Are the days of Sri Lanka being eclipsed by other South Asian destinations over at last? The Sri Lankan government certainly hopes so!
Recently voted the second-best destination for digital nomads, the teardrop of India is a tempting option for travellers.
The Sri Lanka tourism sector is looking to attract remote workers to this island paradise with its ‘digital nomad’ visa for long term tourists. More and more people are combining travelling and working online and what better place to set up your virtual office than ‘the pearl of the Indian ocean’?
The Sri Lankan government will soon launch its nomad visa and you can apply for it through the immigration office’s online portal. It may just be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make!
Wondering where you can log on from and what places to visit while you’re there?
Discover some cool spots to work, play and explore in the Story Map below!
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What makes Sri Lanka a great destination for digital nomads?
This island nation packs a lot into its modest size and tourism has blossomed in recent years with more and more money being invested in developing tourist amenities.
Whether you like to catch a wave after work or spend your weekends adventuring in the jungle, you are sure to be delighted by Sri Lanka’s rich offering.
Work online and enjoy some of the most breathtaking beaches in the world at the same time.
Need a caffeine fix to power you through your working day? Sri Lanka has a growing cafe culture and is famous worldwide for its tea. The tea plantations in the ‘hill country’ are a must-visit while you are here. If you’re more of a coffee drinker, the Java Lounge is one of the oldest coffee houses in Sri Lanka and has stores across the country.
What else can it offer remote workers?
As well as gorgeous scenery and warm weather all year round, there are other big bonuses of working from here.
- Low living costs. The cost of living in Sri Lanka is incredibly cheap. Few countries can compete with how little money you need to get by here. Accommodation is affordable and you can live well here for very little!
- Sri Lankans are some of the world’s friendliest and most welcoming people.
- A closely-knit coworking scene.
- Delicious local food which is both tasty and economical.
- Endless beautiful beaches and other natural attractions to explore on your days off.
More ins and outs of the new nomad visa
The country’s Immigration Department has finalised the digital nomad visa at $500 for the first year.
Other details like how much it will cost to renew for a second year are yet to be ironed out but we’ll update this page as soon as they are released.
What about if I am just visiting as a tourist?
If you are visiting the country short term for business, the nomad visa may not be necessary, a electronic visa for Sri Lanka may suffice.
You can apply for this with Byevisa at a cost of $35 for the visa plus a processing fee.
The ETA is valid for up to 30 days from your arrival date but can be extended while you’re there. This can be done at the Immigration Services Centre in Colombo or at the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Battaramulla.
Where to stay
Airbnb is a good option for longer-term rentals in Sri Lanka.
Colombo is one of the most popular digital nomad hubs in Sri Lanka due to its multitude of co-working spaces, coffee shops and cafes
However, if you’re wanting to be right by the beach, or go surfing every morning, you’ve got loads of gorgeous places to choose from.
You can get more information about some of the best places in Sri Lanka to stay in the Story Map above.
With a 1 year Sri Lanka digital nomad visa, you’ll have plenty of time to discover your favourite parts of this idyllic island country!
Sri Lanka also boasts many stunning co-working and co-living spaces such as Verse Collective in Dickwella.
Here is a quote from them about why many digital nomads are drawn to Sri Lanka:
‘Sri Lanka has it all! You have incredible beaches, hilltop tea estates, safaris in the national parks. The people are so warm and hospitable, amazing food, it really has a lot to offer. In Dickwella we’re all about balancing surf and work, we have fast reliable WiFi and a quiet workspace with beautiful views, so you can get your work done and then enjoy this paradise. There’s always a great community of nomads in the bay and we’re looking forward to seeing more people choosing Sri Lanka now that the government have offered a 1 year visa for Digital Nomads!’