Now that the civil war is over, Sri Lanka is looking toward the future, and that means encouraging the growth of its tourism industry. With its lush forests and picture-perfect beaches, Sri Lanka’s potential is almost limitless. According to the BBC, some towns in Sri Lanka are in the process of building centers for adventure tourism, and the government is trying to attract more airlines to Colombo airport.
Their efforts already seem to be bearing fruit. Per the BBC, the country expects to see 700,000 tourists visit this year, and expects to host 2.5 million foreign visitors a year by 2016.
However, if you plan to be one of those tourists, keep your ears open for the latest visa requirements. Currently, there is no need for US citizens to get a visa ahead of time to visit Sri Lanka. However, officials plan to change the Sri Lankan visa system to require visitors to apply for visas in advance instead of at the airport.
The country’s Minister of Economic Development, Basil Rajapaksa, spoke with the BBC to explain the new requirements:
“We have changed the on-arrival visa to an at-home visa. Now anybody can apply for a visa from home and they will receive it within 24 to 72 hours. There have been instances of visas being rejected at the airport, but now you get the response while you are at home, and there will be special facilities at the airport for those who arrive with the online visa.”
Sounds good, but keep in mind this is for tourists only. If you’re visiting Sri Lanka on business you still need to apply in advance. See Sri Lanka Visa Requirements for Business Travelers for details.
Also, don’t forget to research visa requirements for other countries on your itinerary. To visit India, for example, you’ll need a visa even if you’re just passing through on your way to Sri Lanka.
RushMyTravelVisa can help you get the documents you need for your trip. We’ll research your itinerary, let you know which visas are required and how to get them, and help you apply.