy to be bypassed.
Since an ETA Sri Lanka is only meant for tourists or business travellers, a physical visa is required, which has to be affixed to your passport by an embassy employee. The application process of a physical Sri Lanka visa is therefore more complicated than that of an ETA or e-visa Sri Lanka. In addition, applying for a physical Sri Lanka visa involves a longer processing time and higher costs. For voluntary work, you can choose the “business visa for a temporary stay” or the “immigration visa for a permanent stay”. Before applying, determine which variant of the Sri Lanka visa best suits your situation by carefully reading the information on the websites of the Sri Lankan government and embassy.