Last update:Fri, 11 May 2018

Sri Lanka Visa Guideline for Journalists and TV - Film Crews

Visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to Sri Lanka: 13-15 January 2015
Visa procedure and Media Accreditation for foreign media personnel

The following procedure is to be followed with regard to requests by foreign media personnel who wish to cover the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to Sri Lanka

a) Media personnel intending to cover the Papal State Visit are advised to apply for visas at Sri Lanka missions / posts abroad and make arrangements to travel to Sri Lanka after the 8th January 2015. They should submit the duly filled Accreditation Form when they apply for visas and file it to the Mission / Post and by e-mail () to the Ministry of Mass Media and Information.

b) Upon arrival in Sri Lanka media accreditation can be obtained from the Department of Government Information at the Ministry of Mass Media and Information on 10th and 11th January 2015. On 12th January 2015, the media passes will be available at the Media Centre (of the Ministry of Mass Media and Information) at the Galle Face Hotel.

c) It should be noted that foreign media personnel wishing to travel to the Northern Province require for travels beyond Viduthaliathivu in the Mannar district and Omanthai in Vavuniya district special clearance for the same from the Ministry of Defence & Urban Development. Such applications should include a copy of the media accreditation issued by the Ministry of Mass Media and Information.


Journalists, both of print and electronic media, as well as TV & film crews, require to possess visa in advance, prior to their entry into Sri Lanka. Recommendation for media accreditation will be extended only to media personnel in possession of a relevant entry visa obtained from a Sri Lanka mission abroad.

Applicants under the above category should note that clearance has to be obtained from Colombo for the issue of a visa. Applications should be submitted therefore, at least ONE MONTH prior to their proposed dated of departure. Applicants should furnish the following:

TV/film crews should indicate the places they intend to visit for filming, and forward a synopsis or film script, in order to determine the usefulness of the project to Sri Lanka. Details of any Agency/Institution assisting the project would be considered as additional information in support of the application. The following downloadable documents should be used for this information:

Please download the NFCSL-Guidelines for more information.

Please note, when taking photographic equipment to Sri Lanka, to furnish a list of such items together with your application. In order to facilitate customs clearance at the Bandaranaike International Airport, visiting media personnel are required to obtain a temporary import document known as 'CARNET' for professional cameras and media equipment they would bring into the country. Journalists or the crew should also carry with them a BANK GUARANTEE to cover the TOTAL COST OF EQUIPMENT, to be deposited with the Sri Lanka Customs.

For more information, please contact the Visa Department of this Mission.