Sri Lanka ETA for Transit

The "Pearl of the Indian Ocean," Sri Lanka, offers visitors breathtaking scenery, including everything from immaculate beaches to historic temples and lush forests. For those passing through on their way to another destination, securing a transit Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) is essential. This authorisation is designed for travellers who need to enter Sri Lanka briefly, typically for connecting flights.

Who needs a Transit ETA for Sri Lanka?

Travellers from countries not exempt from Sri Lanka ETA requirement must secure a transit Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) before arrival for layovers or connecting flights. While citizens of India, Maldives, Singapore, and Seychelles are exempt from transit, nationals from the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia, and many European and Asian countries require a transit ETA.

Note that even if your country is exempt from the ETA, you might still need a visa for entry into Sri Lanka, depending on the purpose and duration of your visit. Always verify the latest ETA information from our Sri Lankan ETA Policy webpage.

Sri Lanka transit ETA requirements and restrictions

Important Requirements and Limitations

  • Validity of Passport: Verify that your passport will remain valid for at least six months after the date of your arrival in Sri Lanka.
  • Proof of Onward Travel: Provide a confirmed flight ticket or documentation demonstrating your departure within 48 hours.
  • ETA Validity: The transit ETA is valid for a maximum of two days and cannot be extended or converted.
  • Single Entry: A transit ETA allows a single entry into Sri Lanka.
  • Purpose Restriction: The ETA is solely for transit purposes. Leaving the airport or engaging in activities within Sri Lanka necessitates a regular tourist visa.

How to apply for a Sri Lanka transit ETA?

For applying for a Sri Lanka Transit ETA online, here are the steps to follow:

  • Step 1: Visit the Sri Lankan ETA portal at and select "Apply eVisa" to complete your Sri Lanka ETA application form. Enter your personal information, travel details, and passport specifics accurately to prevent processing delays.
  • Step 2: Ensure your application is complete and correct before proceeding to the payment section. The application cost is non-refundable and can be paid using the majority of major credit or debit cards.
  • Step 3: Once your payment is submitted, your application will be processed, and you'll receive your e-visa via email, marking the completion of your application process.

Sri Lanka ETA for Transit Fees and processing times

The cost and processing time for a Sri Lanka Transit ETA varies based on several factors, including visa type (e.g., tourist, business, transit), nationality, chosen processing speed, and entry frequency (single, double, or multiple).

Expedited service is more expensive for those needing a faster turnaround. The latest fee structure can be viewed on the Sri Lanka ETA fee page.

While the cost of ETA also depends on its processing time for arrival:

  • Standard Processing: Ranges from 1 to 6 working days.
  • Urgent Processing: Shortens the wait to 1 to 3 working days for an additional fee.
  • Super Urgent Processing: Guarantees processing within 24 hours for those requiring the fastest option, accompanied by a supplementary charge.

Validity of a Sri Lanka transit ETA

The Sri Lanka transit ETA is valid for the specific duration of your transit, up to a maximum of 48 hours, starting from the approval date. For instance, the ETA will be valid if your layover in Sri Lanka is 8 hours.

This ETA is for single-use transit only; separate applications are required for additional transits. Should your plans extend beyond the transit period, you must apply for an appropriate tourist or business visa. Aligning your ETA with your transit schedule is crucial to ensure compliance and avoid complications.

How can you extend your Sri Lanka Transit ETA if your travel plans change?

Sri Lanka's Transit ETA specifically cannot be extended. It's issued for a free two-day stay with no possibility of extension.

However, there might be other options depending on your situation:

  • Apply for a new ETA: If your layover exceeds two days due to a change in your itinerary, you can submit an online request for a new ETA. This ETA would be for a purpose other than transit (e.g., tourism) and may have different validity periods and fees.
  • Contact the Airline: Check with your airline to see if they can help you rebook your flights to avoid a lengthy layover in Sri Lanka.

What should you do if your Sri Lankan ETA application is denied?

If your Sri Lanka ETA application is rejected, consider the following steps:

  • Understand the Denial: Review the reason for denial provided on the Sri Lanka ETA website. If it's something fixable, like missing documentation, submit the necessary additional information.
  • Reapply for the ETA: Address the reason for the denial in your new application and include any required extra documents.
  • Consider Other Visas: If you can't resolve the reason for the denial, explore other visa types.
  • Seek Assistance from ETA Support: For any additional guidance or assistance, please consult our team for comprehensive ETA support.

Remember, the fee for the ETA application is non-refundable, so ensure you meet all criteria before applying to avoid rejection. By following these procedures, you can properly manage the problem and facilitate your travel plans to Sri Lanka.

Frequently Asked Questions

You don't need a separate ETA for a connecting flight if you stay within the transit area and do not pass through immigration. However, a transit ETA is necessary if you leave the airport.

All travellers must adhere to Sri Lanka's customs rules, including those in transit. You can bring personal items, limited quantities of cigarettes, and alcohol, which are duty-free. Check the customs website for specifics.

Inform immigration immediately if your stay extends beyond your transit ETA due to delayed onward travel. Failure to give notice may result in fines or entry/exit issues.

It's advisable to have travel insurance for your transit through Sri Lanka. It offers financial security for flight delays, medical emergencies, and lost luggage.

Every traveller, including children, requires an ETA. Children should be included in the Transit ETA application concerning passport validity requirements.