work visa for sri lanka

Sri Lanka Work Visa - Definitive Guide

Working in the free market of Sri Lanka is truly an opportunity for job seekers. A Sri Lanka work visa is just the endorsement that will get them the chance. Not just the work environment, but the lifestyle in Sri Lanka is quality as well.

What is Sri Lanka Work Visa?

Among the many formalities and documentation processes that involve working in Sri Lanka, a work visa for Sri Lanka is one and is important as well. There is a Sri Lanka work visa for Indian citizens as well, allowing the Indian job-seeking candidates to get employed in the country. The holder is allowed to work and live in the country as a foreign resident. The permit is generally a multiple entry type and the validity will differ depending on the employment period offered by the organization in Sri Lanka. Make note that having a visa does not guarantee you entry through the border. If there are any kinds of issues that are found with your visa or yourself, there are chances that you will be asked to return or deported.

How to Get a Work Visa for Sri Lanka from India?

Work Visa for Sri Lanka

Before moving on to applying for a work visa for Sri Lanka, you will first have to meet the eligibility criteria for the same. You will need an entry visa to be able to work in Sri Lanka. There are multiple processes that are to be followed to obtain a Sri Lanka work visa for Indian citizens. A step by step procedure for getting a work visa for Sri Lanka is given as follows:

  1. Start by applying for an entry visa approval to the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Colombo.
  2. After obtaining the approval, use it to get an entry visa from the Sri Lanka Overseas Mission.
  3. Fill out the entry visa application form with all the required details.
  4. Collect all the required documents as per the provided checklist.
  5. Submit the application form and the documents to the Sri Lanka Overseas Mission.
  6. Pay the required fee.
  7. You can collect your passport once the entry visa is endorsed on your passport.

There are certain things that you need to remember when you are filling out the application form. You need to make sure that you are providing the correct information in the form. The provided information must match the details in the passport and other travel documents. If any of the information is found to be incorrect or false, there are chances that the visa may get rejected. There are other reasons for a visa rejection as well. Such a chance of rejection can be minimised by employing professional visa services.

Eligibility Criteria

There are multiple parameters that you need to meet when you need to obtain a work visa for Sri Lanka. The parameters are listed as follows:

  • 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 relevant documentary proof.
        • You must be within the age limit to be able to apply for a work permit.
  • You must meet the character requirements
        • You must be of good character and have genuine intentions behind working in Sri Lanka.
        • You need to provide relevant documentary proof for the same as well 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.
  • You must have confirmed employment in Sri Lanka
        • You must have approval for getting an entry visa that obtained from the Sri Lanka Department of Immigration and Emigration after you have a confirmed job offer.
        • You need to have a job and a letter from the organisation confirming your employment to be able to apply for the Sri Lanka work visa.

Sri Lanka Work Visa Requirements

As per the type of the permit, the requirements may differ as well. The common Sri Lanka work visa requirements are listed as follows:

  • Original passport with validity at least 6 months ahead of the date of travel
  • Completed and duly signed visa application form.
  • Proof of identification and nationality - PAN card, Adhaar card
  • Proof of confirmed travel dates - One way air ticket
  • Documents from the employer in Sri Lanka
    • Letter from the employer in Sri Lanka confirming the employment and terms and conditions of the same
    • Business registration documents of the employer and copies of project documents, agreements if applicable
    • A visa recommendation letter issued by the relevant line Ministry, government institutions/ agency or Board of Investment (BOI)
    • A copy of cover letter of the applicant passport

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.

Fees for Work Visa for Sri Lanka

Generally, the fees to get a Sri Lanka work visa for Indian citizens is to be paid to the Sri Lanka Overseas Mission. The fee can be paid in cash or by a demand draft or by any other method that is accepted by the Mission. There are certain factors that can affect the fees required to get a work visa for Sri Lanka such as the validity of the visa or the duration of stay.

Entry Stay Duration Validity Fees
Multiple entry Normal 30 days 6 months 2220.0
Single entry Normal 2 days 1 month 0.0
Double entry Normal 30 days 6 months 1480.0

Processing Time

The processing time required for the issuance of a work visa for Sri Lanka is about 1 to 2 months. The time will still vary depending on certain factors like the workload at the embassy office, the staff availability, whether the documents are complete or the rest of the documents are yet to be submitted and others. The time increases and decreases affected by these parameters.

After Submission

When you documents have been submitted, there are a few things that you need to know. Some of the pointers are as follows:

  • You must have applied only after presenting proof that you have been appointed by  a Sri Lankan firm.
  • Any kind of claim by employment seekers will not be accepted by the Department of Immigration and Emigration
  • You will get approval for an entry visa as per the terms and conditions of your contract with your employer.
  • If there are any kinds of amends to be made in the application, the mission must be informed accordingly.
  • In case you have a change of plans, you can even withdraw your application.
  • Note that the visa fee is not refundable.

How to Check Visa Status

The status of your work visa for Sri Lanka can be checked by contacting the Sri Lanka Overseas Mission. Else, if you have applied through a visa agency, you can do the same by contacting them to know the status of the processing of your visa.

When you have this Visa

When the processing is complete, you will receive your work visa for Sri Lanka. When you have the permit, there are certain things that you need to keep in mind. Some of the pointers are given as follows:

  • Before you travel
        • Note the visa 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 visa.
        • Make sure to carry a copy of your passport and other travel documents while you are in the country.
        • Issue health insurance and travel Insurance from a certified company.
  • At the Border
        • Get your documents checked and your passport verified.
        • Obtain the entry stamp on your passport.
        • 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 activities that are not permitted to a non-Sri Lankan resident. You may get into trouble otherwise.
        • You can work as well as tour the country on this permit.
        • You can later invite and sponsor your family to the country as well.
        • The tourist prohibited areas must be stayed out of.
        • Make sure you don’t overstay and apply for a visa extension in time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it difficult to get a Sri Lanka Work visa?

For the first timers, getting a work visa for Sri Lanka can be difficult. The process can seem complicated given the various procedures involving the Sri Lanka Overseas Mission as well as the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Colombo. Well, this process can be made easier if you employ a visa agency.



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

You are not necessarily required to give an interview at the time of applying for a Sri Lanka work visa for Indian citizens. You may be asked for an interview only in a few cases.



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

Yes, you can travel to Sri Lanka without a return ticket if you have a work visa. This is not the case for an ETA and short term visas as work visa will require you to stay in the country much longer, therefore, eradicating the requirement of a return ticket.



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

There is not necessarily bank balance required to get a work visa for Sri Lanka as the holder is travelling to work in the country and the generally the visa is sponsored as well. You will just need your passport and appointment letter along with other documents.




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