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Entry requirements Sri Lanka: Mandatory travel requisites

by Pilar Dujan | November 1, 2023
Map of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a unique and beautiful Asian country. Traveling across this nation will provide unforgettable experiences: the things to do in Sri Lanka are varied, with architectural and natural sights that will follow you home. Exploring the places to visit in Sri Lanka will allow you to get to know a very old culture and way of life. 

But what do you need to be able to see all that Sri Lanka has to offer? Keep reading to inform yourself about the mandatory entry requirements for Sri Lanka, as well as some other travel recommendations. 

Entry requirements Sri Lanka: What do I need before travelling to Sri Lanka?


Having a valid passport is one of the mandatory entry requirements for Sri Lanka. It must have a remaining validity of at least 6 months from the day you enter the country. 


All foreign visitors need to apply for a Sri Lankan visa before traveling, no matter the reason for the trip. 

The only exceptions for this aspect of the entry requirements for Sri Lanka are:

  • Foreign travelers with non-ordinary passports (diplomatic, service, etc.)
  • People who have dual citizenship, one being Sri Lankan
  • Underage children born in the country to Sri Lankan parents who live abroad.
  • Underage children born under section 5(2) of the Citizenship Act – 1948.

The easiest way of obtaining the visa is to apply online for the Sri Lanka Visa (Electronic Travel Authorization). You can do it in just a few minutes on Some nationalities are not allowed to apply online and are obligated to do it in person at their nearest Sri Lankan embassy or consulate. Check your eligibility here

The Sri Lanka ETA allows holders to stay in the country for up to 30 days, but it’s possible to apply for an extension of up to 6 months if needed. 

Entry requirements Sri Lanka for Sigiriya rock

Do you need travel insurance for Sri Lanka?

Having travel insurance is not one of the mandatory entry requirements for Sri Lanka, but it is advised: the Sri Lankan health system is not properly developed and it could result in a huge, unexpected expense if you end up needing to use it. 

What vaccinations are required to travel to Sri Lanka?

The recommended vaccines to travel for Sri Lanka are: Chickenpox (Varicella), Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis, Flu (influenza), Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR), Hepatitis A and B, Polio, Rabies, Shingles, Typhoid and, in specific cases, Japanese Encephalitis. 

If you travel to Sri Lanka, one possible source of problems are mosquitoes. Make sure you pack long sleeved shirts and strong insect repellent to protect yourself against dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases. 

Do I need a Yellow Fever certificate to enter Sri Lanka? 

Yes, showing proof of vaccination against this disease is one of the mandatory entry requirements for Sri Lanka for travelers coming from endemic countries.


The official currency of Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan rupee (LKR), which is divided in 100 cents. However, since they have very little value, it’s very uncommon to find prices in cents.  

You will find in circulation banknotes of 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 5000 LKR. On the other hand, the coins available are of the following denominations: 1, 2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents; 1, 2, 5 and 10 LKR. 

For exchanging currency, the safest way is to go to a bank or an exchange office. If you need to make a withdrawal, there are plenty of ATMs available in the major tourist hubs, although they usually only deliver the largest banknotes, which can be difficult to use in regular shops. An alternative is to pay with a credit card, widely accepted across Sri Lanka (especially Visa and Mastercard bank cards). 

Make sure you exchange all your Sri Lankan rupees before departing: it will be very difficult to do it in your own country.