ETA system for online visa approval
The Department of Immigration and Emigration has made all
arrangements to establish and implement a system called "Electronic
Travel Authorization - ETA" in order to grant prior approval for visa
via online for foreign nationals who visit Sri Lanka and those who
travel via Sri Lanka for short term requirements.
The inauguration ceremony to introduce this new system will be held
at 10.00 am on September 30 at Galle Face Hotel under the auspices of
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa with the participation of several
distinguished guests including foreign ambassadors and the Controller
General of Immigration and Emigration.
Accordingly, in a bid to make this system a more efficient and
effective set up for the benefit of 78 countries to grant visas for
short time requirements, foreign nationals visiting the country on
purposes of tourism affairs, medical treatments, sports, cultural shows,
business conferences and discussions, training programmes and seminars
can pay the relevant fee and apply for the Electronic Travel
Authorization via www.eta.gov.lk established in the Department of
Immigration and Emigration.
Access to basic information in this regard in nine international
languages would be a great convenience to foreigners. However,
applications should be forwarded only in English language and six
methodologies have been introduced to facilitate forwarding of the
applications i.e. applications can be forwarded by the applicant
him/herself by a third party on behalf of the applicant, through a
registered agency, through Sri Lankan embassies or through the head
office of the Department of Immigration and Emigration, and a foreigner
who was unable to obtain prior approval by the above procedures, can
visit Sri Lanka after obtaining prior approval by forwarding the
application and making the relevant fee to the counter established in
Sri Lankan access point which he/she has landed in, states the Media
Centre for National Security in a release. The release adds: 'Only an
administration fee has been suggested for this 'Electronic Travel
Authorization ETA" and according to the Memorandum of Understanding with
Sri Lanka, the previous method of granting visas on arrival to the
airport free of charge to the nationals from the Maldives and Singapore
is still in effective.
According to this new visa granting system, since air and ship crew
are exempted from obtaining prior approval for the visa, the old system
will be in effect as before. Foreigners, who visit Sri Lanka should
obtain prior approval for visa through a government institute of Sri
Lanka and such approvalwill be granted free of charge.'
'The Department of Immigration and Emigration is of the view that the
introduction of this new system set up on agreement and collaboration
with the Ministry of External Affairs and the Sri Lanka Tourism
Development Authority has laid a strong foundation in realizing one of
the main objectives of the "Mahinda Chinthanaya Concept" to make Sri
Lanka the main centre of economic activities globally.'