Sri Lanka is located south - east from the southern tip of India, the place where Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean converge. It was earlier known as Ceylon and the present name of Sri Lanka was adopted in the year 1972. Sri Lanka has a rich cultural heritage and history that is believed to be as old as the epic Ramayana. Today, Sri Lanka is really progressive, vibrant and a country teeming with opportunities.
But what the rest of the world doesn’t know about is, Sri Lanka’s amazing geography. It is an island nation so you can obviously find so many beaches here, in all directions. Maybe there are a few hundred beaches scattered around or maybe there is just one beach which encircles the entire country, it is upto the tourists to decide. The south - central part of Sri Lanka is mountainous region from where numerous rivers flow in all directions. The highest point in Sri Lanka is Pidurutalagala which is 8,261 Ft. high.
The capital of Sri Lanka is Colombo. It is situated on the western coast of the country. The area between India and Sri Lanka is called the Gulf of Mannar. Also, in the North - West, Sri Lanka is connected to India through ‘Adam’s Bridge’ or ‘Ram Setu’ as it is known in India. This Limestone bridge is 3 to 30 Ft. deep and researchers believe that it was destroyed by a cyclone in the 15th century. So, if you want to explore what is hidden in the heart of this curious island nation, here is the complete travel and visa guide for Sri Lanka.
All the tourists as well as business travellers must obtain Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) for entering Sri Lanka. The ETA is valid for 30 days from the date of entry in Sri Lanka and it can be extended for up to 6 months. The application can be done online as well as at Sri Lanka Overseas Missions and the Head Office of the Department of Immigration & Emigration, Colombo. Business ETA for single/ double/ multiple entry can be obtained by applying online. And the applicants can not engage in any kind of trade, business or employment activities while they are in Sri Lanka, regardless of paid or unpaid, which are not mentioned in the valid ETA.
- You can apply for an ETA yourself or can get your application submitted through third party service providers such as travel agents and airlines.
- Step 1 - Submit Application
Fill in all the details required in the online Application form, as they are mentioned in the passport.
Add basic information of the applicant(s) such as name, DOB, nationality, and passport details. The details of children can be attached along with their parents’ application. Also, furnish the details of your travel plan, contact details and formal declaration required in the application form.
The applicant needs to furnish the address in Sri Lanka
If applying for business Visa, the applicant needs to add contact details of the applicant’s company and contact details of the Sri Lankan company concerned, is required to be submitted.
- Step 2 - Review Information:
Always check and recheck the application to make sure that there are no typo-errors and wrong information is not furnished.
You can change the information if needed, and confirm if all information is correct.
- Step 3 - Payment Options:
The payment of fees is not needed for Indian citizens going for tourism purposes.
The applicants can deposit the payment for Visa application fees using electronic payment cards, on the official website of ETA - Government of Sri Lanka www.eta.gov.lk and get formal acknowledgment of their ETA application.
The department has NO REFUND policy so, make sure you pay the right amount on the right portal with the right information.
- Step 4 - ETA Confirmation:
The status of Visa application and authenticity of the Visa application can be checked online using the link: http://www.immigration.gov.lk/web/index.php?lang=en
Based on the information furnished and documents attached, the Visa authority may approve your Visa application or they may serve a referral notice to you for making amendments/ alterations in the application. The applicant may contact the Sri Lanka Overseas Mission, for further actions as per the referral notice. You can see some examples of acknowledgement/ referral notices/ approval letter on this link: http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/visainfo/sample.jsp?locale=en_US
The applicants need to visit the Sri Lanka Overseas Mission personally for collecting the Visa, if their Visa application is approved.
The ETA holder should enter Sri Lanka within 3 months of the date of issuing ETA. The applicant should keep a copy of ETA approval ready while entering in Sri Lanka, at the port of entry.
- A passport valid for a minimum of 6 months from the date of entry in Sri Lanka
- A round trip ticket booking for your tentative visit in Sri Lanka
- Hotel/ Accommodation booking details including telephone number and address
- Passport size photographs of the applicant
- Documents explaining the applicant’s financial stability and ability to meet the expenses in the visit to Sri Lanka
- The same documents that are furnished for obtaining the Visa, should be used by the applicant while entering Sri Lanka. If there is any mismatch in documents or information provided by the applicants, they might have to pay the visa fees again.
Under the ETA Fee Waiver Program, Indian citizens travelling to Sri Lanka for tourism purposes from 01 August 2019 to 31 January 2020, are exempted from paying ETA fee. However, travelers need to obtain the ETA compulsorily.
There are three main types of categories for which the eligible applicants can apply for…
Applicable for tourism, holidaying, Ayurvedic - Yoga and other medical treatments, participation in cultural or sporting competitions, and personal visit to family and friends
Applicable only for transiting through Sri Lanka
Participation in meetings, conferences, workshops, seminars, symposiums, short-term training-programs, art events, religious events, and other business negotiations. Applicants should note that Online ETA is not available for media and journalism related activities such as…
Participation in media/ journalism related conferences, workshops, and seminars
Attending meetings/ conferences/ seminars with political parties and groups
Engaging in activities carried out by NGOs and INGOs
The applicants must obtain prior approval from appropriate authorities of the Government of Sri Lanka, if they wish to engage in the above mentioned activities.
The government of Sri Lanka considers a visa as Electronic Travel Authorization or ETA. You can file your ETA application on www.eta.gov.lk.
How much would I be charged for a Sri Lankan visa?
As of now, the government of Sri Lanka has mandated that Indian citizens do not need to pay any fees until January 2020.
The need for travel insurance is not mandatory, even though the importance of travel insurance for any vacation should not be ignored. If you find yourself without your baggage or in the midst of an accident, travel insurance from providers like Bharti AXA could go a long way.
Different parts of the country are best visited in different times during the year. For instance, the western and southern coasts of Lanka are best visited during October-March. The best time to visit the central hills is March, while the perfect weather for the eastern and northern areas is between April and September. The time to avoid while visiting this region is the inter-monsoonal period, which is October-November.
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The following medical expenses are covered:
“Deductible”means a cost-sharing requirement under this policy, that provides that the insurer will not be liable for a specified rupee amount or percentage of claim amount or number of days or number of hours, as specified in the policy schedule and which will apply before any benefits are payable by the insurer. A deductible does not reduce the sum insured and is applicable per event, upto the specified limits mentioned.
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Loss of passport and documents:
Reimbursement of actual expenses incurred in connection with obtaining a duplicate or fresh passport or reasonable cost of replacing/obtaining the stolen documents/ tickets if the passport belonging to the Insured / Insured Person be lost
Home Fire Insurance Contents & Home Burglary Insurance (contents):
Cover against any loss or damage of the Contents at Home of the Insured in India caused by Fire and Allied perils or through burglary and/or housebreaking while the Insured is on a trip abroad.
Hijack Distress Allowance
Payment of distress allowance in case of hijack of a common carrier for more than certain number of hours whilst on the trip. You can easily avail the allowance by filing a claim online through Travel Insurance cover online process.
Medical Expensesinclusive of Repartration and Emergency Medical Evacuation
If you are sick or injured during the journey, your medical expenses can prove to be costly. In such cases, Travel Insurance cover greatly helps. The insurance company also offers a cashless settlement with the network hospitals or you can also opt for the reimbursement process within 30 days of hospitalization.
Payment of legal costs and expenses incurred by the Insured towards claims from third Parties for compensation in respect of death or disablement arising due to an injury whilst on a trip abroad.
Payment of compensation if the Insured sustains accidental bodily injury during a trip resulting in death or Permanent Total Disablement or Permanent Partial Disablement within 12 months of occurrence of such injury.
Trip Cancellation/Or Interruption
Payment towards the non-refundable prepaid payments incurred on the trip being cancelled and additional cost of transportation in case of Interruption: due to medical problems, personal employment problems or natural disasters or other listed reason in policy wordings.
Reimbursement of additional expenses if trip is delayed beyond a period, due to airline problems, medical problems, personal employment problems or natural disasters.
Daily Allowance in case of Hospitalisation
Payment of daily allowance for the days the Insured is hospitalised beyond a specified number of days, as mentioned in the Policy Schedule, for which a valid claim is admissible under the Policy whilst on a trip abroad.Emergency Accommodation
Payment of compensation for the additional cost of emergency accommodation if the Insured/ Insured Person could not stay in the accommodation originally booked due to fire& flood, earthquake, storm, hurricane, explosion, outbreak of major infectious diseases.
During a trip there are chances of unfortunate events such as loss of checked in baggage, medical emergency, loss of passport that can spoil your international trip, be it business or leisure. Travel insurance can protect you from such events ensuring that you are left stuck in foreign land.