Lanka launches new online visa approval system
Sri Lanka yesterday launched the new online visa approval system called Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA).
Under this scheme, foreigners visiting the country for short term requirements including tourism, medical treatment, sport, cultural shows, business conferences, discussions, training programmes and seminars will get approval within 24 hours of applying for an online visa through the website www.eta.gov.lk established by the Immigration and Emigration Department.
External Affairs Ministry Secretary K Amunugama officially launched the website at a ceremony at Galle Face Hotel yesterday.
The ETA system was introduced to provide an efficient, reliable and simplified service to those visiting Sri Lanka for short stays. The ETA is issued through an on line system and no passport copies, documents or photographs are required.
Immigration and Emigration Department Controller General Chulananda Perera said that primary information on the procedure will be available in nine international languages. Applications, however, should be forwarded only in English.
This new system will come into effect from January 01, 2012 and the trial was initiated from yesterday prior to the implementation of the online system. ETA holders will be issued 30 day visit visas at the port of entry in Sri Lanka. Foreign nationals, who intend to visit Sri Lanka for short stays must obtain ETA, prior to arrival, from January 1, 2012.
Sri Lanka Tourist Board chairman Dr. Nalaka Godahewa said that Sri Lanka is world famous for its hospitality.
"Following several discussions with stakeholders in the tourism sector, this is the most practical solution which we came up to facilitate tourists arriving in Sri Lanka," he said.
Welcome to beautiful Sri Lanka