09 November 2011

Sri Lanka launches ETA visa trial

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Short-stay visitors to Sri Lanka, whether they are travelling for business or tourism, will from January 1 2012 be required to obtain an Electronic Travel Authrorization (ETA) visa to enter the country.

The Sri Lankan Government recently launched a trial of the ETA visa system, offering three different ETA Sri Lanka visa types for prospective visitors:

The Sri Lankan Department of Immigration and Emigration (DoIE) will accept applications for extensions of up to six months but will only grant maximum 30-day ETA visas in the first instance.

The Sri Lankan Government intends the ETA visa requirement to become a mandatory part of the immigration system from January 2012, after which all short-stay visitors to Sri Lanka will be expected to be in possession of an ETA visa.

Applicants are encouraged to apply for an ETA visa online via the DoIE portal. However, for convenience sake the Sri Lankan Government will also accept applications made by third parties on behalf of applicants, including registered agents such as the Worldwide Visa Bureau.

Furthermore, applications can be submitted through a Sri Lanka Overseas Mission, such as the Sri Lankan High Commission in London, at the DoIE head office, or at point of entry into Sri Lanka.

Successful applicants are likely to be notified within 24 hours of their approval. In the case of an ETA visa rejection, the unsuccessful applicant willreferred to a Sri Lanka Overseas Mission for assistance.

ETA visa fees range between US$25 and $75 depending on the purpose of travel and length of stay.

The Worldwide Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy that offers visa advice and services.

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