Sri Lanka Business Purposes ETA

An island country in the Indian Ocean, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is renowned for its varied ecosystems, rich cultural history, and breathtaking natural beauty. It also serves as a vibrant hub for international business. The country's strategic location and burgeoning economy make it an attractive destination for global business professionals seeking opportunities in various sectors.

To facilitate the entry of international business travellers, the Sri Lankan government mandates the acquisition of a Business Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) before arrival. This digital pre-authorization is essential for foreign nationals, except citizens from the Maldives and Singapore, who are exempt.

Categories for Sri Lankan Business Purposes

Sri Lanka's strategic position and expanding economy present numerous opportunities for business travellers, such as:

  • Engaging in Business Meetings and Negotiations: Professionals often travel to Sri Lanka to participate in discussions and negotiations with local and international counterparts. Activities range from exploring new business opportunities and closing deals to establishing strategic partnerships, all within the framework of Sri Lanka's dynamic markets and sectors.
  • Short-Term Training Programs: Sri Lanka is a hub for professionals looking to boost their expertise or skills through brief training sessions. These programs span various areas, including sector-specific knowledge, technical skills, and leadership development, leveraging the nation's rich educational offerings and expertise.

Who Needs a Sri Lanka Business ETA?

An ETA for business travel to Sri Lanka is required for foreign nationals who intend to travel there for meetings, contract negotiations, or training courses. Those transiting or working as an airline or shipping crew must apply for a Transit or Crew ETA, respectively.

Some countries may be exempt from this requirement for short visits. Consult Sri Lankan visa guidelines to understand specific needs. The application for a Business ETA is available online, offering a convenient way for business travellers to secure entry into Sri Lanka.

How do you apply for a Sri Lanka Business ETA?

To apply for Sri Lanka Business ETA online, follow these steps;-

  1. Apply Online: Visit the Sri Lankan e-visa websiteand click "Sri Lanka ETA application form" to access the application form. Fill out the form with your personal, travel, and passport details, ensuring all information is accurate to avoid delays. Upload the necessary documents, such as the biodata page of your passport and any additional information required for your ETA type.
  2. Pay Fees: Review your application for completeness and accuracy, then proceed to payment. The system accepts major credit or debit cards for the non-refundable fee.
  3. Receive Your e-Visa via Email: After submitting your application and payment, your e-Visa will be processed and sent directly to your email, completing your application process.

Sri Lanka Business ETA Requirements and Restrictions

To obtain a Sri Lanka Business ETA, foreign nationals must meet the following requirements:

  • Valid passport: The passport must be valid for at least six months from arriving in Sri Lanka.
  • Return ticket: The traveller must have a valid or onward ticket to a third country.
  • Sufficient funds: Travellers must have enough funds to cover their expenses in Sri Lanka.
  • Purpose of visit: The traveller must have a valid reason for their visit, such as attending business meetings, conferences, workshops, or short-term training programmes.
  • ETA fee: The traveller must pay the ETA fee, which varies depending on the nationality and duration of stay.

It is important to note that a Sri Lanka Business ETA has certain restrictions and limitations, including:

  • Duration of stay: A Business ETA allows a maximum stay of up to six months in Sri Lanka.
  • Multiple entries: A Business ETA allows various entries into Sri Lanka within the validity period, usually up to six months.
  • Employment restrictions: A Business ETA does not allow the holder to work or engage in business activities that generate income in Sri Lanka.
  • Change of purpose: The purpose of the visit stated in the Business ETA cannot be changed after arrival in Sri Lanka.
  • Overstaying: Overstaying the authorised stay in Sri Lanka is subject to fines, detention, and deportation.

Overall, it is essential to carefully review the requirements and restrictions of a Sri Lanka Business ETA before applying to ensure a smooth and hassle-free travel experience.

Validity and Extention of Sri Lankan Business ETA

The duration and entry permissions of your Sri Lanka Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) vary by type:

  • Tourist and Business ETA: These are valid for 180 days from the issuance date, allowing two entries, with each entry limited to a 30-day stay (the combined stay for both entries should be at most 30 days).
  • Transit ETA: This permits a single entry for up to 48 hours.

Please note that extensions for Sri Lankan ETAs are not available. To extend your stay beyond the expiration of your ETA, you must secure a new ETA before the current one expires.

Cost and processing time for Sri Lankan Business ETA

Details regarding the processing time and cost for a Sri Lanka Business ETA are as follows:

Sri Lanka ETA Cost

The cost of a Sri Lanka ETA varies by visa type (tourist, business, transit), nationality, processing time and the number of entries (single, double, multiple).

Expedited processing options are available at higher fees. For current rates, check the Sri Lanka ETA fee page.

ETA Processing Time

  • Normal Processing: Takes 1 to 6 days.
  • Urgent Processing: Takes 1 to 3 days at a higher fee.
  • Super Urgent Processing: Within 24 hours for the quickest service, with an additional charge.

Fees and processing times vary, so visit the Sri Lanka ETA website for up-to-date information.

Advantages of the Sri Lanka Business ETA for Business Travellers

The Sri Lanka Business ETA offers numerous benefits for business travellers:

  • Convenience: Its fully online application eliminates the need to visit an embassy or consulate.
  • Quick Processing: Typically processed within a few days, it's ideal for urgent travel plans.
  • Multiple Entries: It is compatible with multiple trips during its maximum 6-month validity period.
  • Cost-effective: Fees for the business ETA are generally lower than those for traditional visas.
  • Flexibility: It covers a range of business activities, including meetings and training programmes.
  • Simplified Application: The process is straightforward and less stressful without an interview.

This makes the Sri Lanka Business ETA a practical choice for those travelling for short-term business engagements.

Business Opportunities in Sri Lanka for Foreign Investors

Sri Lanka, a developing nation in South Asia, presents numerous investment opportunities across various sectors due to its burgeoning economy:

  • Tourism: With its rich heritage and stunning landscapes, the tourism sector is expanding, offering investment prospects in hospitality, transport, and travel services.
  • Information Technology: The IT sector is flourishing with a talented workforce and supportive policies, inviting investments in software, e-commerce, and digital marketing.
  • Infrastructure: As Sri Lanka upgrades its infrastructure, there are investment opportunities in renewable energy, water management, and transportation.
  • Manufacturing: Known for textiles, apparel, and electronics, the manufacturing sector welcomes investments, especially in export-driven industries.
  • Agriculture: With diverse crops like tea and spices, the agricultural sector offers investment opportunities in value-added processing and organic farming.
  • Education: The demand for quality education creates investment opportunities in higher education and vocational training.

Sri Lanka's investment-friendly climate, including tax incentives and a skilled labour force, makes it an attractive destination for foreign investors.

Accommodations and Transportation for Business Travellers in Sri Lanka

An excess of accommodation and transportation options cater to the needs of business travellers:


  • Hotels: Range from luxury to budget options.
  • Serviced Apartments: offer more space and privacy.
  • Guest Houses: Provide a local experience at an affordable price.


  • Taxis:Widely available, especially in urban areas. For safety, opt for licenced taxis or ride-sharing apps.
  • Car Rentals:Suitable for flexible travel plans and journeys beyond urban centres. Ensure you select a reputable service and have a valid license.
  • Public Transportation:Buses and trains connect major urban and rural areas but may not suit those with strict schedules due to crowding.
  • Domestic Air Travel: With two international airports in Colombo and Mattala, plus domestic flights linking major cities, air travel is efficient for longer distances.

Safety and Security Tips for Business Travellers in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is safe mainly for business travellers, but taking certain precautions is advisable:

  • Be vigilant: Pay close attention to your surroundings, particularly in densely populated areas. Refrain from flaunting your valuables.
  • Use Official Transport: Prefer licensed taxis or ride-sharing services for safety.
  • Select Secure Accommodation: Choose good-security lodgings, like hotels with surveillance and restricted access.
  • Safeguard Valuables: Keep important documents and valuables in a hotel safe and minimise cash on hand.
  • Stay Informed: Follow the most recent headlines and travel warnings.
  • Respect Local Norms: Be mindful of Sri Lanka's conservative culture and adhere to its laws on drugs, alcohol, and behaviour.
  • Keep in Touch: Regularly update colleagues and family about your location and plans.

By following these guidelines, business travellers can ensure a secure and positive visit to Sri Lanka.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Sri Lanka Business ETA

Generally, converting a tourist ETA directly to a Business purpose ETA in Sri Lanka is prohibited. You must apply for the Business ETA before your travel.

An interview is optional for a Sri Lanka Business Purposes ETA application. The process is mainly conducted online, with decisions based on the documentation provided.

It's advisable to apply for a Sri Lanka Business Purposes ETA at least two weeks before your planned trip to allow for processing and any unforeseen delays.

The Sri Lanka Business Purposes ETA usually allows multiple entries into the country, making it convenient for business travellers who must enter and exit several times.

A local sponsor doesn't need to obtain a Business Purposes ETA. However, having a local business contact or entity can enhance the credibility of your application.

Family members cannot be included in a Business Purposes ETA. They need to apply for their respective ETAs according to the reason for their trip, such as an ETA for sightseeing or visiting relatives.