Maldives Visa Requirements – Who and How to apply

Are you planning to visit the Maldives? You’re probably wondering what the Maldives Visa Requirements are before you begin your application. Knowing all that you need for your application before you begin can go a long way to ease the process.

The Maldives is an island country in the Indian Ocean, Southern Asia. Whenever someone mentions the Maldives, you probably imagine a beach setting, with lots of people and the sun in your face. That’s because it’s precisely what the Maldives is known for; a vacation hub. In addition, they have incredible visa policies that make it easy for foreign nationals to visit.

The Maldives is known for its clean water, natural setting, countless dive sites, and generally, as a luxury destination. However, there is more to the Maldives than just visitors. Other sources of economic growth for them are agriculture, fishing, etc.

To visit the Maldives, you need a Maldives visa. This document grants you the authority to enter the country as a foreign national and stay for a predefined period. Your Maldives visa duration and the activities you can carry out in the country depend on the visa you apply for.

Maldives Visa Exemptions

The Maldives is a haven for tourists. One of the primary reasons is that the country has an almost visa-free policy for every other country in the world. So you can get a free visa upon arrival in the Maldives for up to 30 days (or 90 days if you’re from Russia or India).

Maldives Tourist Visa Requirements

The Maldives tourist visa is also called the Maldives visa-on-arrival. This is because you generally don’t need to apply for a visa before traveling to the country. Instead, you only need to book a flight there, then present the tourist visa requirements at the immigration border check. There, they’ll grant you your visa free of charge. Although the visa can be valid for 30 days at maximum, the immigration authority can decide to approve your visa for any number of days within that duration.

The Maldives tourist visa requirements include;

  1. A national passport: one with a Machine-Readable Zone (MRZ) that will remain valid for up to a month beyond your intended date of departure from the Maldives.
  2. Proof of funds: preferably a bank statement.
  3. A hotel reservation or some other proof of pre-paid accommodation in the Maldives
  4. Return flight or onward tickets if you travel to a different country after the Maldives. In the latter case, you’ll also need to provide a visa for the country.
  5. Yellow fever vaccination certificate if you are from any yellow fever endemic country.
  6. Traveler health declaration: filled and submitted online to the Maldives immigration authority. You must submit it no more than 96 hours before your flight to the Maldives.

Maldives Business Visa Requirements

The Maldives Business visa is issued to foreign nationals coming to the Maldives for any commercial or official activity besides paid labor. Since 2021, Business visa applications are now made to the Maldivian Ministry of Economic Development via their business portal. To get the Maldives business visa, your sponsor (business partner) will make the application online from within the country.

You’ll need to scan your documents to PDF format and send them to them for application. If your visa is approved, you will bring the original versions of these documents to claim them at the immigration border check. The required documents are;

  1. Your machine-readable national passport, scanned on the bio page. The passport has to be valid for up to six months beyond your intended departure date.
  2. The Maldives business visa application form.
  3. A recent passport-sized photograph; in JPEG format, not PDF like the others.
  4. Proof of medical insurance
  5. Invitation letter from your sponsor
  6. Whatever extra documents the Ministry of Economic Development requires.

Maldives Work Visa Requirements

The Maldives work visa is for foreign nationals coming to take up paid labor in the Maldives, usually with a Maldivian company. To get the work visa, your employer has to apply for the work permit on your behalf at the Maldives Immigration Authority. The documents they will need to submit include;

  1. Bio data page of your national passport; valid for at least one year.
  2. A copy of your work permit (employment approval) issued by the Ministry of Economic Development.
  3. Your recent passport-sized photograph.
  4. The work visa card fee, MVR50
  5. Your application submission receipt.
  6. Your medical health screening report from an authorized clinic or hospital

If the immigration authorities approve your work visa, you’ll have to present these documents when you want to enter the Maldives;

  1. The original copy of your machine-readable national passport.
  2. A valid Maldives work permit.
  3. Your national passport: the same one with which the immigration authority issued you the work permit.
  4. Traveler health declaration submitted online no more than 48 hours before you board your flight to the Maldives.
  5. Yellow fever vaccination certificate.

Maldives Marriage Visa Requirements

The Maldives marriage visa is for foreign nationals who are married Maldivian citizens, traveling to the Maldives to get married to a Maldivian, or traveling to register their marriage in the Maldives. To get this visa, your spouse, a Maldivian citizen, has to sponsor your visa application.

If you come into the Maldives on a tourist visa, you must apply for a visa transfer within 30 days before completing the marriage proceedings. To get the Maldives marriage visa, you’ll need the following documents;

  1. An “application for permit extension” form, signed and sealed by the family court.
  2. Passport-sized photograph.
  3. Your machine-readable national passport.
  4. A copy of your spouse’s identity card.
  5. Your marriage certificate; original and copy.
  6. Visa card fee, MVR50.
  7. Medical health screening report from accredited health institution.

You can complete this application online at the Maldivian Immigration Authority portal.

Maldives Dependent Visa Requirements

You’re a “dependent” if you have a parent, direct relative, or legal guardian who’s a citizen or resident of the Maldives. Therefore, if you’re a foreign national and fall into this category, you can apply for a Maldives-dependent visa.

The requirements for the Maldives dependent visa include;

  1. “Application for permit extension” form.
  2. A recent passport-sized photograph.
  3. Your machine-readable national passport.
  4. Dependent visa card fee; MVR50
  5. Dependent visa fee; MVR750, for three months at a time
  6. Proof of legal status: to show you are truly dependent on the said citizen/resident. You can present your marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc.
  7. Proof of residence for the parent/guardian in the Maldives. This could be a work visa or a residence permit.
  8. Letter from the embassy explaining your living situation if you are the visa holder’s parent.
  9. Medical screening report from an accredited health institution.
  10. Yellow fever vaccination certificate.

Requirements for Maldives Visa Extension

The requirements for extending a Maldives visa are the same as the requirements for applying for the visa in the first place. However, you will submit a visa extension application rather than a visa application form. You apply for an extension at the Maldives Immigration Authority in Malé before it expires.

Even though tourist visas are free, if you’re applying for an extension for a tourist visa, you will have to pay a fee of MVR750, especially if the extension will make you stay beyond 30 days in the Maldives.

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. How long does it take to get a Maldives visa?

It takes three (3) working days to process and approve a Maldives visa. The Maldives has a very friendly visa application procedure for most of their visas. This way, you can make your application online without visiting an embassy. However, it is essential to note that there might be unforeseen delays. Hence, you should start applying for your Maldives visa a week or two before you plan to travel.

#2. What language do they speak in the Maldives?

There are two major languages spoken in the Maldives; Dhivehi and English. The former is the local language, while English is also widely spoken. Therefore, speaking English, you shouldn’t have a problem settling in the country.

#3. Can I work in the Maldives on a tourist visa?

No, you cannot work in the Maldives on a tourist visa. You need to get a business or work visa to engage in any commercial activity or paid labor.

#4. How long can I stay in the Maldives on a tourist visa?

On a tourist visa, you can stay in the Maldives for up to 30 days at the first approval. After that, however, you can extend the visa for up to 60 days.

#5. Do I need a sponsor to apply for a Maldives visa?

Depending on the kind of Maldives visa you’re applying for, you may need to declare a sponsor. For example, business, work, and dependent visas need you to declare a sponsor who will help you with the application. Even tourist visa applicants for social visits, family visits, etc., might need to declare a sponsor.

Conclusion

The Maldives is a dreamy country, one with ample opportunity for everyone who comes around. Therefore, the application procedure for a Maldives visa is too simple to let yourself get it wrong. The Maldives visa requirements above tell you everything you must prepare before applying.

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