Sri Lanka promises quick electronic entry nod

Sept 28, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s new electronic travel authorization system will approve applications within 24 hours but most applications will be approved in a much shorter time, immigration officials said. The portal will be opened on September 30 and the new process will be applied after a “reasonable time”, Sri Lanka’s immigration controller Chulananda Perera said.

Sri Lanka’s travel trade has earlier said that they were assured of a period of about three months notice.

The new electronic travel authorization process (ETA) will charge 50 US dollars for a double entry tourist visit, 60 dollars for a multiple entry business visit and 25 dollars for transiting via the island.

Applications for ETA could be made by the traveller, a third party, approved agents, or Sri Lankan embassies abroad. Those that fail to do so can also apply for a permit at the port of entry for 75 dollars.

Only Maldivian and Indian nationals who are give visa free entry to Sri Lankan’s will get visa on arrival status to Sri Lanka.

The travel trade has expressed concern about the scrapping of visa on arrival from lucrative generating markets.

Perera said the facility will allow visitors f