Entering the country & visa
Entry into Sri Lanka
The actual duration of the flight from Germany to Colombo is roughly 11 hours, with a stopover in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Kuwait or Delhi, depending on the airline. Direct flights by Sri Lankan Airline were discontinued in September 2016.
Our airline recommendations
Top 1: Qatar
Top 2: Etihad
Top 3: Emirates
Top 4: Sri Lankan
Germans require a passport and visa in Sri Lanka. However, entering Sri Lanka and applying for a tourist visa is very easy for Germans.
Three things are required for entry:
Passport – must be valid for at least another six months after the end of the trip
Visa – procedure is described below
Arrival card – some airlines already provide the card on the plane. Otherwise, the cards can be found in front of the immigration counter.
There are two ways to get a visa:
1. Visa on arrival
Once you have landed in Sri Lanka, you can buy a 30-day visa for 40 dollars at a specific counter, before going through immigrations. The visa will then be handed to you. Take the visa, the filled-in arrival card and your passport to the counter for immigration.
2. Online visa
Since the airport is usually quite busy, it is recommended to apply for a visa in advance through https://eta.gov.lk, to save time. The costs of 35 dollars can simply be paid by credit card. You will then receive an email, which needs to be printed out and presented at the immigration desk, together with your arrival card and passport.
Make sure that all details are correct when sending your application. The Sri Lankan authorities insist that a new visa needs to be issued at the airport even in the case of minor errors (e.g. transposed numbers or inadvertent entry of the letter “O” instead of the number “0” in the passport number), for which fees will then be charged again.
If you wish to stay in the country for more than 30 days, there are two options:
1. In Sri Lanka on-site
As described above, you will first enter Colombo on a 30-day visa and then extend your stay in Colombo in the Department of Immigration and Emigration, 45 Ananda Kumaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 8, (e-mail: email@example.com) for another 2 months, which you will receive without any problems. However, this takes a considerable amount of time, so it is advisable to contact the above-mentioned office early. You only need to bring two biometric passport photos with you, which can also be taken in Sri Lanka.
2. Application before departure in Germany:
The application for the visa can be made at the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Berlin (https://www.srilanka-botschaft.de). You need to show up in person at least two weeks before departure. Alternatively, you can send your application by mail, including all necessary documents and your passport at least five weeks before departure.
The online-ETA system is not applicable in this case.
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