Sri Lanka Tourist Visa Rules and Extension
In October 2023, Sri Lanka announced a new visa policy in order to increase tourism and encourage foreign investment in the country.
In this article, we will discuss new tourist visa regulations and the extension of tourist visas in Sri Lanka and provide a comprehensive guide to Sri Lanka visa photos.
Table of contents
- Sri Lanka tourist visa policy in 2024
- How to apply for Sri Lanka eTa online?
- Can you apply for Sri Lanka visa-on-arrival?
- How to extend Sri Lanka visa online?
- How to extend Sri Lanka visa at the Immigration office?
- Sri Lanka visa photo requirements
- Get a digital Sri Lanka visa photo online
- Take a Sri Lanka visa photo with phone. 7ID App
- Sri Lanka tourist visa fees
Sri Lanka Tourist Visa Policy in 2024
Every traveler planning a visit to Sri Lanka is obliged to secure a visa, either upon arrival or through prior arrangements. For those embarking on a journey for tourism, the mandatory requirement is an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). This authorization grants a complimentary 30-day visa period and the flexibility of double entry, commencing from the initial arrival date in Sri Lanka and valid for 30 days.
In October 2023, Sri Lanka updated its tourist visa policy 2024 to offer free visas to nationals of seven countries: China, India, Russia, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. This visa waiver is for a maximum stay of 30 days and can be obtained upon arrival or through an online application. The free visa waiver initiative continues until March 31, 2024, and allows for double entry from the date of first arrival in Sri Lanka after October 24, 2023.
Once in Sri Lanka, tourist can extend their stay without leaving the country. Extensions are usually provided in three-month blocks, with a maximum total extension of up to 270 days from the entry.
How to Apply for Sri Lanka ETA Online?
Any traveler planning a short visit to Sri Lanka must obtain an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) in advance. Upon arrival, the applicant may be granted a 30-day ETA, with double entries permitted from the first entry date.
To apply for a Sri Lanka ETA online, follow these steps
- Go to the “Apply” option on the official website of Sri Lanka's Department of Immigration & Emigration.
- Fill out the form with the required details, such as personal information, passport details, and travel plans.
- Pay the processing fee with a valid credit or debit card.
- Submit the form and await a confirmation email, which usually arrives within a few hours.
- Print the received ETA approval notice to present to the immigration officer upon arrival in Sri Lanka.
As a reminder, residents of China, India, Russia, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia are exempt from the ETA until March 31, 2024, and will receive a free visa on arrival or through an online application.
The ETA is initially valid for 30 days from the date of arrival but can be extended up to six months. To do this, you will need to apply for an ETA visa extension Sri Lanka.
Can you Apply for Sri Lanka Visa on arrival?
It is possible to apply for a visa upon arrival in Sri Lanka. However, most tourists are advised to obtain an ETA before departure for a smoother process. This way, you will avoid a separate visa payment queue on arrival and can go straight through immigration control.
How to Extend Sri Lanka Visa Online?
To apply for your visa extension from Sri Lanka online, follow these steps:
- Go to the Visa Extension Portal on the official website of the Department of Immigration & Emigration of Sri Lanka.
- Fill in all the required details on the visa extension application form for Sri Lanka. This includes personal details, passport details, and itinerary.
- Upload the scan of your passport’ bio page and a digital photo. File sizes must be 100 kb as a maximum.
- After completing the information, apply for an online visa extension in Sri Lanka and await a confirmation email, which usually arrives within a few days.
- Once your visa extension is confirmed, you will receive an approval letter with a payment link. Pay the visa fee online using an accepted credit or debit card.
- Print the ETA approval notice and have it ready to present to the immigration officer when you arrive in Sri Lanka.
Remember that the duration of a short-stay visa can be extended up to a total of 270 days from the date of arrival, with the first extension being for 60 days and the next two extensions for 90 days each.
After 180 days, no electronic visa extensions are available; you must personally visit the Immigration Office in Colombo.
How to Extend a Sri Lanka Visa at the Immigration Office?
Tourist visa extension in Sri Lanka can also be applied for at the Immigration Services Center in Colombo's central business district. Here are the steps:
- Visit the Immigration Services Center with your application and fees. They will give you an approximate time to pick up your passport.
- The center will forward your application to the Department of Immigration for processing and later collect the processed passports.
- You can either pick up your passport in person at the Service Center or have it delivered for a small additional fee.
Sri Lanka Visa Photo Requirements
The Sri Lanka visa photo specifications are as mentioned below:
- The Sri Lanka visa photo size should be 45×35 mm.
- The file size must not exceed 100 kb.
- The photo must be in color.
- Your face should fully face the camera, with a direct gaze and both ears visible.
- The background should be plain, white, and without patterns.
- Head coverings or hats are not allowed, and both sides of the face must be visible.
- Eyeglasses that alter the appearance are not acceptable. It's recommended not to wear glasses for the photo.
These rules apply to both visa and passport photographs for Sri Lanka. The photograph must accompany all fully completed residence visa applications.
Get a Digital Sri Lanka Visa Photo Online
The Visafoto.com service is convenient for getting your Sri Lanka visa photo from home. Simply take a photo with a digital camera or smartphone against a white or off-white background and upload it to the website. You will get a professional-looking passport photo instantly.
The Visafoto tool enhances your photo in moments by:
- Resizing and cropping the image to the correct size.
- Refining the background.
- Correcting a tilted head.
- Resizing for online submissions.
- You will receive a digital copy for online submissions and a print-ready version.
- Guaranteed accuracy of 99.7%. If the photo isn't accepted, Visafoto offers a 100% refund.
First, take a photo of yours under daylight like this one:
You will have two types of photos: a digital one for electronic applications and another one suitable for printing.
Here they are:
Take a Sri Lanka Visa Photo with a Phone
Take a Sri Lanka visa photo with your smartphone using the 7ID App, supported by Visafoto.
Available for iPhone and Android, the 7ID visa photo app provides an easy platform for capturing and editing passport photos. The app is suitable for both online and physical submissions, making the photo editing process seamless.
Simply upload your image, select the appropriate country and document type, and take advantage of 7ID's fine-tuned features:
- Automatic resizing: 7ID's app minimizes manual editing by automatically resizing your image to the required passport size, precisely positioning the head and eyes.
- Background color adjustment: A simple left drag on the slider allows you to change the background to universal colors (such as white, light gray, or blue), as required by official document guidelines.
- Printable templates: Once your passport photo editing is complete, 7ID provides a print-ready template that adheres to your specified size requirements. Suitable for standard paper sizes such as 10×15 cm, A4, A5 or B5. Print at home or your local print shop.
- Advanced Editing (Expert feature): 7ID's Advanced Passport Photo Editor uses sophisticated algorithms to improve image quality, enhance edits, and remove backgrounds flawlessly for critical documents such as passports or DV lottery applications.
- 24/7 Support and Quality Checks (Expert feature): With the Expert feature, you get uninterrupted support and image checks to ensure the best results. If the image is unsatisfactory or rejected, a photo replacement is available.
Sri Lanka Tourist Visa Fees
The cost of a tourist visa for Sri Lanka depends on both the nationality of the applicant and the location from which they are applying. Below are the details:
- Online ETA fees:
Nationals of SAARC countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) are charged a fee of US$20 for an ETA for a 30-day double-entry tourist visa. Other nationalities are charged US$50 for the same.
Children under the age of 12 are exempt from ETA fees.
- Application at the Head Office of the Immigration & Emigration Department in Colombo:
The ETA for the 30-day tourist visa with a double entry facility is US$30 for SAARC nationals and US$55 for other nationalities.
- Application at the port of entry to Sri Lanka:
Travelers from SAARC countries pay a fee of US$25, while those from other countries pay US$60 for the 30-day double-entry tourist visa.
- Application at Sri Lankan missions abroad:
The 30-day double-entry tourist visa fees are US$30 for SAARC countries and US$55 for other countries.
- Indian nationals:
Indian nationals can obtain a tourist visa for Sri Lanka from INR 1999.
Sri Lanka tourist visa extension fees in 2024 are as follows:
- The first extension costs $60, and the visa will be extended for 60 days.
- The second extension costs $150, with an extension period of 90 days.
- The third extension costs $200, providing an additional 90 days of extension.
Prices may vary depending on your nationality.
Note that these prices may vary from time to time, and it's recommended to check the current fees on the official ETA website.
With convenient tools like Visafoto and the 7ID app, you can take perfect and compliant visa, passport, and ID photos anytime, anywhere.