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Ein Visum für Sri Lanka sollte man schon vor der Abreise beantragen, Bild: Paul Cowan / shutterstock

Visa Sri Lanka no longer free

After the attacks last year, the Sri Lankan government decided to make the visa for Sri Lanka temporarily free of charge for tourists. Travelers could therefore receive both the Visa on Arrival at Colombo Airport and the e-Visa for free. After some time, the duration of the visa-free visa was extended and the travel industry had expected that Sri Lanka would maintain the free visa for Sri Lanka for a long time due to the apparent success of this measure.

Unfortunately, at the beginning of February 2020, the authorities of Sri Lanka decided to charge fees for the Sri Lanka visa again and did so quite surprisingly. From one day to the next – without warning or advance notice – costs were charged again.

Although the Sri Lanka visa can be obtained as a visa-on-arrival on arrival at the airport, the Sri Lankan immigration authorities themselves recommend applying for and obtaining the visa before departure to avoid potentially long queues at the visa counter.

Sri Lanka, Elephants
Elephants in Sri Lanka, Image: givaga / shutterstock

The annoying thing about the eVisa application on the website of the Sri Lankan immigration authorities is that it says that you can also fill out the visa application in German (there is a nice button “German”), but if you click on the button, only the introductory information is displayed in German. The form itself remains in English, so it is not always clear what is actually being asked. (Also, the date format used in this Sri Lanka visa application form is not the same as what we usually use in Germany or Austria).

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There are visa agencies that offer the Sri Lanka visa application for an extra charge with a German-language application form and also offer more payment options (such as B. eps and instant bank transfer) than the official website of the immigration authorities. However, if you use the services of a visa agency, make sure that you use a reliable visa agency to apply for a Sri Lanka visa . You can recognise them, for example, by the fact that they are based in the EU (preferably in Germany or Austria, because then there are no language problems), so that EU consumer law applies, the visa agency is available for questions (unreliable agencies do not answer calls and do not respond to e-mails) and, in the best case, even have a seal of approval from a buyer protection organization, such as Trusted Shops.