Oct 01, Colombo: From today, visitors to Sri Lanka including transit passengers will have to apply for travel authorization online prior to their travel to the country.
Sri Lanka's Immigration and Emigration Department launched the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) system Friday to grant prior approval for visa via online for foreign nationals from 78 countries.
Except for visitors from Singapore and Maldives, the two countries reciprocate the facility with Sri Lanka, the new system will scrap the previously implemented 'on arrival visa' at the ports of entry.
Also exempted from the new system are the crew members of air and ship since they are exempted from obtaining prior approval for the visa.
The government yesterday launched a new website at www.eta.gov.lk for foreign nationals visiting the country to obtain online travel authorization.
Primary information on the on line procedure is available in nine international languages. However, applications should be forwarded only in English.
At present the online system is being tested and during the trial period the on-arrival visa process is also available. The full online system will be effective from January 1st, 2012.