Maldives Clarifies Sri Lanka’s Tourist Visa Changes Amid New E-Visa System Launch

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In a statement released today, the Maldives’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs clarified recent adjustments to Sri Lanka’s tourist visa scheme, explaining that Maldivian citizens can obtain a free 30-day tourist visa upon arrival in Sri Lanka. The statement comes in response to Sri Lanka’s introduction of a new e-visa system.

The statement reads that Maldivian citizens can obtain a complimentary 30-day tourist visa upon their arrival in Sri Lanka under the current procedure. For those planning extended stays exceeding 30 days, the ministry clarifies Maldivians can apply for a free 6-month visa on the official website, albeit incurring an administrative fee.

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In cases where Maldivian visitors already in Sri Lanka require a visa extension, the ministry advises to contact the Maldives High Commission in Colombo for assistance.

Ongoing discussions with Sri Lankan authorities seek to address any remaining concerns and streamline the visa procedures further.

Maldivians intending to visit Sri Lanka are encouraged to contact the ministry for additional assistance.

Sri Lankan authorities announced earlier this year that, effective 17 April 2024, all tourists or business travellers visiting Sri Lanka must possess an e-visa before entering the country.

The e-visa has three main categories: Visit Visa, Residence Visa, and Transit Visa. Visit Visas are further divided into sub-categories such as Tourist Visa and Business Purpose Visa, each serving specific purposes for short-term stays.

Moreover, eligibility categories for Residence Visas are outlined, catering to various individuals such as professionals, investors, religious personnel, students, and more. Sri Lankan Immigration and Emigration emphasises that visas will be granted based on specific eligibility criteria, ensuring suitability for entry into the country and compliance with the intended purpose of the visit.

For those requiring transit visas, it’s essential to apply through the official e-visa portal if staying in Sri Lanka for more than 24 hours to catch a connecting flight. Transit visas are valid for 48 hours and must be obtained before travel.

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