Do I need a passport or visa to enter?
U.S. citizens visiting Sri Lanka must have either an Electronic Travel Authorization or a visa to enter Sri Lanka.
U.S. citizens intending to visit Sri Lanka for purposes of tourism or transit require an approval notice from Sri Lanka’s Electronic Travel Authorization System, onward/return ticket, and proof of sufficient funds. The Electronic Travel Authorization System is available online or at the port of entry. Visitors are strongly urged to use the online system to avoid lengthy delays at the port of entry. The online application, fees, and other relevant information are available here. This travel authorization allows entry for up 30 days.
Sri Lankan regulations define tourist travel as sightseeing, visiting friends and relatives, receiving medical treatment including Ayurvedic and yoga, and participating in sporting events, competitions, and cultural activities. Foreigners entering Sri Lanka on a tourist visa cannot convert their visa to a non-tourist one, and risk deportation if they engage in other activities without the appropriate visa.
Transit passengers are defined as foreigners who expect to enter Sri Lanka and remain for a period not exceeding 2 days while waiting for onward travel. Passengers who do not cross Sri Lankan immigration lines, but who merely transfer between flights inside the airport, are defined as transfer passengers and do not require an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) approval or a visa.
U.S. citizens intending to visit Sri Lanka for short-term business activities such as participating in business meetings, engaging in business negotiations, or attending conferences and workshops are required to obtain a business ETA. Business ETAs are not available online. Business travelers must obtain travel authorization either from the nearest Sri Lankan Embassy or Consulate before arrival in Sri Lanka, or at the port of entry in Sri Lanka.
U.S. citizens intending to visit Sri Lanka for religious or volunteer work or for local employment must obtain entry visas from the nearest Sri Lankan Embassy or Consulate before arrival in Sri Lanka. These visas are not available at the port of entry or through the online system.
All visitors staying beyond the expiration date of their visa must obtain a visa extension from the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Colombo and pay the relevant visa fees.
Travelers must have yellow fever and cholera immunizations if they are arriving from an infected area. A yellow fever vaccination certificate must also be obtained by all passengers over the age of one year old who have traveled through the following African and Latin American countries within nine days immediately preceding entry to Sri Lanka:
African countries (31) – Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, and Uganda.
South American countries (10) – Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Peru, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Specific inquiries regarding entry and exit requirements should be addressed to the Embassy of Sri Lanka, 2148 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 483-4025, fax (202) 232-7181. Contact the Sri Lankan Embassy by e-mail ; the Sri Lankan Consulate General in Los Angeles at 3250 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1405, Los Angeles, CA 90010, telephone (213) 387-0210; or the UN Mission in New York City, #630 3rd Avenue, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10017, telephone (212) 986-7040. There are several honorary Sri Lankan consuls general and consuls in the United States. Visit the Embassy of Sri Lanka website for current visa information.