New visa facility between Maldives, India comes into effect

The new visa facilities under agreement exchanged last December between India and Maldives to facilitate easy obtainment of visas for travel between the two countries have come in to effect on Monday.

Indian newspapers reported that the procedural requirements were fulfilled during the time between the signing of the agreement until now.

Under the new agreement, Maldivians traveling to India can stay up to 90 days in India without the need for a visa. If a Maldivian on tourist visa has sudden medical issues which requires the traveler to remain in India for the duration of his treatment, he would not require an additional visa.. The agreement also provides a very liberal visa policy for Maldivian students and their families staying India.

Bilateral relations between Maldives and India had suffered during former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom's regime, due to which the visa facilities between both countries had become very strained.

After taking Office in November, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih visited India on his maiden visit, and secured a 50 million dollar grant and a 1.5 million credit facility from India. In addition to the visa facilitation agreement, several agreements were enacted in the fields of health and education.