Employment Visa

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 
  • Volunteers
  • 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.
Application Procedures

There is three -step application procedure:


1. Obtaining Entry visa approval from the Department of Immigration in Colombo

2. Collecting Entry Visa endorsement from the nearest Sri Lanka Diplomatic mission and travel to Sri Lanka

3. After arrival in Sri Lanka, collect employment visa endorsement on passport at the Department of Immigration in Colombo



Steps to follow:


1. Foreigner intending to work in Sri Lanka should first have valid employment offer / contract from the employer in Sri Lanka

2. Employer should apply to the Department of Immigration for entry visa approval (view sample approval)

3. The Department of Immigration notify the nearest Sri Lanka Diplomatic Mission of the entry visa approval 

4. Foreigner reports to the nearest Sri Lanka Diplomatic Mission to obtains the Entry Visa endorsed on the passport 

5. Foreigner arrives in Sri Lanka. At the port of entry, immigration may grant entry for specified period. 

6. Upon entering Sri Lanka, before the expiry of the visa given at the port of entry,  the passport of the foreigner should be referred to the Department of Immigration for stamping employment visa on it.


Note: foreigners seeking employment must not travel to Sri Lanka with Tourist or Business visas under any circumstances. Change of visa class after arrival is not possible.

General List Of Documents Required For Entry Visa Approval

1. Completed visa application form

2. Letter from the employer in Sri Lanka confirming the employment and terms and conditions of employment

3. Business registration documents of the employer and copies of project documents, agreements if applicable

4. Visa recommendation letter issued by the relevant line Ministry, government institutions/ agency or Board of Investment (BOI)

5. Copy of the data page of the applicant passport


Applicable government visa fee and tax for this visa type is Rs: 20,000.00 per year

How To Apply

Approval for entry visa can be applied at:


  • Department of Immigration and Emigration - Colombo. Click Here
  • Immigration Visitor Services Center in Colombo - Click Here


Immigration Visitor Services Center in Colombo

Approval for entry visa can be applied more conveniently at our Immigration Visitor Services Center in Colombo or please call our helpdesk on +94 11 2 375 972 or email your request to info@immigrationlanka.com.

Our specially trained dedicated team will be ready to assist you in every step in the application process including application preparation, advising on document requirement, fee calculation, submitting application to the Department of immigration, collection and dispatch of entry visa approval to clients and finally to obtain the visa endorsement on the passport after arrival. For greater convenience of our clients, we also offer many other optional value added services including door to door services.

Our service fee depends on each case and could only be determined after all information is available to us. However, as part of our policy to provide transparent and responsible service, our service fee will be clearly notified before we accept application.