Foreign Ministry advises early visa application amid crisis in Sri Lanka

Maldives immigration counter at VIA | Photo: Immigration

Malé, Maldives – The Foreign Ministry of Maldives on Sunday urged the public to submit visa applications early amid Covid-19 pandemic situation and more significantly the economic crisis in Sri Lanka where majority of the consulates for Maldives are located.

In their statement, Foreign Ministry observed a recent trend of seeking to expedite visa applications, after applying close to the required date with incomplete documents. The Ministry stated that the process requires time especially in transporting the passports via diplomatic pouches.

Foreign Ministry stated that the recent pandemic situation and the ongoing crisis in Sri Lanka where a majority of the embassies for the Maldives are located including for Schengen countries, has lead to a delay in the visa processing.

Due to the crisis in Sri Lanka, the embassies and visa centers are suffering from major setbacks with limited working hours and appointments.

The Ministry urged the public to make visa applications and appointments as early as possible and to pay close attention to the application and documents. Foreign Ministry also reassured its commitment to assist the public and requested public cooperation in the matter.

In the past three years, the Maldives has signed visa waiver agreements with three countries, providing access for Maldivians to 88 countries without visas prior to travel. Foreign Ministry is liaising with 17 additional countries for visa waivers.