Sri Lanka on Sunday scrapped the visa on arrival facility for citizens of all but two countries, replacing it with an online application system whereby visitors will have to apply before arriving here. The new electronic travel authorization system (ETA) is now applicable to 78 nations, including India. Only passport holders from Singapore and Maldives are exempted from it and will be eligible for on arrival visas.
However, Sri Lanka will continue with the on-arrival visa scheme
for visitors three months more to March 31, 2012 after industry
complaints that the trial online visa was not working perfectly,
According to a communiqué to the industry from the Sri Lanka Convention Bureau Acting Director General Vipula Wanigasekara on behalf of the immigration authorities, the online visa will also begin simultaneously on January 1, 2012 along with the continuation of the on-arrival visa scheme. Earlier the government was switching to the online visa process from January.
The communique states that: "The ETA (online visa) system will be operational from 01.01.2012. However, the existing facility of Free Visa on arrival will continue until March 31, 2012 for those who made travel arrangements before December 31, 2011."