Every Employment visa applicant irrespective of nationality or type of work, MUST have Entry Visa before traveling to Sri Lanka. Approval for entry visa for employment is processed only in Colombo by the DEPARTMENT of Immigration. Sri Lanka Diplomatic Missions are not issuing Entry Visa for employment unless prior entry visa approval is given by the Immigration Department in Colombo.
Employment seekers under no circumstances use Online visa system (ETA) or tourist / business visa to travel to Sri Lanka. Change of visa type is NOT permitted in Sri Lanka.
Foreigners to be employed in one of following organizations should have Employment Visa .
- Professionals and expatriate personnel (including their dependants) whose services are required for projects approved by the state and employed in projects under Board of Investment (BOI) of Sri Lanka
- Personnel employed at banks and their dependants
- Personnel attached to Non-Governmental Organizations
- Personnel employed in diplomatic missions, UN and its specialized agencies, inter-governmental organizations and in projects under diplomatic missions in Sri Lanka
- Personnel employed in a private companies
Following categories of personnel is also required to have employment visa:
- Foreign artists engaged to conduct regular performances for Hotels, Clubs, and other organizations.
- Foreign nationals taking up employment as coaches of national / provincial level teams or reputed sports clubs.
- Foreign sportsmen engaged in specified period by the Sri Lankan Clubs / organizations.
- Foreign specialist Chefs.