My colleague (Indian) in Germany is travelling to Sri Lanka. The online approved visa period is 30 days. He needs to extend it after visiting Sri Lanka. Is it ok to have a flight return date beyond the 30-day visa expiration date (He is aware that he needs to extend his visa)? Just wondering whether the airline would take this as an issue (Qatar Airways)

Thank you.

  • 2
    No idea if anyone actually cares, but in doubt, it would probably be safer to book a return within 30 days and then change it? The ticket may be a bit more expensive and/or you may incur a change fee, but the peace of mind is probably worth it.
    – jcaron
    Dec 8, 2023 at 14:09
  • 5
    How sure is your colleague that a visa extension will be granted? If there's a chance it won't be, then they could end up having to either book potentially very expensive last minute flights, or risk overstaying. Dec 8, 2023 at 14:39

1 Answer 1


I wouldn't risk it.

The most reasonable interpretation of a return ticket after the visa has expired is that it's the same as having no return ticket at all. If you put the details into IATA (https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/passport-visa-health-travel-document-requirements.htm) you get a warning

Warning: Visitors not holding return/onward tickets could be refused entry.

I'm guessing that most check-in agents that see that warning will not let you board.

One way to get around that, would be to buy a refundable ticket out of Sri Lanka that departs before the visa expires. You can cancel that after you are in country. Qatar might still take issue with that since you have another return ticket with them. I don't think anyone can predict how this may play out.

  • The immigration officials probably don't care as long as the visitor genuinely qualifies for a visa extension, and Qatar would be non-liable for the fine if all the documents are in check. A good solution might be to book a cheap ticket to SEA or India that is 15 days into your trip, and then claim that you will spend 15 days in Sri Lanka twice. Dec 9, 2023 at 11:28

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