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This Popular Asian Country Finally Introduces Long-Awaited Digital Nomad Visa

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Sri Lanka is an incredibly beautiful country and it is also an incredibly affordable place to live. For both of these reasons its capital city has quickly turned into a digital nomad hotspot.

Digital nomads in Sri Lanka are attracted by the slow pace of life, the minimal living costs, and the contrast between its thick jungles and its surprisingly modern cities.

Though many digital nomads choose to visit Sri Lanka there has not been a dedicated digital nomad visa in place in the country, until now.

Here’s everything you need to know about the long-awaited Sri Lankan digital nomad visa:

Woman on laptop in sri lanka, she is a digital nomad

Sri Lanka Digital Nomad Visa

The Sri Lankan government first proposed a digital nomad visa years ago but it has taken a long time for the visa to be granted cabinet approval.  

Now one has finally been introduced. The Cabinet has approved a visa scheme in a bid to bolster the tourism sector and attract a whole new wave of remote workers to the country.

Seema Malaka temple on Beira Lake. Colombo, Sri Lanka.

To be eligible for the new Sri Lankan Digital Nomad Visa, applicants will need to demonstrate a minimum monthly income of $2,000 and this income must be channeled through the Sri Lankan banking system.

The digital nomad visa is valid for a year but can be renewed annually as long as you are still earning the minimum monthly amount.

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Sunrise over jungle in Sri Lanka

The application fee for the new digital nomad visa has been set at $500, and this includes the application for the visa holder as well as for their spouse and any dependents too.

As well as the financial requirements listed above, digital nomads will have to meet standard Sri Lankan visa requirements which include:

  • A passport that’s valid for at least another 6 months from your date of entry
  • Having documents to prove the purpose of your trip. This could be contracts of employment or hotel reservations.
  • Proof of your financial means.
colorful fishing boats on the beach in sri lanka

A government source said that the new visa will be good for Sri Lanka as well as for the digital nomads hoping to stay in the country.

The source said, “By promoting these initiatives proactively and effectively, Sri Lanka can position itself as an appealing destination for remote workers, freelancers, and digital nomads, harnessing their economic contributions.”

Why Digital Nomads Love Sri Lanka

It’s impossible to be bored in Sri Lanka. The country boasts 26 national parks and two marine parks.

When you’re not working you can hike in cool mountains, relax on tropical beaches, or explore modern cities. Sri Lanka is an island filled with diverse cultures and has something to offer to a wide range of different digital nomads.

A beautiful palm tree fringed beach in Sri Lanka

If you like to catch waves then Sri Lanka is one of the top surfing destinations in the world and of course the island is famed for its elephants which attract visitors from all over the world.

Head to Koggala Beach if you’re keen to meet other digital nomads that surf.

Couple of surfers walks along the beach in Hikkaduva - is the best surf paradise in Sri Lanka

The people are warm and welcoming and the pace of life is refreshingly slow. This means that Sri Lanka is the ideal destination for digital nomads hoping to escape the rat race and the bustle of corporate life.

Digital nomads also love Sri Lanka because the cost of living is so low. The average cost per day for tourists on the island is $30, although of course some luxury travelers will spend significantly more than this.

A woman looking at elephants in Sri Lanka

One report suggested that digital nomads will fork out approximately $700 to $1000 in costs per month to live in the country, which is considerably lower than in many other destinations.

In more remote areas internet connection can be frustratingly slow, or non-existent. If staying connected is vital for work then many digital nomads choose a good coworking space in one of Sri Lanka's cities like Colombo or Merissa so that they can work and play in this incredible country. 

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