Maldives Announces Electronic Schengen Visa Applications

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PUBLISHED 15 November 2023

 In a significant development, the Maldives has announced the introduction of electronic visa applications for Schengen visas, allowing Maldivians to conveniently apply for visas for travel to 27 European countries from the comfort of their homes.

The announcement was made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid in a social media post, highlighting the adoption of new visa rules by the European Council that will facilitate the e-visa application process for Maldivians.

"This is a positive step forward in enhancing connectivity and facilitating travel between Maldives and Europe," stated Minister Shahid.

The introduction of electronic Schengen visa applications will eliminate the need for Maldivians to travel to Sri Lanka to apply for visas for these countries, as was previously required.

The ease of access to visas was further enhanced in 2020 with the opening of a VFS Global Joint Session Visa Application Centre in the Maldives. However, this center did not cover all countries in the Schengen Area.

The Foreign Ministry emphasized that the introduction of e-visa services will now allow Maldivians to apply for visas for all 27 Schengen Area countries through a streamlined online process.

Maldivian passport holders enjoy visa-free travel to 101 countries, making it the strongest passport in the South Asian region. The introduction of electronic Schengen visa applications further enhances the convenience and ease of travel for Maldivians.