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Message for U.S. Citizens:  New Travel Restrictions for Foreigners

October 21, 2014

On October 16, the Government of Sri Lanka announced that all foreign nationals must receive prior approval from the Sri Lankan Government for travel to the Northern Province. According to a Ministry of Defense press release, the Sri Lankan Government will now require travelers to submit their purpose of travel to the Ministry of Defense and Urban Development by fax at 94112328109. Travelers must receive approval before commencing travel.  U.S. citizens should monitor media coverage of local events and this website and be aware of their surroundings at all times.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens living or traveling in Sri Lanka and the Republic of Maldives enroll with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).   STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy to contact you in an emergency.  U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll at the Embassy.  U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs website, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information can be found.  The U.S. Embassy also encourages U.S. citizens to review "Traveler's Checklist,” which includes valuable security information for those living and traveling abroad.  Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well. 

In addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain the latest information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or outside the United States and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Colombo is located at 210 Galle Road.  The telephone number is +94 11 249-8500.  If you are an American citizen with an afterhours emergency, please call our hotline at:  077-725-6307.  If you are unable to reach the duty officer on this number, please dial 011-249-8500.  The fax number is +94 11 249-8501.  The Consular Section’s e-mail address is and its internet web page is

Previous Messages to U.S. Citizens