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Sri lanka visa extension using trip to maldives

UK
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Sri lanka visa extension using trip to maldives

Hi I am going to Sri lanka on the 8th November volunteering and I want to stay for two months. Unfortunately I was unable to order a visa here in time so I am getting one on arrival. I have just found out that visas obtained on arrival cannot be extended under any circumstances so I have to take a quick trip to the maldives. I need some advice on how long I need to stay in the maldives before returning to Sri Lanka in order to extend my visa. And also how to find a hotel room I dont need to take out a mortgage for!!!

I would very much appreciate any advice you can give.

Regs Dave Madgwick

Ahungalla, Sri Lanka
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1. Re: Sri lanka visa extension using trip to maldives

Hi David

I was under the impression that you could apply for a longer visa on arrival (although there would be a charge for this), so maybe worth a check there ok, but if not, then you CAN get an extension in Colombo BEFORE your current one runs out, i have done this before.(again charge payable, around £25)

Visas can be got at the imigration service in Colombo, but there maybe a queue depending on what time you go!

Regards

Dave

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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2. Re: Sri lanka visa extension using trip to maldives

Hi,

Sorry to disagree with DaveS, but DaveM is right. The rule has changed as per around Oct-1, and you can NOT extend the visa anymore when in Lanka. (Yes, you guessed it - local politics again esp. against 'businesspeople and aid workers abusing visa regulations' - sounds a lot like the way 3rd world people are treated in the West :-)

Getting a longer visa (upto 3 months I think) before arriving is still possible, though.

This still leaves DaveM's question open - and I don't know how many nights absence (1, 2, 3?) is needed. Male is indeed not the cheapest way to solve the problem; if it's more than 1 night than India would be far better even taking the cost of the India visa into account. But then DaveM has to go to the red tape of India visa, not nice either...

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Ahungalla, Sri Lanka
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3. Re: Sri lanka visa extension using trip to maldives

Oh well

Better make sure i leave on time this trip then!, i thought tourists were needed as long as possible?, maybe not now.

Regards

Dave

UK
3 posts
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4. Re: Sri lanka visa extension using trip to maldives

Thanks for the advice. I dont mind spending a bit of money going to the Maldives - it would be a welcome break. I don't know anything about the place though. Are there any reasonable hotels there or is it all stock broker belt? I havent had much luck understanding which are the standard / expensive / exclusive areas .

If I stayed say three days that should be long enough i would think.

Regs Dave

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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5. Re: Sri lanka visa extension using trip to maldives

Okay, then on to Maldives (we'll be there ourselves for 2 nights next spring....)

No, it's NOT easy to get a standard reasonable hotel there. Male (smallest capital in the world) might have a few, it's a ferry-ride away from Male airport. All other hotels are luxury resorts on their own atol islands, sometimes a boat ride and sometimes a waterplane flight away from Male.

Regards,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

UK
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6. Re: Sri lanka visa extension using trip to maldives

Hi,

Sorry to throw another spanner in the works for the op.

As Erik has said. The rules have changed. The 30 day visa is still issued automatically.

A 90 day visa can be obtained from an over seas Sri Lankan High Commision, by application and payment of a fee.

However, that visa is strictly for visiting. As in tourism. As in not allowed to do any work, voluntary or otherwise.

The visitors visa can not be changed for a working visa while in Sri Lanka under any conditions.. The working/volunteer visa has to be applied for before travelling to the island.

This new ruling has upset me as I usually stay for 6 weks at a time, either by extending over there or just being sneaky and staying over my time. Not any more. I don't mind the cash side but I do like to be able to make a sudden decision and just get a flight within a couple of days. Now that way of travelling is a maximum of 30 days .

If you do voluntary work while on a tourist visa, I reckon no local oficial would question it but obviously the government have , for some inexplicable reason , got a bee in their collective bonnets over this one.

Last time I was in Malaysia , the automatic visa was for three months and even then a train ride to Singapor and back gave me another three months. Means I spent a lot more money in Malaysia than I usually do in Sri Lanka.

Appears bit self defeating but I've been told that the governments idea is to encourage the 2 week 5star holiday maker and to discourage the longer stays of packpackers who stay in small guest houses and home stays where the authorities have trouble getting their greedy mits on the tax income.

Rod.

Ahungalla, Sri Lanka
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7. Re: Sri lanka visa extension using trip to maldives

Rod

Well said, this is bad news for those of us who have from time to time decided at last moment to stay a little longer, well i guess i will returning on planned date this time!.

Dave

UK
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2,319 posts
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8. Re: Sri lanka visa extension using trip to maldives

We agree on that , then travellerman.

On one trip last autumn I made a spur of the moment decision to extend my trip by a few weeks so I could catch the WOMAD festival of drumming held in the campus of Peradenia University.

Well worth the extension on the visa and it meant I stayed in a couple of guest houses in Haputale and Badulla for an extra two weeks before returning to Kandy for the festival.

I know us backpackers are notoriously tight with out cash but the guest houses were delighted as were the various small cafe owners and rotti shops where we ate.

Unfortunately , it now all has to be pre determined..

Rod.

UK
3 posts
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9. Re: Sri lanka visa extension using trip to maldives

Thanks for all the help chaps. I guess I'll just have to suck it 'n' see.

Just how painful is the India visa? Do I have to apply well in advance? Don't tell me it's a month in advance!! I really don't want to come back after 30 days as I am involved in a project that wont come to fruition untill the start of the school year on jan 8.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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10. Re: Sri lanka visa extension using trip to maldives

Hmmm... India visa... Of course the India forum is a better place to discuss...

What I've heard, and experienced myself a longer time ago, that it is not THAT long a procedure. When you can show the return ticket in and out of India it can be done within 2 days (1 day bring 2nd day pickup). BUT, in most countries the embassy is as messy and full of red tape as India is itself, and that's really worse than Lanka. When in Colombo, have a look at the queues outside the Indian High Commission (--> embassy) next to Galle Face hotel to get an impression.

So at times it is helpful to involve a private visa agency which does the work for you, travels to the embassy etc. etc. Never ever risk your passport and identity by following a mail-in procedure directly with an Indian embassy. Despite proofs from the postal service that your passport DID get delivered there, chances of the passport disappearing somewhere are quite big...