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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sri Lanka launched an online visa approval system for travelers

Sri Lanka's Immigration and Emigration Department launched the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) system to grant prior approval for visa via online for foreign nationals from 78 countries. The system is to take effect from January 01, 2012.


1. What is ETA?

It is an Electronic Travel Authorization granted online through the web based ETA system by the DI&E.

2. What types of ETA are available?

Only for short visit to Sri Lanka for the purpose of Business, Tourism and Transit.

3. What is the ETA Website?

Please refer to

4. How should I lodge an application?

All you need to lodge an ETA application through this site is your valid passport and a credit card (American Express, Master or ETA cards).

5. Do I need a ticket before I apply for ETA?

You do not need to arrange your flight to Sri Lanka before applying for ETA.

6. How do I know if my ETA is still valid for travel to Sri Lanka?

If you have applied for ETA, you can inquire through this site to find out the current status of your ETA. You will need to enter Reference Number when the inquiry is made. To check your ETA application status you may log into the ETA website or contact 24/7 dedicated ETA call centre on

7. How does the airline know that I have a valid ETA to travel to Sri Lanka?

here is no requirement for the Airlines to know about ETA prior approval.

8. What can I do if I am unable to apply through this site?

If you do not possess a credit card that can be used to pay for ETA processing fee through this site, you may go for an alternative option How to submit an ETA application

9. Is my personal information safe?

This site operates under the principles outlined in the Privacy Statement. Only the data required to process your application will be collected. It will only be used for this purpose. Only selected data in your ETA application will be stored on secured servers. Please see the Privacy Statement for more information.

10. How secure is credit card payment through this site?

The payment gateway has been designed in accordance with the related international standards.

11. Which credit cards are accepted?

We are presently authorized to accept payment by American Express, Master and ETA cards only.

12. What happens if I already possess a valid ETA?

If you already possess a valid Residence or Multiple Entry ETA, a fresh ETA application cannot be lodged until that valid ETA expires and you leave Sri Lanka.

13. If I already possess a valid ETA, can I apply for a fresh ETA again?

ETA is valid for three months and a fresh ETA cannot be obtained under the same passport till that ETA expires. If you lose the passport which contains valid ETA you may apply for fresh ETA with relevant fee again.

14. Can I apply for a fresh ETA while being in Sri Lanka?

You cannot obtain a fresh ETA while being in Sri Lanka irrespective of the fact that your ETA is valid or expired.

15. What happens when application is not approved?

If your ETA application is not approved it will be referred to the nearest Sri Lanka Overseas Mission which you may contact for further assistance.

16. If my application for ETA was unsuccessful can I get my processing fee back?

No. It is not refundable.

17. What can I do if I make a mistake in my application?

Once an application is submitted processed, and payment is made, you cannot cancel the transaction and the payment cannot be reimbursed. Therefore, it is important that you feed your personal details correctly.

If you have made an error, it is important that you correct it before confirmation. Once you have confirmed the details, your credit card will be debited for the non-refundable service charge. If you find out later that you have made a mistake, then submit a fresh application with relevant fee again.

What is the best travel destination in Sri Lanka?

Answer this question on your favorite travel destination in Sri Lanka in our facebook fan page.
Kandy, Horton Plaines, Southern Beaches, Elephant Orphanage are some of the options.