How Long does it take to get a Work Visa for Sri Lanka?

Imagine yourself stepping into the beautiful island country of Sri Lanka, ready to embark on an exciting new work opportunity. You can almost feel the warm breeze against your skin and taste the tantalizing flavors of Sri Lankan cuisine. But before you set foot in this exotic land, there’s an important question you need to address: how long does it take to get a work visa for Sri Lanka?

Obtaining a work visa is a crucial step in securing employment abroad, and it’s natural to feel a mix of hope and uncertainty as you navigate the application process. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of obtaining a work visa for Sri Lanka, shedding light on the time it may take for you to receive this essential document.

Understanding the Work Visa Process

Sri Lanka offers various work visa categories, each with its own specific requirements and timelines. The two primary categories are the General Employment Visa and the ICT/BPO Visa. The General Employment Visa caters to individuals seeking employment outside the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sectors, while the ICT/BPO Visa is exclusively for those working in these industries.

The Journey Begins: Applying for a Work Visa

To start your journey towards a work visa for Sri Lanka, you must submit your application to the Department of Immigration and Emigration (DIE). The application process involves several essential steps, including:

1. Securing a job offer

Before applying for a work visa, you need to secure a job offer from a Sri Lankan employer. This offer acts as a vital document during the application process.

2. Employer’s endorsement

Your prospective employer in Sri Lanka must endorse and support your application. They will provide the necessary documentation, such as a letter of appointment and company registration details.

3. Documentation and paperwork

You’ll need to gather all the necessary documentation, such as a valid passport, educational certificates, and professional qualifications. These documents serve as evidence of your eligibility for the work visa.

4. Application submission

Once you have the required documents in hand, you can submit your application to the appropriate Sri Lankan diplomatic mission or through the online visa application system.

Waiting for a Decision: Processing Time

After submitting your application, the wait begins. The processing time for a work visa in Sri Lanka may vary based on several factors, including the volume of applications, the specific visa category, and the efficiency of the reviewing process. Generally, the processing time can range anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months.

It’s important to note that different visa categories may have different processing times. For instance, the ICT/BPO Visa, with its streamlined process, may have a quicker turnaround time compared to the General Employment Visa.

Facilitating the Process: Expedited Visa Services

If time is of the essence and you need to expedite your work visa application, Sri Lanka offers expedited visa services for an additional fee. These expedited services can significantly reduce the processing time, allowing you to start your new work adventure sooner.


Securing a work visa for Sri Lanka is a vital step towards realizing your professional dreams in this picturesque country. While the exact processing time may vary depending on factors beyond your control, it’s important to stay patient and proactive throughout the application process. Remember, anticipation might fill your heart as you await the visa, but the beauty of Sri Lanka and the exciting work opportunities it offers will be worth every effort.


Q: Will having a job offer guarantee me a work visa?

A: While having a job offer is a crucial requirement, it does not guarantee the approval of your work visa. The Sri Lankan authorities will thoroughly review your application and assess your eligibility based on various factors.

Q: Can I start working before receiving my work visa?

A: It is essential to wait until you have obtained a valid work visa before commencing employment in Sri Lanka. Engaging in work activities without the appropriate visa can result in serious consequences, including legal issues and deportation.

Q: Is there an age limit for obtaining a work visa in Sri Lanka?

A: Sri Lanka does not impose a specific age limit for obtaining a work visa. As long as you meet the necessary requirements and adhere to the visa application process, you can apply for a work visa regardless of your age.

Q: Can I apply for a work visa while in Sri Lanka on a tourist visa?

A: No, you cannot apply for a work visa while in Sri Lanka on a tourist visa. It is essential to apply for a work visa from your home country or country of residence before traveling to Sri Lanka.

Q: Are there any additional requirements specific to the ICT/BPO Visa category?

A: The ICT/BPO Visa category may have additional requirements, such as proof of employment in the ICT or BPO sectors and contracts with Sri Lankan clients. It is advisable to consult with the Sri Lankan diplomatic mission or immigration authorities for accurate and up-to-date information on the specific requirements for this visa category.

Q: Can I extend my work visa if my employment contract duration exceeds the visa validity?

A: If your employment contract duration exceeds the validity of your work visa, you may need to apply for a visa extension or re-entry visa to ensure legal compliance. It is important to consult with the Department of Immigration and Emigration or seek legal advice in such circumstances.