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Thailand approves visa-free entry for Maldivians

Maldivian tourists will be granted a 30-day visa with effect on April 14.



Thailand has approved visa-free entry for a 30-day period to Maldivian tourists with effect from April 14, the Maldives foreign ministry announced Saturday.

Maldivians are presently required to apply for 30-day visas with an MVR1,000 (US$65) fee to the Thai consulate in Malé.

Thailand is among the top five destinations for Maldivians to travel for vacation, business or medical purposes, according to an annual survey by the central bank.

Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid discussed formalising the visa waiver arrangement with the head of the Thailand delegation at the UN Conference on South-South Cooperation in Argentina last week.

“Thailand is one of the most important countries for Maldives business and we host large number of Thai investments,” he noted.

Thailand is the third country to ease visa requirements for Maldivians since the new administration took office in November.

The United Arab Emirates authorised a 30-day on-arrival visa for Maldivian from January 1 onward and a visa liberalisation agreement with India came into force on March 10.

Efforts are under way to ease visa requirements for Maldivians travelling to other Southeast Asian countries, the foreign ministry said.

Earlier this month, the government made a request to a visiting delegation from the European Union to facilitate the Schengen Visa process in the Maldives.