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ETA Takes Flight
ETA Takes Flight

In collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs and Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority,  The Department of Immigration and Emigration introduced the new "Electronic Travel Authorization" (ETA) system Friday.

It was launched by Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa with the participation of several  distinguished guests including foreign ambassadors and the Controller General of Immigration and Emigration.

The ETA system was introduced to President Mahinda Rajapakse at Temple Trees last evening by Chulananda Perera, Controller General of Immigration and Emigration.

With the launching of the new system The Immigration Department hopes to obtain information on the travelers visiting the country and their travel destinations while laying down a strong foundation to make Sri Lanka,  the main centre of economic activities globally.

The ETA is a web based system that would grant prior approval for visa via online for foreign nationals  (visiting Sri Lanka for short term requirements) instead of the presently implemented 'on arrival visa' at the ports  of entry. According to Immigration and Emigration Controller Chulananda Perera ETA is not a Visa but an  approval for Visa.

Accordingly, overseas travellers from 78 countries visiting Sri Lanka as tourists, for medical treatments, sports,  cultural shows, business conferences and discussions, training sessions and seminars can apply for the  Electronic Travel Authorization and submit the required payment via www.eta.gov.lk established in the  Department of Immigration and Emigration.

However the visa-on-arrival facility will continue for tourists from Singapore and Maldives;  two countries that reciprocate the facility for Sri Lankans travelling to these countries.

The old system will be in effect as before for Air and Ship crew as well as they too are exempted  from this new system.

For the convenience of the travellers, all basic information is available in 9 international languages.  However all applicants are requested to forward their applications in English. The applications can be  forwarded by the applicants themselves/ through a third party on behalf of the applicant/  through a registered agency,/through Sri Lankan embassies or through the head office of the Department  of Immigration and Emigration.

Visitors failing to obtain prior approval by the above procedures, can visit Sri Lanka after obtaining prior  approval by forwarding the application and making the relevant fee to the counter established in Sri Lankan  access point which he/she has landed in. Only an administration fee has been prescribed for the ETA.

Foreigners, visiting Sri Lanka officially or diplomatically also should obtain prior approval for visa through a  government institute in Sri Lanka. These visas would be granted approval free of charge.






Posted on Monday, October 03, 2011 @ 04:09:24 JST by admin

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