Ministry of Foreign Affairs Visa Exemption Overview: Strengthening Global Relations Through Visa-Free Travel

    Throughout this year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives has been proactively forging visa exemption relationships with numerous countries across the globe. These deliberate arrangements and partnerships have a dual purpose: bolstering the country’s economy and nurturing robust bilateral ties. In this article, we will provide you with an overview of the visa exemption agreements that the Maldives has successfully established since January 2023.

    Burundi: Enhancing Bilateral Relations and Engagement

    The Government of Maldives and the Government of Burundi signed the Agreement on Mutual Exemption of Visa Requirements, enabling the exemption of visas for single or multiple entry, exit, or transit for both countries’ nationals, valid for a period of 30 days. This significant agreement took place in New York, with the signing conducted by Her Excellency Thilmeeza Hussain, Permanent Representative of the Maldives to the United Nations, and His Excellency Zéphyrin Maniratanga, Permanent Representative of Burundi to the United Nations. The signing of this agreement aimed to strengthen bilateral relations, foster engagement, and facilitate people-to-people contact between the Maldives and Burundi.

    Cambodia: Facilitating People-to-People Contact and Business Opportunities

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    Starting from May 4th, 2023, Maldivian nationals were exempted from visas when travelling to Cambodia. This visa exemption agreement, which was signed on 16th January 2023, allowed individuals with valid Diplomatic, Official, and Ordinary passports from the Maldives to enter and stay in Cambodia for a maximum duration of 30 days. However, it was necessary to obtain appropriate visas in advance for longer stays, work, education, or business purposes. The Maldivian government considered the visa exemption to Cambodia as a significant commitment to enhancing bilateral relations, promoting people-to-people contact, and facilitating business opportunities and investments between the two countries.

    Ghana: Deepening Bilateral Relations and Cooperation

    Maldives and Ghana recently signed a significant agreement on the Mutual Exemption of Visa Requirements for their Respective Nationals. This agreement, signed in London, signifies a closer exchange between the two nations, allowing for visa exemption and fostering increased people-to-people contact. H.E. Abdulla Shahid signed the agreement on behalf of Maldives, while Her Excellency Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey signed on behalf of Ghana. This visa exemption is an important step towards strengthening the bilateral ties established between Ghana and the Maldives in August 1989.

    China: Enforcing Visa-Free Arrangement

    After being delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic measures, the visa-free agreement between the Maldives and China was finally enforced. Starting from February 17, 2023, citizens from both countries were able to avail of on-arrival visas. Maldivian nationals arriving in China were granted a 30-day on-arrival visa, and vice versa. It is important to note that a visa had to be obtained in advance if individuals intended to engage in work, business, or journalism activities. This agreement not only facilitated travel between the two countries but also led to other initiatives aimed at strengthening their bilateral relations.

    Rwanda: Strengthening Bilateral Relations

    The Maldives and Rwanda signed a visa waiver agreement, known as the Agreement on Mutual Exemption of Visa Requirements. Under this agreement, nationals of both countries are exempted from visas for single or multiple entry, exit, or transit, for a period of 30 days. The agreement was signed in London by His Excellency Abdulla Shahid, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives, and His Excellency Vincent Biruta, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Rwanda. The signing ceremony marked a significant step towards increasing avenues for engagement and people-to-people contact between the Maldives and Rwanda.

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