Residence visa | Sri Lanka (2023)

A residence visa is issued to persons who are not citizens of Sri Lanka and who have decided to extend their stay for the purpose of investment or otherwise, in circumstances where the prescribed authority is satisfied that their stay in Sri Lanka and the performance of their duties will not be detrimental to the interests of Sri Lanka Chains.

To obtain a residence visa, the applicant must enter Sri Lanka with an entry visa issued by a Sri Lankan diplomatic mission abroad. An entry visa is issued only by the embassy after the approval of the Comptroller General for Immigration and Emigration. When applying for an entry visa, the applicant must clearly indicate that they wish to apply for a residence visa and attach the necessary supporting documents.

A tourist visa cannot be converted into a residence visa.

Necessary documents

  • Apply for an entry visa (download)
  • Valid passport (passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry into Sri Lanka)
  • Two photos (standard photo size)
  • A copy of the entry visa approval notice from the Immigration and Emigration Department of Sri Lanka
  • Plane ticket

Prescribed rate

  • Entry Visa Fee - Fees of the relevant country

Sendtariff schedule of the countryfor relevant state fees.

Processing time

01 - 02 working days (only when the entry visa approval message is available)

Submission of applications

You can submit the request by mail or in person at the consular department of this representative office. The consular department has been open sinceMonday through Friday between 9am and 1pm EST. The physical and postal address is as follows:

Consular Department

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations

820, 2nd Avenue, 2e verdieping

New York, New York 10017

Payment methods

Payments for this mission must be made bycash / money orders / bank cheques.

Money orders/certified checks should be made payable to"Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, New York".

Card payment is not accepted.

Return of documents

You will be notified when the visa is processed and the passport is ready for collection. You can provide confirmation for passport collection.

If you are unable to collect the passport yourself, you must authorize your representative in writing to collect the passport on your behalf. The representative must submit the power of attorney along with the invoice and his/her photo ID.

For questions and additional help;

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, New York

Consular Department

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations

820 2nd Avenue, 2e verdieping

New York, New York 10017

+1 212 986 - 7040 (Test: 118)

Ministry of Immigration and Emigration, Sri Lanka

Controller (visa and border control)

Department of Immigration and Emigration

"Suhurupaya", Sri Subhuthipura Road,


Sri Lanka

+94 11-53 29400 (tst. 9400)

+94 11-532 9000 (hotline)


Residence visa | Sri Lanka? ›

It is issued to persons of non-Sri Lankan nationality to whom it has been decided to extend residence facilities for the purpose that mentioned in the particular residence visa category, in circumstances where the prescribed authority is satisfied that their stay in Sri Lanka and the pursuit of their vocations are not ...

How much is a resident visa in Sri Lanka? ›

Visa Fees
Fee US Dollar (US $) (For a year or part thereof)
Residence Visa - 1200
Residence Visa - 2100
Residence Visa - 3100
Residence Visa - 4Free
7 more rows

How long a US citizen can stay in Sri Lanka? ›

Conditions of the Sri Lanka ETA for US citizens

US nationals with the Tourist ETA can enter Sri Lanka twice, whereas Americans traveling on business are allowed multiple entries. Both permits allow for a maximum stay of a month (30 days) for each visit.

Can I stay in Sri Lanka for a year? ›

Please note: You have to apply for an embassy visa if you intend to travel to Sri Lanka for a long-term period, such as work or family reunification. You can get an Electronic Travel Authorization only if you are travelling for tourism, business, or transit.

Can Americans retire in Sri Lanka? ›


Depending on your retirement plan you can either apply for a 3 month tourist visa at the Sri Lankan Embassy in your home country or go straight for the 12 month retirement visa. A Tourist Visa is suitable for people who want to send only few months in the sun over the winter.

How can I get permanent residency in Sri Lanka? ›

What are the documents I need to submit with my Residence visa application?
  1. Request letter from Religious Organization.
  2. Recommendation of Line Ministry.
  3. A copy of the Bio Data Page of applicant's passport.
  4. Health Protection plan (Can get through the
  5. Passport/s.

Can a foreigner live in Sri Lanka? ›

The cost of living in Sri Lanka is relatively low, so many expats enjoy a comfortable and luxurious lifestyle here. However, it is not so easy to immigrate to the country for permanent residence. Foreigners are attracted by the fact that there are very affordable prices for buying real estate.

What country allows US citizens to stay the longest? ›

Albania is one of the countries with the longest tourist visas. US citizens may stay in Albania for up to one year without a residence permit. At one year you must depart Albania and stay out of the country for 90 days before re-entering if you do not have a residence permit.

How long can I live in Sri Lanka? ›

Chart and table of Sri Lanka life expectancy from 1950 to 2023. United Nations projections are also included through the year 2100. The current life expectancy for Sri Lanka in 2023 is 77.56 years, a 0.22% increase from 2022.

Can a US citizen stay outside of the US for more than a year? ›

Let's say you apply for naturalization (U.S Citizenship) under INA 316, leave the US on 1st January 2022 and return on 2nd January 2023, you will have stayed outside America for a year breaking continuous residence. For such a case, you must wait five years (up to 3rd January 2027) to reapply for naturalization.

Do US citizens need visa to Sri Lanka? ›

Do US citizens need a visa for Sri Lanka? Yes, you do. Cost of the visa: The ETA for the Tourist Visa costs 35 USD, the Business Visa is 40 USD, and the Transit Visa is free of charge but only valid for 2 days. Sri Lanka visa processing time: 3-5 business days.

How much money do you need to live in Sri Lanka for a month? ›

A family of four estimated monthly costs are 1,568.4$ (474,191.2Rs) without rent. A single person estimated monthly costs are 439.4$ (132,845.7Rs) without rent. Cost of living in Sri Lanka is, on average, 54.6% lower than in United States. Rent in Sri Lanka is, on average, 86.3% lower than in United States.

Can I get a six month visa Sri Lanka? ›

The ETA is initially limited to 30 days from the date of arrival but it can be extended for up to six months. How to extend my short visit visa? Submission of ETA application through Sri Lanka Overseas Missions.

Can US citizens own property in Sri Lanka? ›

What are the rules and regulations for expats and foreigners buying and renting property in Sri Lanka ? Foreigners can buy apartments / condominiums from ground level up, however lands cannot be purchased on freehold and can only be leased up to 99 years.

Can Americans move to Sri Lanka? ›

Any non-nationals of Sri Lanka will need a visa to enter the country. The type of visa required is subject to your proposed length of stay and the purpose of your visit.

Can a foreigner buy a house in Sri Lanka? ›

Foreigners cannot obtain a loan or a mortgage to purchase a property or invest in Sri Lanka. All the money has to come from outside Sri Lanka, and, in some instances, the Central Bank might require you to provide a source of the funding before clearing your funds from the bank.

Is dual citizenship allowed in Sri Lanka? ›

Dual Citizenship is applicable to;

Resumption – Section 19(2) of the said Act makes provisions in respect of a person whose citizenship of Sri Lanka has ceased due to obtaining of citizenship in another country and who there after desire to resume the status of a Citizenship of Sri Lanka.

Which country is easiest to get permanent residency? ›

In Europe, countries that give residence permits easily are Portugal, Cyprus, Greece, Montenegro and Malta. You can easily obtain residency in the Americas in Antigua and Barbuda, Mexico, Belize, and Nicaragua. Asian countries whose residence permits are easy to get are Cambodia, Malaysia, and Thailand.

What is the fastest way to get permanent residency? ›

5 Fastest Ways to Gain US Permanent Residency
  1. Investor Green Card. Estimated time: 2.5 years to 5 years. ...
  2. Family-Based Green Card. Estimated time: 1 year to 15 years. ...
  3. Marriage-Based Green Card. Estimated time: 9-14 months. ...
  4. Extraordinary Ability Green Card. Estimated time: 8 months to 2 years. ...
  5. Company Transfer Green Card.
Jan 17, 2023

What are the cons of living in Sri Lanka? ›

Along with the lack of country-wide wi-fi, there is a general lack of infrastructure. This isn't a big deal if you're just visiting, but could be extremely annoying if you plan on living in Sri Lanka long term. Power outages are common. Other than the Colombo-Galle Highway, roads are in poor condition.

How much money do you need to retire in Sri Lanka? ›

Typical monthly expenses ranging from rent, utilities to food and transportation. $432 a month or 5000 $184 a year. Assuming an average annual inflation rate of 3%. or return on balance of 8%. and an average life expectancy 25 years after, in order to retire in Sri Lanka, you need at least $77,700 and to not run out.

Is Sri Lanka a cheap country to live in? ›

Pakistan tops the list of the cheapest countries in the world, with a cost of living index of $294. Sri Lanka and Nepal come in second and third on the list, with cost of living indexes of $316 and $385 respectively.

Where can Americans stay long term without a visa? ›

Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican City.

What is the easiest country for Americans to visit? ›

Panama. Panama is one of the easiest countries for Americans to visit. Westerners can obtain a 180-day tourist visa upon arrival.

How many months can a US resident stay out of the country? ›

International Travel

U.S. immigration law assumes that a person admitted to the United States as an immigrant will live in the United States permanently. Remaining outside the United States for more than one year may result in a loss of Lawful Permanent Resident status.

How much is the golden visa for Sri Lanka? ›

Visa fee USD 2000 payable for 10 years.

Can I become a citizen of Sri Lanka? ›

Foreign nationals who have Sri Lankan ancestry or are married to a Sri Lankan spouse may acquire citizenship by registration. Any other foreigner who holds a residence visa valid for at least five years and have been admitted into the Resident Guest Scheme by the government may also acquire citizenship by registration.

Where do expats live in Sri Lanka? ›

There are many expats living in Sri Lanka, and most of them are based in Colombo. But what attracts expats to Colombo? In this Ask an Expat series I interview people living all over the world but outside of their home country.

Can I lose my U.S. citizenship if I live abroad? ›

You may lose your U.S. citizenship in specific cases, including if you: Run for public office in a foreign country (under certain conditions) Enter military service in a foreign country (under certain conditions) Apply for citizenship in a foreign country with the intention of giving up U.S. citizenship.

What is the 4 year 1 day rule for U.S. citizenship? ›

An applicant applying for naturalization under INA 316, which requires 5 years of continuous residence, must then wait at least 4 years and 1 day after returning to the United States (whenever 364 days or less of the absence remains within the statutory period), to have the requisite continuous residence to apply for ...

Can a U.S. citizen be denied entry back into the USA? ›

Citizens: You only have to answer questions establishing your identity and citizenship (in addition to customs-related questions). Refusal to answer other questions may cause delay, but officials may not deny you entry into the U.S. if you have established your identity and citizenship.

Can I drive in Sri Lanka with US Licence? ›

Sri Lanka is one of the few countries requiring you to verify your license in-country before you can drive. This means driving on an International Driving Permit or foreign national license is illegal in Sri Lanka. You need to get your non-Sri Lankan license “verified” in Sri Lanka before you can drive.

Is it OK to wear shorts in Sri Lanka? ›

2. Can you wear shorts in Sri Lanka? The answer to this question is pretty straightforward: yes, you can. Even the locals wear shorts to combat the heat, but please remember to steer clear of hotpants when you are packing for your trip.

How long does it take for a Sri Lanka visa to be approved? ›

ETA Sri Lanka Processing Time: 3 days. Sri Lanka Tourist Visa Validity: 6 months validity for a double entry visa of 30 days.

Where is the cheapest place to live in Sri Lanka? ›

Colombo (Sri Lanka) has been ranked amongst the 10 cheapest cities in the world in this year's Worldwide Cost of Living survey (WCOL), run by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

What is the best income in Sri Lanka? ›

The best paid positions in Sri Lanka
  • Head of the Legal Department Management. ...
  • Judge Law & Legislation. ...
  • Pilot Transport, Haulage, Logistics. ...
  • IC Design Engineer Information Technology. ...
  • Marketing Director Top Management. ...
  • Finance Manager Management. ...
  • DevOps Engineer Information Technology. ...
  • Technical Director Top Management.

What is the average income in Sri Lanka? ›

In 2019 with an income per capita of 13,620 PPP Dollars or 3,852 (2019) nominal US dollars, Sri Lanka was re-classified as a lower middle income nation with the population around 22 million (2021) by the World Bank from a previous upper middle income status.

What is the fine for overstaying in Sri Lanka? ›

Sri Lanka currently charges a 500 dollar fine on foreigners who overstay visas for more than 2 days. The Minister of Public Security has recommended that the no penalty be charged at an airport or port if a foreigner leaves within 7 days of a visa expiring.

What is the longest tourist visa you can get? ›

One of the most popular tourist visas is the US B1/B2 visa, which allows for a maximum stay of 180 days Per Entry. However, the amount of time you can spend in the US is at the discretion of the consular officer who interviews you at the US embassy.

What is the longest tourist visa duration? ›

e-Tourist Visa for 1 Year (or 365 days): Multiple entry visa valid for 365 days from date of grant of e-Visa. e-Tourist Visa for 5 Years (or 60 months): Multiple entry visa valid for valid for 5 years from date of grant of e-Visa.

How much does it cost to build a house in Sri Lanka? ›

The average cost per square foot to build a Basic house is between Rs. 12,000/= to Rs. 14,000/= as of August 2022, while it'll cost around Rs. 20,000 per square foot upwards for a house with luxury fittings and mod-cons.

Does the US have a tax treaty with Sri Lanka? ›

The agreement with Sri Lanka represents the first tax treaty between the two countries. The tax treaty with the US was first signed in 1985 in Colombo.

Can a US citizen retire in Sri Lanka? ›

Immigration Services Centre. 'My Dream Home' programme is promoted by the Government of Sri Lanka to allow people from all over the world, who fulfill a certain criteria to retire in Sri Lanka. It allows the retiree to live in the country under a long term resident visa, issued in two year blocks.

Can foreigners retire in Sri Lanka? ›


Depending on your retirement plan you can either apply for a 3 month tourist visa at the Sri Lankan Embassy in your home country or go straight for the 12 month retirement visa. A Tourist Visa is suitable for people who want to send only few months in the sun over the winter.

Can expats live in Sri Lanka? ›

The pearl of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a paradise for adventurous expats and retirees with its ancient lost cities, lush forests, spectacular hill country and stunning beaches. There's no doubt that expats moving to Sri Lanka will have a fulfilling cultural experience.

How long can a foreigner stay in Sri Lanka? ›

Foreign nationals visiting Sri Lanka for a period of more than 30 days on tourist purposes will be granted the visa for maximum 90 days with a double entry.

Can a foreigner open a bank account in Sri Lanka? ›

NRRAs may be opened and maintained in the form of Savings or Current (without overdrawing facility) or Term Deposit account, in Sri Lanka rupees. b. NRRAs shall be held as a sole account and NRRAs maintained by emigrants may be held as joint accounts with another emigrant.

Why do foreigners come to Sri Lanka? ›

Sri Lanka is well known for its rich Buddhist culture as well as other religions. Being a religious country, Sri Lanka has many places with religious and historic significance, which attract tourists from all over the world.

How much is a resident visa? ›

The government filing fees for getting a family-based green card is $1760 for an applicant living in the United States or $1200 for an applicant living outside the United States. This does not include the typical cost of the required medical examination, which varies by provider.

Can I work with residence visa in Sri Lanka? ›

Residence visa: This visa allows foreign nationals to stay in Sri Lanka for up to a year, during which they are free to work and study. Foreign nationals will need to renew their residence visa every year that they plan to stay in the country.

Can foreigners get citizenship in Sri Lanka? ›

Foreign nationals who have Sri Lankan ancestry or are married to a Sri Lankan spouse may acquire citizenship by registration. Any other foreigner who holds a residence visa valid for at least five years and have been admitted into the Resident Guest Scheme by the government may also acquire citizenship by registration.

How much is medical for Sri Lanka visa? ›

Health Assessment Fee. A fee of USD 75 per person will be charged for the Health Protection Plan. Payments can only be made in cash Sri Lankan rupees. Credit/debit cards are not accepted.

How many years is a residence visa? ›

To get a Permanent Resident Visa, you have to meet all of these requirements: Residence for 2 years – You must have held a Resident Visa continuously for at least the last two years, or held a Resident Visa at some point in the last three months after holding it for at least two years.

What is the difference between a resident visa and a permanent resident visa? ›

A Permanent Resident Visa is usually the next step after being granted a Resident Visa. While Resident Visas have travel conditions that only allow a person to re-enter New Zealand as a resident until a certain date, a Permanent Resident Visa allows indefinite re-entry to New Zealand.

How long does it take to get a permanent resident visa? ›

You can expect the processing time for permanent residence to be more lengthy than most other visas. According to USCIS, an application for permanent residence (Form I-485) will take anywhere from 6 months to 33 months to process.

How can I migrate to Sri Lanka? ›

Documents required
  1. Entry visa application (download)
  2. Valid passport (The validity of the passport must be at least six months beyond the date of entry into Sri Lanka)
  3. Two photographs (standard photo format)
  4. A copy of the entry visa approval notice from the Department of Immigration & Emigration of Sri Lanka.
  5. Air ticket.

How many types of visa are there in Sri Lanka? ›

There are three (03) kinds of visas which permit a person to enter and/or stay in Sri Lanka.

Do Sri Lankans marry foreigners? ›

Government of Sri Lanka allows foreign national to arrange marriage ceremony and registration in Sri Lanka. In this regard please ensure that applicant should have the documents listed below. The legal requirements for Registration of Marriages of Foreign Nationals in Sri Lanka are very straightforward.

What is the easiest country to get citizenship from Sri Lanka? ›

Canada. Canada topped our list for the best place to migrate for Sri Lankans in 2021. Home to 37 million people, Canada is the second largest country in the world by size. They have a fairly smooth governance and economy, a number of opportunities for skilled workers, and a safe place for immigrants.

Is healthcare free in Sri Lanka? ›

Sri Lanka is renowned for its free health policy which covers all citizens. Even though the system itself has several drawbacks, Sri Lanka has gained international recognition for near universal health coverage.

Can I get Sri Lanka visa on arrival? ›

An intended traveller visiting Sri Lanka for a short stay for following purposes, must obtain ETA prior approval for their arrival. At the arrival applicant may be granted 30 days ETA with double entry facility and double entries can be made from the date of initial arrival (Within given 30 days).

How to pay US visa fees in Sri Lanka? ›

Although fees are listed in U.S. dollars, payment must be made using local currency. Sri Lankan residents can pay their fees at any DFCC bank location in Sri Lanka. More information about payment options is here. To find a DFCC branch, click here.


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