sri lanka business visa

Sri Lanka Business Visa - Definitive Guide

Sri Lanka is one of the richest free markets and also has one of the highest purchasing power parity. Being close to India, several Indian entrepreneurs look at Sri Lanka as a business opportunity. A Sri Lanka business visa for Indian citizens has been a courtesy rendering to the development of the Indian as well as Sri Lankan commerce.

What is Sri Lanka Business Visa?

There are several procedures that are to be followed when carrying out business in a foreign country. A business visa to Sri Lanka is issued to the ones who are looking forward to doing business in the country. There are several benefits to this permit. The holder is allowed to attend business meetings and conferences, exhibitions, negotiating deals and others. The validity of the permit can differ as per the process that is followed. If you obtain the visa prior to arrival, you either get a single entry visa for 30 days, or a multiple entry permit which is valid for 3 months allowing a stay for about 30 days. If you get a business visa to Sri Lanka upon arrival, you will receive it as a single entry 30-day permit. Also, keep in mind that having a visa does not guarantee you entry. If the Immigration or Border Control find an issue with your visa or yourself, you are most likely to be deported.

How to get a Sri Lanka Business Visa from India?

business visa to Sri Lanka

There are multiple processes to get a business visa to Sri Lanka from India. However, you first need to match the eligibility criteria to be able to issue the permit. You can get a visa prior to arrival or upon arrival. The processes are as follows:

  • Sri Lanka Tourist Visa Online
    1. This application is made by the applicant online.
    2. Fill out the ETA application form.
    3. Submit the form and pay the required fee.
    4. Receive an ETA approval notice.
    5. Print the notice and travel to Sri Lanka.
    6. Present the required documents to the Immigration Counter at the border.
  • Through a Visa Agency
    1. Provide the required information and documents to the visa agency.
    2. Let the agency make the application for you.
    3. The agency and you shall receive the acknowledgement notice.
    4. Print this notice and travel to Sri Lanka.
    5. Present the required documents to the Immigration Counter at the border.
  • Sri Lanka Overseas Mission
    1. You can hand over your passport and other details to the Sri Lanka Mission in India.
    2. Let the mission make the ETA application for you.
    3. After the approval, the mission and you shall receive the acknowledgement notice.
    4. Print the notice and carry it with you at the time of travelling to Sri Lanka.
    5. Collect your passport from the mission after the notice has been received.
    6. Present the required documents to the Immigration Counter upon arrival.
  • At the Head Office of the Department of Immigration and Emigration
    1. This application can be made by the host inviting the Indian national to Sri Lanka.
    2. The application is to be made to the Head Office of Department of Immigration and Emigration.
    3. ETA application form is to be filled out by the host and handed over to the visa officer.
    4. Acknowledgement notice is provided to the host as well as the invitee.
    5. Print the notice and carry it with you when travelling to Sri Lanka.
    6. Present the required documents at the Immigration Counter at the border.
  • Sri Lanka Business Visa On Arrival
    1. When you have arrived in Sri Lanka, fill out the ETA application form.
    2. Pay the required fee for the ETA.
    3. Upon approval, you will be provided with a notice.
    4. Go to the Immigration Counter then and present your passport along with the notice and other required documents.

When you are filling out the application forms, it is extremely crucial that you take certain precautions. The information in the application form must match the details in the passport and other travel documents. The form must be filled with correct information and try to avoid any errors. If there are any kinds of issues found in the application or if there is any information that is false or unverifiable, there are chances that the application may get rejected. Such a visa rejection can affect your future applications to Sri Lanka or to any other country. In such cases, you can just acquire professional assistance from a visa agency.

Eligibility Criteria

There are certain parameters that are to be fulfilled in order to be able to apply for a business visa to Sri Lanka. Some of the most important eligibility criteria are listed as follows:

  • You must have proof of business ownership and purpose of visit
      • You must have proper proof of your business enterprise to show it to the authorities.
      • If you have been invited to a business conference or to attend a business or client meeting, an invitation letter from the company must be provided to the Immigration.
  • You must meet the health requirements
      • You must be healthy enough to travel to Sri Lanka.
      • You must perform a medical test before travelling to the country and provide a relevant documentary proof.
    • You must meet the character requirements
      • You must be of good character and have genuine intentions behind doing business in Sri Lanka.
      • You need to provide a relevant documentary proof for the same as well (if asked) in the form of a Police Clearance Certificate (PCC).
  • You must have sufficient funds
      • You must possess or have access to sufficient funds to be able to cover your stay and other expenses in Sri Lanka.
      • Bank statement or any equivalent document is to be submitted as well as proof of the same.

Sri Lanka Business Visa Requirements for Indian Citizens

The list of document requirements to get a business visa to Sri Lanka is not that long given the comparatively not so complicated procedure. The mandatory Sri Lanka business visa requirements are listed as follows:

  • Original passport valid for at least 6 months.
  • Confirmed return flight ticket.
  • Proof of sufficient funds - bank statement, etc.

Photo Specifications

  • One copy must be provided
  • Photo size: 35 mm x 45 mm.
  • Coloured copy must be provided.
  • Should not be older than 6 months.
  • The face must cover about 70-80% of the frame.
  • Head should well-centred.
  • The picture must not be older than 6 months.
  • The background must be white.
  • Neutral expressions.
  • Hair should not hide eyes.
  • Both the ears must be visible.
  • Teeth should not be visible.
  • Glasses are not permitted, except for prescription glasses.
  • Eyes must be clearly visible through glasses.
  • Must be taken in clear light.
  • There should be no red eyes or flashes messing the image.
  • Headgears are not allowed except for religious reasons.
  • Clothing shouldn’t match the background.

Sri Lanka Business Visa Fee

The way of payment of the fees for a Sri Lanka business visa for Indian citizens will differ depending on the procedure that is being followed. Obtaining ETA prior to arrival will mostly require you to pay through an electronic payment gateway. For an on arrival ETA, the fee can be paid using a debit or credit card or in cash but only in US $. The fee can even differ as per the number of entries permitted or any changes in the exchange rates.

Entry Stay Duration Validity Fees
Multiple entry Normal 30 days 6 months 2520.0

Processing Time

The processing time required to get a business visa to Sri Lanka prior to arrival is about 3 days. It can still vary based on certain factors such as the process that is being followed, availability of staff and the workload at the Mission and others.

After Submission

When the application has been submitted, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. Some of the pointers are as follows:

  • These are mainly online procedures and are applicable when obtaining a short term permit.
  • Generally, through any of these processes, you will receive a single entry permit with a stay duration of 30 days and the same validity or a multiple entry permit that is valid for 3 months allowing a stay of up to 30 days per visit.
  • However, if you obtain a Sri Lanka business visa on arrival you will be provided with a single entry permit with validity and stay duration of 30 days and not a multiple entry permit.
  • If you have a change of plans, you can even cancel your visa which is to be done before the processing time. It can be done after as well.
  • The visa fee is not refundable.

How to Check Status?

The status of a Sri Lanka visa for Indian can be checked online by logging on to the official website for any type of visa. It can also be checked by calling the 24/7 available call centre on - 0094 71 99 67 888.

When you have this Visa

After the completion of processes, you will receive an acknowledgement receipt. This is your business visa to Sri Lanka. When you have this, there are a few things that you need to note, they are listed as follows:

  • Before you travel
      • Take a print out of the ETA before boarding if you have already acquired a permit.
      • Make a note of the ETA expiry date, as well as the number of entries permitted. You must not stay in the country beyond this period.
      • You should travel to Sri Lanka within the validity of your ETA.
      • Make sure to carry a copy of your passport and other travel documents before leaving the country.
      • Issue health insurance and travel Insurance from a certified company.
  • At the Border
      • Once you enter the country, make sure to get you passport stamped.
      • Get your documents checked and your passport verified at the Immigration Counter.
      • Consult the airport authorities for any kind of assistance required.
      • Check your visa copy for other guidelines and rules to be followed.
  • When you enter Sri Lanka
      • Ensure not to get involved in any kind of employment. You can, however, do volunteer work.
      • The business visa does not permit you to employ the residents or reside in the country.
      • It is a permit that allows you to only perform business and business-related operations in the country. You are still permitted tourism.
      • The tourist prohibited areas must be stayed out of.
      • Make sure you don’t overstay and apply for a visa extension at least before the expiration of your permit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it difficult to get a Sri Lanka Business visa?

The Sri Lankan Immigration has made the process to get a business visa to Sri Lanka online with minimum documents requirements, therefore, getting a Sri Lanka business visa from India is not exactly difficult. The processes are quite simple. If you still want to minimise any kind of complications, you can always acquire assistance and apply through a visa agency.



Can someone work with a Business visa in Sri Lanka?

No, you are not allowed to work with a business visa in Sri Lanka. You are allowed to take part in volunteer work but you still aren’t allowed to take up paid or permanent employment. You will have to issue a work visa differently to work in Sri Lanka.



Do we have to give an interview for a Business visa to Sri Lanka like we do in European countries?

There is a requirement for interviews for getting a visa for European countries, however, that is not the case for Sri Lanka. You do not have to attend an interview while applying for a business visa to Sri Lanka.



Can I fly into Sri Lanka with a Business visa without a return ticket?

A return ticket is one of the mandatory documents required at the time of getting a business visa to Sri Lanka. If you fly to Sri Lanka without a return ticket, your ETA application will not be accepted and you will be asked to return or deported from the country. Therefore, no, you cannot fly to Sri Lanka without a return ticket.



How much bank balance is required for a Sri Lanka Business visa for a couple?

The amount that is required in your savings bank account is not specified clearly by the Sri Lanka Overseas Mission. There may be requirements as per the type of your visa and whether the visa is a long term or a short term visa. The requirements may change based on several factors. For a business visa, make sure that your enterprise has enough funds to be able to support your business trip to Sri Lanka.




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