Maldives becomes the first beneficiary of visa-free travel to India since the onset of the global pandemic in 2019.
Restoring the Visa Facility Agreement signed between the Governments of India and Maldives in 2018, India will be lifting the COVID19 travel restrictions set for Maldivians effective from October 15 onwards. The exemption comes in light of the high demand for medical visas in the last couple of months.
The ease will be applicable for Maldivians who wish to conveniently travel to India for medical, business, and tourism purposes for a period of 90 days. Moreover, students will be facilitated with free student visa. The Governments believe that the existing strong people-to-people relations between both the nations will be further strengthened with this gesture.
India is one of the top outbound destinations for Maldivians travelling specifically for medical purposes. Unfortunately, the ongoing pandemic situation has forced India to impose strict travel restrictions to arrivals to the country, the most critical being their border closure on March 23, 2020 with suspension of all categories of visas following the measure.
As the situation progressed, Maldivians were given a special exemption for medical travel to India in June 2020. Since then, over 14,000 medical visas have been reportedly issued by the High Commission of India in Maldives to date.