Sri Lanka Now Offering Free Visas to 30 Nationalities on Arrival

Apr 12, 2019

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Sri Lanka will soon offer free visas to visitors from more than 30 nations, which can save the average tourist between $20 to $40 in visa fees.

Travelers can obtain their free visa to the island nation upon arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) starting May 1, 2019. Lonely Planet reports that countries with the new free visa access include the US, the UK, the EU, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and more.

Tourism to Sri Lanka has been on the rise in recent years. Lonely Planet named it the No. 1 destination to visit in 2019, and yearly arrivals in the country have soared from just 448,000 in 2009 to more than 2.1 million in 2017. The Sri Lankan government hopes to double these numbers by 2020.

The island nation, which is located off the southern tip of India, has an abundance of unique and beautiful sites and experiences for visitors to check out. Lori Zaino, a senior writer for TPG, spent a month in Sri Lanka last summer and noted that she specifically enjoyed the beaches in the south and east, the ruins of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura, and visiting Kaudulla and Yala National Park for the elephant safaris.

“The elephants are wild,” said Zaino. “Like they roam all around Sigiriya. It’s not like Thailand with elephant ‘tourism.’”

Sri Lanka also is home to one of the most scenic train rides in the world. Check out our review on the phenomenal trip here. 

The free visas will be available for a trial run of six months. If the program is successful, the government plans on extending the offer indefinitely.

Featured image by saiko3p / Getty Images.

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