Common Sri Lanka Visa Application Issues and How to Resolve Them

Travelling to Sri Lanka can be exciting, but the visa application process may present some challenges. Recognising these possible problems and being prepared to handle them can help ensure a smooth journey. This article outlines common difficulties travellers face when applying for a Sri Lankan visa and provides practical solutions.

Understanding the Visa Application Process

Before addressing common problems and their solutions, it’s essential to grasp the fundamentals of the Sri Lankan visa application process. Most travellers will apply for their visa through the online platform designed to handle visa applications before arrival.

Types of Visas

  • Tourist Visa: Issued to individuals travelling to Sri Lanka for leisure activities such as sightseeing or vacationing.
  • Business Visa: Designed for professionals attending business meetings, conferences, or short-term training in Sri Lanka.
  • Transit Visa: Suitable for travellers passing through Sri Lanka en route to another destination.

Common Issues and Resolutions

Here are several typical problems applicants might encounter, along with advice on how to resolve them:

Website Technical Difficulties

Problem: Applicants often face website downtimes or glitches during the application process.

Solution: Try to access the e-visa application system during off-peak hours. Clear your browser cache or switch to a different browser if issues continue. Ensure that your internet connection is stable.

Payment Issues

Problem: Payment failures are common for various reasons, including bank restrictions or compatibility issues with the payment gateway.

Solution: Use an internationally recognised credit card and ensure it has been activated for international transactions. Contact your bank to ensure there are no holds on the card and that it supports transactions in foreign currencies.

Incorrect or Incomplete Application

Problem: Errors in the application form or missing required information can lead to delays or denials.

Solution: Double-check all entries for accuracy before submission. Pay special attention to your passport number, email address, and the dates of your travel, as these are crucial for approval.

Passport Validity

Problem: At least 6 months must pass after the date of your admission into Sri Lanka for your passport to be valid, and some applicants miss this requirement.

Solution: Renew your passport if its expiration date is near. Always check the passport validity requirements before starting your visa application.

Response and Processing Delays

Problem: Sometimes, there might be delays in receiving the approval due to high demand or system issues.

Solution: Apply for your visa well in advance of your travel date. If you experience significant delays, follow up through the contact information provided on the e-visa website.

Rejection Due to Previous Overstay

Problem: Your application might be rejected if you've previously overstayed your visa in Sri Lanka.

Solution: If you have overstayed in the past, it is advisable to apply for a visa through the nearest Sri Lankan Embassy or Consulate, where you can provide an explanation or documentation showing that the overstay was due to a legitimate reason.

Updates in Immigration Law

Problem: Unawareness of recent changes in immigration laws, which can affect visa eligibility and requirements.Solution: Regularly check the Sri Lanka e-visa website or subscribe to updates from this. Staying informed about the latest regulations can prevent unexpected issues.

NOTE:Avoid using special characters or punctuation in the form's fields, as these might cause processing errors in your application. If you're unsure how to answer a question, provide a basic response (such as "yes," "no," "NA," "X 01/01/2010"). Any corrections or additional responses should be made in pen on the printed form after you have filled it out.

Conclusion: Ensuring a Smooth Visa Application Process

The process of applying for a visa to Sri Lanka is simple if you understand the potential pitfalls and how to avoid them. You can enhance your chances of hassle-free approval by preparing in advance, double-checking your information, and ensuring all requirements are met.

Remember to plan ahead and consider all necessary factors to enjoy your visit to the beautiful island of Sri Lanka without any visa issues.


  • Can I convert my Sri Lanka tourist visa to a business visa once I am in the country?

    No, you cannot convert a tourist visa to a business visa while inside Sri Lanka. You must apply for the correct type of visa that suits your purpose of visit before entering the country.

  • How do I retrieve a forgotten reference number for my Sri Lanka visa application?

    To retrieve a forgotten reference number for your Sri Lanka visa application, you should contact the visa processing centre or check the email account used during the application process, as the reference number is typically sent via email upon submission.

  • What are the consequences of overstaying my Sri Lanka visa?

    Overstaying your Sri Lanka visa can lead to penalties such as fines, deportation, and a possible ban from re-entering the country. It's important to extend your visa or, to avoid these consequences, depart the country prior to the expiration of your visa.

  • After submitting an error on my Sri Lanka visa application, how can I fix it?

    To fix an error on your Sri Lanka visa application after submission, you need to contact the Sri Lanka e-visa website immediately. Provide them with the correct details and any supporting documents required to amend the information on your application.


Although this information was last updated in May 2024, we recommend verifying with the appropriate agencies, embassies, and airlines to ensure complete accuracy regarding your travel plans.