In a significant effort to boost its tourism industry, the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Sri Lanka has officially launched a free visa regime for nationals from seven countries, effective immediately.
This move comes as part of a pilot program approved by Cabinet Ministers on October 24, 2023 (Approval No: 2311885/6021023), and is set to run until March 31, 2024.
Eligibility and Passport Types
Under the newly implemented scheme, nationals of China, India, Indonesia, Russia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan can enjoy a visa-free regime. Eligibility extends to individuals holding Diplomatic, Official, Public Affairs, Service, and Ordinary passports from the specified countries.
Visa Validity and Entry Conditions
The free visa is valid for 30 days and allows for double entry into Sri Lanka, providing travelers the flexibility to enter and exit the country twice within the 30-day visa period.
Sri Lanka ETA Application Process
Applicants must submit their Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) applications online. The ETA application process typically takes around three working days to complete.
Required documents include a valid passport, travel insurance, proof of sufficient funds, and flight bookings. The payment gateway screen is currently present during the ETA application submission, but the Department of Immigration and Emigration (DIE) assures its removal soon.
Visa Status Tracking
Applicants can track the status of their ETA applications online.
This free visa regime is specific to nationals of the seven designated countries. Citizens of other nations must follow the general rules and regulations applicable to Sri Lanka ETA.
Extension of Free ETA
The free ETA cannot be extended beyond the 30-day validity period. If an extension is required, it can be applied for, subject to the payment of the appropriate fee.
Processing Time and Recommendations
The processing time for ETA applications is typically around three working days. However, it is advisable to apply well in advance to avoid any potential delays.
Source : ProPakistani