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There are four types of Sri Lankan visas under which non-Sri Lankans can legitimately enter the country. Each visa contains information about the period of time and the condition/s of stay.

A Visit Visa permits foreign nationals to enter the country and this type of visa is sub-divided into two categories, the Tourist Visit Visa and the Business Visit Visa. The Tourist Visit Visa, which is issued for a short period of time, is given to tourists who wish to come to Sri Lanka for travel purposes or to relax. Foreign nationals who wish to engage in business activities are issued Business Visit Visas for either single, double or multiple entries into the country.

From the 1st of January 2012 the Department of Immigration and Emigration has specified that all Business or Holiday travelers to Sri Lanka must obtain Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) in order to enter the country. The ETA fees differ based on the country of the applicant, the type of visa and duration of stay. Payments should be made through the ETA website and not at the port of entry to Sri Lanka.

The second type of visa is a Residence Visa and it allows non-Sri Lanka to obtain residence in Sri Lanka if they fulfill certain special criteria. The third type of visa is a Transit Visa which allows for foreign nationals to enter Sri Lanka for a short period of time when they are en-route to another destination. The fourth and final visa type is called Gratis Visa in which no fees are levied. It is granted to the holder of a Diplomatic or Official Passport.

Irrespective of your Visa Type if you wish to extend your visa you need to make an application to the Department of Immigration and Emigration.

For further guidance go to www.immigration.gov.lk/web/

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