Visa for Journalists & Media Personnel
Sri Lanka has longstanding democratic traditions, and respects the freedom of speech & expression. In keeping with this spirit, journalists & media personnel are welcome to visit Sri Lanka.
Guidelines for Visa & Accreditation
Media teams are advised to submit visa requests at least 2 weeks in advance of their date of departure.
Regulations pertaining to media equipment are strictly enforced by Sri Lanka Customs.
Visiting journalists & media personnel must obtain a Carnet (a temporary import document) for their media equipment (cameras, etc.), for customs clearance.
In the absence of a Carnet, a bank guarantee for the value of the imported media equipment must be submitted.
If the visit is sponsored by a state institution, a letter from the institution concerned, guaranteeing that the media equipment will be re-exported, must be provided.
Telephone equipment such as satellite phones require a prior license from the Sri Lanka Telecommunications Regulatory Commission.
A list of media equipment to be carried by the visiting journalists & media personnel must be sent to the Public Communications Division of the Foreign Ministry, Sri Lanka through the Embassy, to facilitate clearance at airport Customs. A letter of undertaking must also be provided by the media organization, guaranteeing that the media equipment will be re-exported upon the departure of the media personnel.
All foreign media personnel working in Sri Lanka must obtain media accreditation. (Media accreditation will not be recommended/granted for any person who travels to Sri Lanka with a tourist visa.)
Media personnel must possess the relevant visa, issued by the Embassy, in order to obtain media accreditation.
Media accreditation requests submitted to the Embassy are forwarded to the Department of Government Information via the Foreign Ministry, Sri Lanka. Accreditation is provided upon recommendation from the said Ministry.
Journalists wishing to obtain media accreditation can visit the Department of Government Information in Colombo.
Journalists may contact the Public Communications Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for courtesy meetings, clearance of media equipment, coordination to meet VVIPs, etc.
Guidelines for Shooting Foreign Films in Sri Lanka
The filming of all documentaries & feature films (except Tourism Promotional Documentaries & Wildlife Documentaries) requires prior approval from the National Film Corporation (NFC).
Media teams must complete & submit the NFC Agreement, a synopsis of the documentary, itinerary of the media team while in Sri Lanka, and filming locations.
Media teams intending to film Tourism Promotional Documentaries, or participate in FAM tour, must complete the Application “Selection Criteria for Journalists/TV Crews for FAM Tours” (download here)
Prior approval from the Department of Wildlife Conservation is necessary to film in Protected Areas. The “Application for Filming in Wildlife Protected Areas” (download here) form must be completed and submitted.
Completed Visa Application Form DOWNLOAD HERE
Completed Journalist Declaration- Annex A DOWNLOAD HERE
Current Passport (valid for at least 6 months from the date of arrival)
Two recent passport-sized (3.5cm x 4.5cm) photographs
Confirmed travel itinerary
List of equipment to be cleared by Sri Lanka Customs on arrival
Letter of Invitation by Sri Lankan authorities (if applicable)
Application for visa should be submitted at least 5 working days prior to date of departure.
ETA Processing Fee
China & Other Countries
China & Other Countries
Double Entry, 30 Days
Single Entry, 90 Days
Double Entry, 90 Days
Twice the Country Fee*
Multiple Entry, 90 Days
Thrice the Country Fee*
*To see the country fee (Please Click)
Payment should be made ONLY by a bank transfer to the (official bank account of the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing)
Personal/Company cheques, Credit Cards and wechat payments are not accepted.