Sri Lanka Tourist Visa Fee Hike: What You Need to Know Now!

Sri Lanka Tourist Visa Fee Hike: What You Need to Know Now!

In a strategic policy shift, the Government of Sri Lanka has significantly increased the fees for standard tourist visas. This measure is part of a broader initiative to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the visa processing system through a partnership with a reputed global processing company.

Detailed Breakdown of Revised Fee Structure

  • Effective Date: From April 18, 2024, the standard tourist visa fees for non-SAARC countries are adjusted to $75.
  • Additional Charges:
    • Service Fee: $18.5
    • Convenience Fee: $7.27
    • Total Accumulated Cost: $100.77 per visa This updated pricing reflects an increase of over 100% from previous rates, necessitated by the transition to a new system managed by GBS Technology Services, IVS Global - FZCO, and VFS VF Worldwide Holdings Ltd. These changes are designed to streamline the visa application process, ensuring visitors a more efficient and user-friendly experience.

Regional Variations and Exemptions in Visa Fees

The fees for tourists from SAARC countries have been revised from $20 to $35. Nonetheless, the government has maintained exemptions for tourists from several countries, underscoring its commitment to fostering regional tourism relations.

Countries with Fee Exemptions:

  1. Singapore
  2. Maldives
  3. Czech Republic
  4. Seychelles

Impact of Fee Increase on Tourism Development

The decision to increase visa fees coincides with a period of recovery and growth in Sri Lanka’s tourism sector following the devastating impacts of the Easter Sunday attacks and persistent economic challenges. The previous Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) system, known for its simplicity, had been highly praised by international tourists.

Tourist Arrivals and Market Response

The adjustments in visa fees are part of a comprehensive strategy by the Department of Immigration and Emigration to balance the need for increased governmental revenue with the imperative to keep Sri Lanka competitive as a top tourist destination.

Tourist Arrival Data for April:

  • Total Visitors: 82,531 in the first half of April alone
  • Leading Source Markets: India, the United Kingdom, and Russia
  • Cumulative Arrivals for the Year: 718,315

Ongoing Strategies and Stakeholder Discussions

The government and the Sri Lankan Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) are actively engaging with industry stakeholders to assess the impact of the visa fee increase on the growth and stability of the tourism sector. Discussions are ongoing regarding implementing future policies, such as granting free visas to over 50 countries, potentially boosting tourist arrivals and supporting economic recovery.

The continuous dialogue with stakeholders aims to refine and optimise visa policies to ensure they align with the tourism industry's broader economic growth and sustainable development goals. The efforts to enhance the visa application system and adjust fees are crucial steps toward achieving these objectives, ensuring that Sri Lanka remains an attractive destination for international travellers.


  • By how much have Sri Lankan tourist visa fees increased?

    Sri Lanka introduced a new visa fee structure in April 2024. The most significant change is the standard tourist visa fee increase for non-SAARC countries, which has increased by 50% to $75.

  • What are SAARC countries, and how does the fee hike affect them?

    SAARC includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The visa fee for SAARC nationals is now $35, with Maldives and Singapore nationals exempt from this fee.

  • Are there any other types of tourist visas affected by the fee hike?

    The fee adjustment also impacts other types of tourist visas, such as the two-year multiple-entry visa, which now costs $300. Visitors should consult the official Sri Lankan visa website for updated fee information across various visa types.

  • Why did Sri Lanka raise its tourist visa fees?

    The Sri Lankan government has not specified reasons for the visa fee increase, though it might be aimed at boosting revenue or covering costs from outsourcing the visa process to a private firm.

  • How will the visa fee increase impact Sri Lanka's tourism industry?

    The fee increase might deter tourists due to higher costs, potentially decreasing tourist arrivals and affecting the competitiveness of Sri Lanka's tourism market.

  • What are the alternative visa options available for visiting Sri Lanka?

    Depending on your country and the reason for your visit, there are a few different visa options. Here are two instances:

    • Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA): Though primarily replaced by an e-visa system, the ETA may still be available for certain nationalities.
    • Visa on Arrival: This option is available for some travellers but can be more expensive and restrictive than pre-applied visas.