Where is the Indian Embassy in Colombo?
The company is called the IVS – Indian Visa Service. It’s relatively easy to navigate your way there and most locals in the Bambalapitiya, Colombo 04 area will be able to point you in the right direction.
No 129, Philip Gunawardena Mawatha
You must pay close attention to the opening hours of the IVS. They are open Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm but you can submit/collect changes from hour to hour and they are pretty strict about it. I tried to submit my Visa Application at 2:03pm on Friday and they told me I had to come back on Monday.
|Working Days||Monday to Friday|
|Visa Application Submission||8.30 a.m. – 2.00 p.m.|
|Foerign Passport Submission||9.00 a.m. – 11.00 a.m.|
|Passport Collection||4.00 p.m. – 5.00 p.m.|
|Consular Services – Submission/Cash Payments/Collection||8.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.|
How to get there.
Tuk Tuk/Threewheelers – If you are coming from the Colombo Fort Railway Station its about a 6km drive. If you get this on the meter should cost between 250-300 rupees.
Train – You will have to take a train to Bambalapitiya Station. This should cost 15 Rupees from Colombo Fort Railway Station. From there you are a 900 meter walk away.
Bus – The bus number 100 and 101 travel up and down the Galle Road all day. I never waited longer than 5 minutes for one to arrive. Take either of the buses and ask to be let off at the Babalapitiya Railway Station. If the conductor forgets/doesn’t understand look out for signs for HSBC bank.
Requirements for an Indian Visa.
- Completed Visa Application Form (These forms are free some sites will try to charge you. Make sure you just the official IVS site found here)
- 2 – 2 x 2 inches recent colour photographs. (White Background, Without glasses, Photo on the Passport and Form must tally with applicant’s present appearance.)
- Photocopy of passport photo page
- Photocopy of the page which has your Sri Lanka visa
Easy way to get the forms completed.
About 50 meters down the road from the IVS you will see a neon sign that reads “Indian Visas – Visa Photo” See image below. Here they will take care of the entire application process for you and guarantee it’ll get excepted. If they make a mistake you just have to take the form back and they will correct it. This service costs 300 rupees this is for all the forms and the photo copies you need.
They also offer a service for the awkwardly sized Indian visa photograph. The photo is slightly larger than your usual passport sized photo and they can have it taken and printed in minutes. They charge 200 rupees for this service but again guarantee it’ll get excepted.
How long does it take?
First Visit – Submission of application and payment 5-7 working days.
Second Visit – Submission of Passport 24 hours – unless there’s a holiday.
Third Visit – Collection of Passport. Takes no more than 10 minutes.
How long it took me.
I submitted my Application on Monday 5th of May. They run a pretty tight ship there and I was out within the hour. I had to pay 18,052 Rupees for my Visa that day. Mine was so expensive because I have a UK Passport and they set the price on a reciprocal basis. I was told to come back in 5 working days to submit my passport. The submission process takes an additional 2 days to complete. As I didn’t want to hang around in Colombo I asked if I could just submit my passport in a month. The lady said that was fine. I went to Kandy which I wasn’t a fan of and to climb Adams Peak for about a week. It was there that I’d made the decision to Tuk Tuk around Sri Lanka. I Headed back to Colombo earlier than planned to submit my passport. The Foreign passport submission time is 9:00am – 11:00am I somehow miss read this and turned up at 4:00pm on a Tuesday. The lady at the submission counter told me off and then accepted my passport with a cheeky smile. I had to wait an extra day as it was during Vesak week but I collected my passport on Thursday.