Why can’t India change its visa policies for Maldivians: MP Usham

MP of Vilimale' constituency Ahmed Usham | Photo: Maldives Parliament

Malé, Maldives – MP Ahmed Usham of Vilimalé Constituency has questioned why India is not changing the country’s on-arrival and medical visa policies to ease restrictions for Maldivians in a recent tweet.

MP Usham said this in reply to MP Mohamed Aslam of Hithadhoo North constituency and Chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on National Security. MP Aslam stated that India’s decision to establish a consulate in the southernmost Addu City of Maldives will ease visas for the people of Addu.

The Vilimalé MP in return highlighted that Maldivians get on-arrival visas to Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and more than 80 other countries.

The Indian Cabinet approved for a consulate to be established in Addu City on 24 May 2021, in a union cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Modi. The Indian Embassy said that they are considering opening a consulate and that this will also require the approval from Maldivian government.

Although the government of Maldives has yet to approve the establishment of an Indian consulate in Addu City, Mayor Nizar stated that Addu City Council will provide full support in the matter as it is an important decision made regarding the development of Addu.

While the topic has initiated some heated discussions among the Maldivian public, Mayor Nizar said that any person who politicizes the matter is a barrier to the development of Addu City.

In addition to Mayor Nizar, various MPs of Addu City constituencies have publicly supported the decision to establish the consulate including MP Rozaina Adam of Meedhoo constituency, MP Ilyas Labeeb of Hulhudhoo constituency and MP Ibrahim Shareef of Maradhoo Constituency.