Visa Services & Customes in Sri Lanka

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IMPORTANT NOTICE
With effect from 1st January 2012, all Holiday or Business travelers to Sri Lanka must have Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) for entering in to Sri Lanka. Please visit http://www.eta.gov.lk for more information.

The facility for applying Business Purpose Visa is at present available only at the Head Office of the Department of Immigration & Emigration and the Sri Lankan Overseas Missions.

When applying ETA by third parties payments are to be made through the arrangement made in our website www.eta.gov.lk and obtain acknowledgement of ETA application. Any payments made to other websites or agencies are not valid to process a valid ETA. Therefore, always ensure that the payments made by accessing to Sri Lanka ETA website and avoid making repayment at the port of entry to Sri Lanka.

What is a Sri Lankan Visa?

A Sri Lankan visa is an endorsement on a passport or a similar document to facilitate the legal entry of non Sri Lankans into the country and to regulate the period of their stay and the conditions governing such stay.

What are the Types of Sri Lankan Visas?

There are four kinds of visas which permit a person to enter and/or stay in Sri Lanka.
Visit Visa
A Visit Visa is an entry permit signifying the consent of the Sri Lankan Government for the admission of a foreign national to the country. The Visa contains details of the period of time and the condition/s of the stay.

There are two sub-categories which come under visit visas:-

1. Tourist Visit Visa
A Tourist Visa is issued to bona-fide tourists who want to enter Sri Lanka for sightseeing, excursions, relaxation, visit relatives or yoga training for a short period of time.

2. Business Purpose Visa
A Business Purpose Visa is issued to foreign nationals who visit Sri Lanka for business purposes for short period of time. This visa may be issued for single or double journeys.

Residence Visa
A residence visa is a permit for a non-Sri Lankan to obtain residence facilities for special purposes. There is eight sub-categories which come under residence visas.

Transit Visa
A Transit Visa is an entry permit granted to a foreign national for admission into Sri Lanka for a brief period which is incidental and in the course of his journey to another destination.

Gratis Visa
The holder of a Diplomatic or Official Passport or a passport with a valid Diplomatic or Official endorsement will not be required to pay any fees for the visa.

What Eligibility category do I belong?

1.  Employment Category
I.      Project Professional personnel whose services are required for projects approved by the state and expatriate personnel employed in projects under Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka and their dependents
II.     Personnel employed at banks and their dependents
III.   Volunteers
IV.   Personnel attached to Non-Governmental Organizations
V.    Personnel employed in a project, institution or organization under diplomatic missions in Sri Lanka
VI.  Personnel employed in a private company and their dependents

2.  Investor Category
I.  Who desire to invest monetary capital in Sri Lanka
II.Who engage in business activities in Sri Lanka.

3.  Religious Category

4.  Student Category
I.    Members of the Clergy
II.  University Students
III. Students in Educational Institutions approved by the State
IV.  Other Institutions

5. Registered Indians covered by the 1954 Indo-Lanka Agreement.

6. Ex- Sri Lankans and their dependents

7. Family Members of a Sri Lankan

Spouses Children holding foreign nationality.

8. Diplomatic and Official visa

9. My Dream Home Visa Program.

10.Resident Guest Visa Program.

Who are eligible for Visa Exemptions?

I.     Sri Lankan dual citizens.
II.   Children whose birth has been registered under section 5(2) of Citizenship Act – 1948 up to 21 years of age.
III. Children born in Sri Lanka for Sri Lankan parents under 21 years of age.

What are the general eligibility requirements for Sri Lankan Visas?
I.    Sri Lanka Immigration and Emigration may grant or issue a visa to you if
II.  Sri Lanka Immigration & Emigration is satisfied that you are suitable to enter Sri Lanka.
III. Sri Lanka Immigration & Emigration approves the purpose for which you are entering Sri Lanka.
IV.  You hold a passport valid for a minimum period of six months from the date you arrive in Sri Lanka.
V.   Sri Lanka Immigration & Emigration is satisfied that you have adequate funds for your maintenance whilst in Sri Lanka and for the payment of your return passage to the country which issued your passport.
VI.  You are in possession of a written assurance (ticket) to return to the country of domicile or a visa to the next country of destination if you are a visit visa holder.

What are the general conditions of a Visit Visa?
I.    You should not engage in any form of employment, paid or unpaid, or in any trade or business other than that specified in the visa during the period of your stay in Sri Lanka.
II.   Your visa must be utilized before the date of expiry noted on the visa.
III. Validity of your visa is subject to entry into Sri Lanka during the indicated entry period.
IV.  Applications for the extension of all visas should be made to the Department of Immigration and Emigration.

Visa Extensions

You can renew a 30-day tourist visa twice, for 30 days each time. Contact the Department of Immigration and Emigration. Extensions are not hard to get but require jumping through some bureaucratic hoops and downloading some forms.

IMMIGRATION SERVICES CENTRE (ISC)
Welcome to the Immigration Services Center the only authorized Visa Services Provider for the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Sri Lanka.

Visitors can now apply all types of Sri Lankan visas and visa extensions directly at our approved Immigration Services Centre located in the heart of Colombo city. Applying Sri Lankan visas at our Centre is more convenient and saves valuable time as we, on applicant’s behalf, forward the visa applications to the Department of Immigration in lawful, fast and secure manner. Please contact our Immigration Services Centre for more information. Services offered by us is payable by the applicant.

Immigration Services Center is also dedicated to assist all foreign travelers visiting Sri Lanka with free dissemination of up-to-date information about Sri Lanka visas and guidelines for visa applicants. If you wish to know about Sri Lanka visa, how to apply or have question, please contact our helpdesk.

Applying visas for any country is complex and sometime cumbersome process and it is advisable to have someone to assist you especially when you are in a foreign country. We are fully geared to assist you with professionally trained staff, high quality, reliable and fast service. We firmly believe the availability of accurate Sri Lanka visa information and visa assistance to foreign tourists, businessmen, investors, workers, students and others not only provide visitors trouble free entry and stay in the country but enable to fully focus on the purpose of their visit while leaving aside paperwork to a specialist.

Our aim is to create a pleasant immigration experience for all visitors to Sri Lanka so they will have a satisfying and fulfilling visit. By doing so, we facilitate the promotion of tourism, trade and foreign investment to the country and stand alongside in the realization of Government’s journey towards making Sri Lanka: the emerging “Wonder of Asia”

Apply Online Visa: www.eta.gov.lk

Customs Regulations
Sri Lanka has the usual list of prohibited imports, including drugs, weapons, fresh fruit and anything remotely pornographic.

Items allowed: You are allowed to bring into the country duty free 1.5 liters of spirits, two bottles of wine, a quarter-liter of toilet water, and a small quantity of perfume and souvenirs with a value not exceeding US $250. The import of personal equipment such as cameras and laptop computers is allowed but must be declared on arrival. However, personal equipment must be taken out of the country upon the visitor’s departure. The import of non-prescription drugs and pornography of any form is an offence.

More details Sri Lanka Customs: www.customs.gov.lk

Custom Exports

On leaving the country you are allowed to export up to 10kg of tea duty free.
No antiques antique. Defined as anything more than 50-years-old – rare books, palm-leaf manuscripts and anthropological material can be exported without permission from the

Director,
National Archives,
7 Reid Avenue,
Colombo -07.
Tel: +94-11 2694523/ 2696917
Web: www.archives.gov.lk

Director General,
Department of Archaeology,
Sir Marcus Fernando Mw,
Colombo
Tel: +94 11 2692840/1
Tel. +94-11-2694727, +94-11-2667155,
Web: www.archaeology.gov.lk.

Purchase and export without license of any wild animal, bird or reptile, dead or alive. Also the export of parts of animals, birds or reptiles, such as skins, horns, scales and feathers is prohibited. Occasional exports are, however, permitted exclusively for bona fide scientific purposes. It is prohibited to export of 450 plant species without special permits. The export of coral, shells or other protected marine products is also strictly prohibited.

Applications for special permission to export fauna should be made to the

Director,
Department of Wildlife Conservation,
382 , New Kandy Road,
Malabe
Tel: +9411 25060380

Director,
Forest Department,
82, Rajamalwatta Road,
Battaramulla,
Tel: + 94 11 28666 16/ 2866632
Web: www.environmentlanka.com

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