Disclaimer : Information contained in this post is updated as of 25th December, 2013. Please check with embassy for latest updates.
Although Indians do require a Visa to enter Sri Lanka but process is so simple and quick that it doesn’t seem like a burden to acquire the Visa. Sri Lanka issues an electronic Visa for tourist purpose that you can obtain beforehand.
Visit http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/visainfo/center.jsp and fill up the application form. Please make sure you have following items in place :
- A confirmed return ticket within 30 days from the date of entry
- Hotel booking for at least one day. You need to enter place of stay in application form.
- A credit card for making payments.
The Visa fees is 15 $ for Indians. Once you complete the form and submit the application you get an acknowledgement email. The official time to receive the Visa is 24 hours but I got mine within next 10 minutes.
It is better to take a print out of the granted ETA received though it was not checked at the immigration as they had the entries in their system based on passport number. Once you land at Colombo airport, head straight towards immigration counter with print out of ETA and passport.
There is a second option of getting an On Arrival Visa. Visa fees is 20 $ and the counter is located near to immigration counters. A credit card should work as proof of funds. I didn’t avail this option so do not have first hand information on this one but I believe requirements would be similar to getting an ETA.
Since getting an ETA is extremely simple process, it’s best to get the visa beforehand. There was not much crowd at immigration and it hardly took 10 minutes to clear the immigration. As a surprise I was gifted with a SIM card loaded with 50 LKR with data plan enabled. Sri Lanka is really working towards making their visitors feel welcome. Do you have plans to visit there ?