To legally volunteer with us in Sri Lanka, you are required to obtain an Entry Visa in the month before your placement is scheduled to commence.

Please read the following information, in its entirety, and let us know if you need further assistance or clarification.

Getting prepared 

This handy list gives you all the information you need to make sure you're on track to receive your visa in time for your placement. 

+ Four months before your placement date

Check to make sure you know where your passport is and that it is valid for 6 months after your placement concludes. If not, please renew it.

+ Three months before your placement date

On your SLV.Global Portal, please fill in the Visa Form and and upload a clear copy of your passport.

Make sure your passport is valid for more than six months after your placement concludes. If your passport is due to expire, or you lose your passport, please get in touch with us ASAP as this may affect your place on the team.

You will also need to let us know which Sri Lankan High Commission you want to collect your visa from. You will need to collect your visa 3/4 weeks before your placement starts, so please choose the Sri Lankan High Commission closest to you from the drop down.

+ Two months before your placement date

SLV.Global will submit the details you have supplied on your SLV.Global Portal to Sri Lankan Immigration for provisional approval to enter the country.

If you need to apply for a new passport, and this does not match the information you have uploaded to your SLV.Global Portal, please let us know ASAP or you may not be able to join the placement.

Once provisional approval has been granted, Sri Lankan Immigration will send us a fax with your details on it, which allows you to continue your application yourself.

+ Three - four weeks before your placement date

We’ll upload a copy of the visa fax to your SLV.Global Portal. Congrats! You can now apply for your Entry Visa by submitting your documents, including this fax, to your chosen Sri Lankan High Commission. See more details below.

+ One week before your placement date

You should now have your Entry visa. Please photocopy it, as well as the photo page of your passport and the visa fax we emailed you and pack those in your hand luggage so you can access them easily, at customs, in Sri Lanka.

Entry Visa

+ One + day(s) before your placement date

Fly to Sri Lanka and keep the copy of your visa fax somewhere in your carry-on luggage so you can access it easily, as Immigration may want to see it. If your placement is longer than 4 weeks, please remember you will need to bring two additional passport photos with you.

When you land you'll be asked to fill out a landing card to give to immigration (they don't have pens so make sure you have one on you!). In the section where it asks for your address in Sri Lanka, please write in below address:

NYSC International Youth Relations Division, 65 Highlevel Road, Maharagama, Sri Lanka

Other travel plans 

+ Travelling before your placement?

If you've got a holiday, vacation or any other travel plans 3-4 weeks before your placement start date please let us know ASAP. This may affect your visa application and may mean you'll need to apply for your visa during your travels.

Please also make sure you're not arriving in Sri Lanka early, as that will affect the length of your visa's validity. To avoid any unnecessary hassle please get in touch with Dave on [email protected] to discuss this further.

+ Travelling in Sri Lanka after your placement?

The visas we obtain for you are solely for the purpose of volunteering with us on placement. Please bear this in mind when booking flights. These visas are granted for the purpose of you volunteering with us only, and not for a holiday.

If you are on a 4 week placement your visa will be valid for 30 days, and the placement is 28 days which means you will not have much time for travelling. If you wish to stay in Sri Lanka for longer you will need to arrange visa extension, please email [email protected] for more information.

Those of you on a longer placement, your visa will be valid for 7 days once your placement ends. Giving you a week to travel around Sri Lanka. If you wish to stay in Sri Lanka for longer you will need to leave the country before your visa expires and re-enter as a tourist after your residence visa has expired and purchase a Tourist Visa on arrival. If you've got any questions about this please get in touch with Dave on [email protected] to discuss this further.

How to apply for your Entry Visa

Once you have received a copy of your visa fax, please download it and check your passport number, Sri Lankan High Commission choice, name and nationality are all listed correctly. If they all match your passport, you can now apply for your Entry Visa either by post or in person. Click below so see the documents you will need. 

+ Applying via post

Applying via post takes roughly 10 working days, so please ensure you apply with plenty of time to spare.

  1. Fax from Sri Lankan immigration granting you permission for an ‘Entry Visa’.
  2. 2 Passport Photos: 4.5 x 3.5cm
  3. Form B – Entry Visa Form. You can get help with this in the next section.
  4. Photocopy of the picture page of your passport.
  5. Your actual, physical passport.
  6. £45.00 - (about $100 or €65 please check with your chosen high commission the exact amount). You send this in cash to your local Sri Lankan High Commission or send it along with your documents as a Postal Order to they do NOT accept cheques.
  7. Special Delivery envelope to send your documents in.
  8. An additional Special Delivery envelope, pre-paid, pre-stamped with your address on it for the High Commission to return your documents to you. Please send this empty envelope through with your documents. You will NOT receive your documents back without it.

Once you have all these bits together you're ready to apply! Now, let's get Form B filled in...

+ Applying in person

Applying in person should only take one day, you will need to drop your documents off between 9.30am - 1pm and collect them later that afternoon. Please arrive early to avoid any queues.

  1. Fax from Sri Lankan immigration granting you permission for an ‘Entry Visa’.
  2. 2 Passport Photos: 4.5 x 3.5cm
  3. Form B – Entry Visa Form. You can get help with this in the next section.
  4. Photocopy of the picture page of your passport.
  5. Your actual, physical passport.
  6. £45.00 - (about $100 or €65 please check with your chosen high commission the exact amount). You can bring this along in cash.

Once you have all these bits together you're ready to apply! Now, let's get Form B filled in...

+ Help with Form B

Here is a template to help you fill in Entry Visa Form B. If it is required, your answers can go into the margin but please make sure your answers are still legible.

+ On a placement for longer than 4 weeks?

If you are joining the team for longer than 4 weeks, your entry visa (see info above) will need to be extended once you have arrived in Sri Lanka. This extension will cover you for the duration of your placement. Don't worry, the team will do this for you in Sri Lanka. However, you will need to bring with you the following:

  • 2 passport pictures 3.5cm x 4.5cm on a white/neutral background

If you have any questions, please feel free to email Dave, on [email protected]

Mistakes: We understand mistakes happen, but if you’ve made an error resulting in us having to re-apply for a visa fax on your behalf, you will be charged an extra administrative fee of £45/€50/$60. This will cover the visa fax fee, and also any further transport or staffing costs incurred by this. So please follow the above instructions carefully!

Your Passport

+ Keeping Your Documents Safe

If your placement is longer than four weeks, we will be requesting your passport on your first day so that we can extend your visa. Once extended; we will photocopy your passport and your visa and provide you with these duplicates. SLV.Global will keep your passport until the end of your placement for safekeeping.

Getting a new passport in Sri Lanka is incredibly difficult and we want to make sure your documents are safe. All passports are kept together under lock and key in the SLV.Global office. If you need to leave your placement early we will request a copy of your itinerary and you will need to sign yourself out of the placement before we can return your documents.

Failure to follow this procedure will result in us cancelling your visa and potential deportation from the country.

FAQs

+ The Entry Visa is good for 30 days, so what happens if my placement is longer than that?

Great question! We'll extend your visa in-country to a Residence Visa and the cost of this is included in your Placement Fees. Your Residence Visa will cover the duration of your placement, and allow up to 7 days of travel once your placement ends. If you wish to stay in Sri Lanka for any longer than that, you will need to leave and re-enter on a tourist visa.

+ Can a friend or family member collect my visa for me?

Yes! As long as you send them with a note like this confirming their name, your name and your signature you can have someone collect your documents on your behalf.

+ Can I arrive, and travel, in Sri Lanka before my placement starts?

Unfortunately not. With the visa length being 30 days, and your placement being 28 days, this doesn't leave you much time to travel. As a result your visa wouldn't cover you for the full duration of your voluntary placement if you arrived too early.

Please contact Dave on [email protected] for more info.

+ Can I collect my visa in person instead of posting my documents?

Yes! We always recommend going in person, as most High Commissions can complete applications on the same day. This is especially handy if you have a holiday booked quite closely to your placement start date.

+ If I post my documents, how long should it take to get them back?

The usual processing time is 10 business days, so please chase up your documents if you have been waiting longer than this by calling the Sri Lanka High Commission you used. Please ensure you include an additional, self-addressed Special Delivery envelope with your documents or your documents will not be returned to you.

+ What happens if I lose my passport or it gets stolen?

Oh no! This is unfortunate. You will need to get a new passport and get in touch with us ASAP with your new details to make sure there is no delay in processing your application on the Sri Lanka side.

If we've already sent your details off you'll need to pay an admin fee of £45 so that we can order you a new visa fax.

+ What does my visa look like?

Your visa will come back to you already inserted into your passport. It will look like this.

Entry Visa

+ How do I find my closest Sri Lankan High Commission?

Firstly: decide where you'll be when you apply. So, for example, if you're at university in Germany, but live in the UK and are going on placement in the summer, the likelihood is that you will be back in the UK when you apply. Next: select the closest High Commission in the drop down in the Visa Form on your SLV.Global Portal. Finally: Google that High Commission to get the full address and opening times/details. Fin!

+ What happens if I overstay my visa?

Our best advice is to not do this. Overstaying can result in fines, deportation and even prevention from entering the country, and neighbouring countries. Check your flights and placement dates carefully to make sure you're not overstaying.

+ My friends and family are coming to visit me, will they need an Entry Visa too?

Nope! As your friends and family won't be working with us they are free to grab a Tourist Visa on arrival. Even though they'll be hanging with you at the weekend they're still tourists.