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Tourist visa again....

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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Tourist visa again....

Hmmmm... August-September we had some headaches with plans to have tourists all of a sudden apply for visa BEFORE going to Lanka. Was 'canceled' within 3 hours, luckily, but things are still brewing. See

colombopage.com/archive_10C/Dec31_1293813729…

Read especially the sentence with "online visa regime, which will replace the current system of visas on arrival in the country" and the next one.

So it looks like within a year again NO visa-on-arrival and NO 'free lunch' anymore, but at least a convenient way of getting the visa. Whether this will obstruct tourism in a major way or not will depend on the cost of the visa me thinks....

At your service, and despite of this a happy Lankan 2011 wished to all of you,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

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1. Re: Tourist visa again....

A Happy New Year to you too Erik.

Ugh ... NOT good news. The free and simple visa-on-arrival is one of the great things about a holiday to Sri Lanka. Having just gone through the process of applying and paying for an Indian Visa, I do not welcome this at all....

All the best

Sue

Fredericia, Denmark
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2. Re: Tourist visa again....

New visa rules cause panic in hotel-tourism sector

www.sundaytimes.lk/110102/News/nws_01.html

No date has been announced yet, but Department of Immigration and Emigration - http://www.immigration.gov.lk/web/ - is updating their website at the moment. The official launch of the new website should be tomorrow: "The new website of Department of Immigration and Emigration will be launched on the 3rd January 2011"

Hans

Edited: 02 January 2011, 06:13
Colombo, Sri Lanka
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3. Re: Tourist visa again....

Yes, also Island

www.island.lk/index.php…

Mentions that it's sooner than the first story gave as impression.

We'll keep our fingers crossed...

Tnx,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

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4. Re: Tourist visa again....

I have holidayed in Sri Lanka several times and the convenience of obtaining a visa on arrival has made my holiday sheer bliss.

I am not looking for a free lunch but the very thought of applying for a visa and effecting payment online does not go down well with a lot people including myself because of inadequate electronic security which leads to identity theft etc. The scammers are ALWAYS one step ahead of the game and will never be beaten come what may!

For THOSE who find it COSTLY to visit embassies etc and are suspect of doing anything online, I hope that VISA ON ARRIVAL facility after payment of relevant visa fees will introduced at the port of entry. Apparently the new measures to be introduced are aimed at providing conveniences to tourists!!! In the real world this is a hindrance rather than a convenience which politicians living in glass houses do not understand.

Bangalore
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5. Re: Tourist visa again....

The day (today being 3rd) is almost getting over. Any update on this?

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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6. Re: Tourist visa again....

The new immigration.gov.lk site is live, and quite some improvement in navigation. Contents is still the old bad/clumsy/chaotic language, need to improve. More important to you and others that the LAWS/RULES on the site are the current ones, and not planned to change per Jan-3. Maybe in a few months time once the political squabble between on the one hand the Lankan travel industry (in this case defending 'our' interests) and the other hand the tax-increase freaks and the nationalists who want tit-for-tat towards all those countries requiring visa from Lankans has settled down...

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Bangalore
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7. Re: Tourist visa again....

Thanks Erik

The site mentions about a non-existing Schedule A (a list) containing list of Nationalities requiring a visa. It also seem to suggest that visa will be still issued free.

Does this all mean we can show up in Colombo just with our passport and still they will stamp us in??

I am heading there in two weeks, and don't want to get bumped off by airline for not holding a pre-arranged visa.

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Colombo
Colombo
Western Province, Sri Lanka
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
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58,855 posts
212 reviews
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8. Re: Tourist visa again....

Oops, possibly the link to Schedule A is broken. It _does_ include India, be assured. So within 14 days, expect 99.59% chance of the rules not being changed (yet). Do watch this space though...

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Rome, Italy
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9. Re: Tourist visa again....

i understand they want to make money on the visa as well, fine, i can cope with that: charge me for the visa when stamping it, but the whole online thing and cancelling the visa on arrival... not cool.

they say the tourism went up to 600 thousand visitors per year... well i am sure if they go through with this plan the numbers will only go down.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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10. Re: Tourist visa again....

They state that the approval process will last upto one day. This means some more 'political' options too, like checking more thoroughly whether a 'tourist' with this passport number was ever involved with something which the government does not like :-(

Tnx,

<Erik> & [Sandya]