If, like us, you fall in love with Sri Lanka and decide you want to stay for longer than 30 day. Then here’s all you need to know on how to extend your Sri Lankan tourist visa.
How To Extend Your Sri Lanka Visa
Nobody we seemed to meet could give us the answers we were looking for when it came to prices or procedures of extending our ETA tourist visa. So after a successful day at immigration here’s how we went about it:
How To Get There
From Kollupitiya, we caught the 177 bus from outside Liberty Cinema heading towards Battaramulla. It stops a 2 minute walk away from the Department of Immigration and Emigration and was a hell of a lot cheaper than a tuk tuk – it cost only 50 rupees each.
Procedures & Timings
Upon arrival, after hearing nightmare stories about how long and stressful the day can be, we were ready for the worst in order to extend our stay…
If we could give you one piece of advice from this blog it would be to arrive as early as possible! Doors open at 8:30am and the immigration work on a first come first served basis. So basically the earlier you get there, the closer your passport will be to the front of the line.
When you arrive, the first door you walk through will be full of Sri Lankans, which is the section for local enquiries. Just wave your passport around and ask anyone in uniform for ’visa extensions’ and they’ll point you in the right direction…back building – 4th floor.
Once you’ve found the right place, it all becomes pretty self explanatory – grab a form, fill out your details and attach your photos, then hand it in to receive your ticket number. If you don’t have passport photos ready you can purchase them in the application room at 250 rupees for 4 – don’t pay the locals on street on the way in!
Next up simply head to the room next door and wait for your ticket number to be called. They’ll pull you into an office, check the application and away you go. It’s back to the first room to pay and wait for your passport.
We’d heard it can take anywhere up to 8 hours so nipped downstairs for some food but by the time we’d eaten, tickets were being called. All in all we were out with our new stamps by 12.30pm and it had really been no stress at all!
The main thing every traveller wants to know is how much it costs to extend. Well the prices vary for each country of origin. So we took a snapshot of the hardest to find info in Sri Lanka and will leave it here for you…
And the answer to the question everybody wants to know – it IS the same price whether you extend for 1 or 2 months!!
The roads before entering the building are full of locals trying to over charge you. They will try and take you into their shop and tell you how they can make the extension quicker. Honestly, if it was an awful experience and it would have been easier to pay them we would let you know. But extending yourself isn’t such a big deal!
And as we mentioned before, get there as early as possible. We saw tourists arriving at midday as we were leaving and by that time queues were out the door!
Places To Stay In Colombo
To check out the prices of places to stay in Colombo you can click here.
For things to do in Sri Lanka and which route to take, make sure to check out our break down – The Best Of Sri Lanka – A Route & Trip Guide