Officially announced in 2021 and probably launched during 2024, the Sri Lanka digital nomad visa offers a one-year stay with renewal options for digital nomads all around the world.

Even if it’s not the cheapest of all, this new digital nomad visa comes with many benefits. It’s a great way to enjoy Sri Lanka’s low living costs, high-speed internet and amazing culture and landscapes.

Let’s have a look at its requirements, conditions and specificities…

Sri Lanka Digital Nomad Visa – Key Points Explained

Sri Lanka facts digital nomad visa

Before you apply for the Sri Lanka Digital Nomad Visa, you absolutely must understand its foundations and how to leverage the Sri Lanka ETA website for application processes.

This visa is valid for one year and can be extended. But if you wish to stay just a few weeks in the country, you might want to consider the ETA, which is valid for 30 days and is actually way cheaper.

Is It Hard To Get Digital Nomad Visa For Sri Lanka ?

As long as you meet the requirements for the digital nomad visa for Sri Lanka – especially the minimum income requirement – no !

Compared to other countries with digital nomad visas, the path to legally reside in Sri Lanka is pretty straightforward.

The requirements for the digital nomad visa in Sri Lanka are quite accessible and the country really wishes to open to remote workers so it seems they’re quite flexible.

Digital Nomad Visa Sri Lanka Types

Sri Lanka remote work visa

Given the recent launch of the Digital Nomad Visa in Sri Lanka, remote workers now have an official pathway to live and work in the country.

This development marks a significant milestone for Sri Lanka as it now becomes a welcoming destination for digital nomads worldwide.

Here are the different available visa options :

Digital Nomad Visa

The Digital Nomad Visa allows you to live and work in Sri Lanka for a year, with the possibility of renewal provided you meet the minimum monthly income requirement.

This visa, which costs $500, covers you as well as your spouse and dependents. So it’s an attractive option if you’re looking to relocate with your families.

30-day ETA

You may also use the ETA application Sri Lanka if you wish to stay less time in the country. This authorization facilitates entry into Sri Lanka for tourism or short-term remote work.

The application process is accessible online or through consulates and embassies. The fee for a 30-day ETA is $35 for a single entry and $40 for multiple entries.

Also, a big advantage is that you can extend your ETA for up to 270 days through several extension phases.

Not sure whether you should use one visa or the other ? Learn more about what digital nomad visa actually is !

Digital Nomad Visa Sri Lanka Requirements & Eligibility

Sri Lanka requirements digital nomad visa

To make sure you can legally enjoy the island’s landscapes and cultural heritage while engaging in your professional activities, you’ll absolutely have to meet the following Sri Lanka digital nomad visa requirements :

  • Nature of work. You must be employed, freelance or own a business with a clientele based outside of Sri Lanka. You absolutely have to work remotely.
  • Income requirement. You have to prove a minimum monthly income of $2000, which must be transferred through the Sri Lankan banking system. This is to ensure that you can support yourself during your stay under the digital nomad Sri Lanka visa.
  • Valid passport. With at least 6 months validity after you enter the country.
  • Travel insurance. Valid for your whole stay in Sri Lanka

Not sure whether you should apply for the digital nomad visa Sri Lanka ? The Sri Lanka ETA online application is faster and comes with way less requirements.

This electronic authorization will allow you to stay from 30 to 270 days in Sri Lanka and can be entirely applied for online.

Sri Lanka Remote Work Visa Income Requirements

There’s a common misconception that the remote work visa Sri Lanka lacks specific income requirements. But you are actually required to demonstrate a minimum monthly income to qualify.

To apply for the remote work visa, you must show proof of a stable income of at least $2000 per month. This can be proved through payslips, bills, contracts or bank statements.

Apply For Sri Lanka Digital Nomad Visa With These Documents

Sri Lanka documents digital nomad visa

Here’s a list of all the documents you must provide when you apply for the digital nomad work visa Sri Lanka :

  • Your passport valid for at least six months after the arrival date.
  • Proof of income that shows a monthly income of $2000 : bank statements or income statements for example. This income has to be channeled through the Sri Lankan banking system.
  • Employment or business documentation : evidence of remote employment, freelance contracts or business ownership with clients based outside of Sri Lanka.
  • Proof of health insurance.
  • A detailed itinerary of your stay in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Digital Nomad Visa Application Process Step By Step

Sri Lanka application process digital nomad visa

The application process for the Sri Lanka Digital Nomad Visa involves several key steps :

Step 1: Gather required documents

Before you initiate your application, compile all necessary documents. This includes a valid passport with at least six months of validity beyond your planned entry date, bank statements reflecting your income and health insurance coverage. Ensure any non-English documents are accurately translated in advance.

Step 2: Apply online

Apply through the online visa portal just like the existing ETA system. You have to fill out a form and upload all the required documents.

Step 3: Arrange travel plans

As part of your application, you might need to show proof of onward travel. Instead of purchasing a return ticket upfront, consider using a dummy ticket.

This is a reservation that can be made without full payment, used for visa applications to demonstrate planned exit without having to buy a real ticket.

Avoid fake plane tickets as they can lead to complications or refusal of your application.

Step 4: Pay the visa fee

The application fee for the digital nomad visa is set at $500. You may pay upon submission of your application by credit or debit card.

Step 5: Await approval

Once the application and payment are submitted, you have to wait for visa approval. The processing time isn’t known yet, but it will probably be around 2 or 3 weeks.

Renewal Process Digital Nomad Visas In Sri Lanka

The renewal process for Digital Nomad Visas in Sri Lanka is not explicitly detailed yet.

However, if you’re using the Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) as a temporary measure, extensions are available and allow stays up to 270 days.

How Long Is Digital Nomad Visa For Sri Lanka Valid For ?

Galle, Sri Lanka
Galle, Sri Lanka

The whole point of this new visa is to be valid for longer than the ETA. The Sri Lanka digital nomad visa is valid for a year from the date of issuance.

A substantial period for digital nomads to live and work within the country and immerse themselves. As for the ETA, it is initially valid for 30 days but it can be extended several times up to 270 days.

Digital Nomad Visa Sri Lanka Cost

The cost of the Digital Nomad Visa Sri Lanka is set at $500.

It’s way more expensive than other digital nomad visas, but it remains a competitively priced option for remote workers seeking to relocate to the island.

So why is it so expensive ? Well this fee actually covers not just you but also your spouse and dependents.

Sri Lanka Digital Nomad Visa Tax To Expect

Sri Lanka taxes digital nomad visa

Good news here, the Sri Lanka remote worker visa enjoys a significant financial benefit in terms of taxation.

Given that digital nomads earn their income from sources outside of Sri Lanka, they are classified as non-residents for tax purposes.

This status exempts them from paying local income tax. So you’ll only have to pay taxes in the country your business is settled in.

How Long You Wait To Get Sri Lanka Digital Nomad Visa

The processing time for the Sri Lanka Digital Nomad Visa varies depending on the completeness of the application and the current workload of the immigration authorities.

You should prepare for a wait time that could range from a few days to several weeks. This is why we highly recommend applying well in advance.

Bringing Family With You

Good news for couples and families, the Sri Lanka Digital Nomad Visa covers the applicant but also extends to include spouses and dependents.

The aim is to allow families to experience Sri Lanka together. Also the $500 Sri Lanka digital nomad visa fee includes your family (spouses and dependants).

Cost Of Living In Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka cost living

From accommodation and food to transport and leisure, the island’s expenses are manageable.

They indeed allow for a comfortable lifestyle without the high costs associated with many other popular digital nomad destinations.

Let’s break down the cost of living for the most common expenses there :

Rent200 to 400 € / $220 to $440
BuyFrom 50000 € / From $55000
Hotels20 to 50 € / $22 to $55
BnB10 to 30 € / $11 to $33
Restaurant5 to 10 € / $5,50 to $11
Groceries40 to 100 € / $44 to $110 /month/pers
Fast Food3 to 5 € / $3,30 to $5,50
TrainAround 10 € / $11 per 100 km
BusAround 0,5 € / $0,55 per trip
TaxiAround 0,5 € / $0,55 per km
Car rental15 to 30 € / $16,50 to $33 per day
AirplaneAround 60 € / $66 per domestic trip
Day excursion10 to 40 € / $11 to $44
Nightlife10 to 20 € / $11 to $22
Museum / attractions2 to 5 € / $2,20 to $5,50
Outdoor activities10 to 40 € / $11 to $44

You can also check the cost of living in Sri Lanka here.

Is There Digital Banking In Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka types digital nomad visa

The digital banking landscape is evolving very quickly in Sri Lanka. So digital nomads will enjoy the convenience of managing their finances easily.

Amana Bank and Bank of Ceylon, for example, offer comprehensive online banking services. You’ll be able to make transfers, payments and financial tracking directly online.

Also there are more and more mobile banking apps designed to manage expenses, budgeting and investment. These tools will add up to your best apps for expenses.

Which VPN Works Best In Sri Lanka For Digital Nomads ?

A reliable VPN will help you secure your online activities and access global content. Amongst the best VPN solutions we could find, ExpressVPN clearly is our top recommendation.

Known for its high-speed connections and strong security features, ExpressVPN offers a user-friendly interface.

Plus it supports a wide range of devices and ensures privacy with strong encryption protocols. These VPN servers operate in 105 countries, including Sri Lanka.

Colombo city Sri Lanka
Colombo, Sri Lanka

Looking to join some of the best hotspots when you visit Sri Lanka ?

Here are the best places for digital nomads.

  • Colombo – The capital city of Sri Lanka is a magnet for digital nomads. With its mix of modern amenities, coworking spaces and lively places, Colombo offers the perfect blend of work and leisure. It’s a great place if you’re used to living in big cities.
  • Kandy – Nestled among hills in the central province, Kandy is a great choice for nature lovers. Digital nomads are drawn to its cooler climate, peaceful atmosphere and the blend of traditional and modern lifestyles. You’ll probably love the city’s laid-back vibe and coworking spots.
  • Galle – With its stunning Dutch colonial architecture and the famous Galle Fort, Galle provides a picturesque backdrop for digital nomads. Lose yourself in the city’s charming streets and enjoy its beachside cafes. A very relaxed environment to work remotely !

Are There Coworking Communities In Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka coworking spaces

Your dream is to visit Sri Lanka and live and work there for some time, but you don’t want to be away from your community ?

Here are the best coworking communities in Sri Lanka.


Colombo truly is the heart of Sri Lanka’s economic and cultural activity.

Holders of the Sri Lanka nomad visa will find many spaces with modern amenities and numerous networking opportunities, like Worx and Likuid Spaces. A hotspot for digital nomads and entrepreneurs alike.


With its gorgeous landscapes and cooler climate, Kandy is becoming increasingly popular among digital nomads.

The city’s coworking communities provide a quiet and inspiring setting with facilities designed to foster productivity and creativity. Office One Kandy is amongst the best coworking spaces in Sri Lanka !


Galle’s coworking spaces like DSK Work Yard are absolutely mesmerizing to both meet other digital nomads and gain productivity in a stimulating environment.

Many digital nomads on the Sri Lanka remote work visa find Galle appealing for its coastal beauty and the supportive, community-driven coworking environments.

Is Sri Lanka Safe For Digital Nomads?

No matter where you come from, Sri Lanka is amongst the safest countries in Asia.

Of course you’ll have to get informed about local customs and areas to avoid, but Sri Lankan people are usually friendly. The best option to cover yourself is of course to subscribe to the right travel insurance.

Don’t hesitate to compare SafetyWing and World Nomads as both provide comprehensive coverage tailored for digital nomads. They cover medical emergencies as well as travel mishaps.

Final Pros & Benefits

Sri Lanka benefits digital nomad visa

As a digital nomad Sri Lanka, it’s important you’re aware of pros and benefits that can truly enhance your remote working experience.

  • First off, the island’s stunning natural beauty offers an unmatched backdrop for both work and leisure.
  • The cost of living is relatively low, so your earnings will stretch further.
  • We also like the welcoming and culturally rich local community.

As a Sri Lanka freelancer, you’ll probably feel a true sense of belonging here. It’s a great place to immerse yourself in a new culture and learn a bit of Sinhala or Tamil.

Few Drawbacks To Have In Mind

Yes, the lifestyle of a Sri Lanka digital nomad comes with many upsides, but it’s only fair to also consider a few drawbacks.

For example:

  • The internet connectivity is generally good in urban areas, but you might encounter occasional inconsistencies or slower speeds in more remote locations. It’s something to keep in mind if your work requires a high-speed connection.
  • Another point to consider as a Sri Lanka freelance worker is the tropical climate. Even if it might sound appealing, it also means dealing with high humidity and the monsoon seasons.

3 Alternative Countries With Similar Requirements We Recommend

philippines alternative for digital nomads Sri Lanka

Not sure the Sri Lanka digital nomad visa is right for you ? Here are some other countries you might want to consider.


Stunning beaches, amazing landscapes, friendly locals…

The Philippines is another great destination for digital nomads. The new Philippines digital nomad visa is a great option to enjoy the country’s low cost of living and numerous coworking spaces.


Thailand offers a similar allure for digital nomads : breathtaking landscapes, affordable cost of living, nice people…

The country has introduced specific visa alternatives for digital nomads, so it is easier for remote workers to live and work there legally. We also love Thailand’s well-established expat and nomad communities.


The country is becoming increasingly popular among digital nomads for its rich culture, delicious cuisine and affordable lifestyle.

Even if there is no remote work visa for Vietnam, you’ll find many other options to live and work there for some time.


Sri Lanka faqs remote work visa

Does Sri Lanka have a digital nomad visa ?

Yes, Sri Lanka offers a digital nomad visa for remote workers from around the world. All details haven’t been made public yet but we’ll keep you updated.

Can Americans work in Sri Lanka ?

Yes, Americans can work in Sri Lanka with the appropriate visa. You can either choose the digital nomad visa or a specific business visa.

Can I extend Sri Lanka digital nomad visa ?

Yes, the Sri Lanka digital nomad visa can be extended, but you’ll absolutely have to meet the renewal criteria.

Does Sri Lanka have a community for digital nomads ?

Yes, Sri Lanka has an emerging community for digital nomads, especially in bigger cities like Colombo and Kandy.

How long can American digital nomads stay in Sri Lanka?

American digital nomads can stay in Sri Lanka for one year on a digital nomad visa and then extend for another year.

Can digital nomads avoid taxes in Sri Lanka ?

Yes, digital nomads on a Sri Lanka remote worker visa are not considered tax residents and can avoid local income taxes.

What is the maximum duration of remote work allowed for digital nomads in Sri Lanka ?

The maximum duration is one year for digital nomads in Sri Lanka, but you’ll be able to renew for another year.

Can I apply for permanent residency through the Sri Lanka Digital Nomad Visa ?

No, the Sri Lanka Digital Nomad Visa does not directly lead to permanent residency, but nothing will prevent you from applying if you meet the requirements.

Wrap Up

The Sri Lanka Digital Nomad Visa opens a world of opportunities for remote workers seeking to work and live an adventure abroad.

With its straightforward application process, tax benefits and the possibility to include family members, Sri Lanka stands out as a welcoming destination for digital nomads worldwide. But of course there are also some other Asian alternatives you might want to consider.