Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid has announced that Maldivians can apply for German Schengen Visa from March 2020 onwards.
The Minister made the announcement in a joint press conference with Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Maldives H.E Jörn Rohde. The Minister stated that it was a burden on a lot of Maldivians who have to travel to Sri Lanka and New Delhi, India in order to obtain visas for European countries.
Discussions with VFS Global which provides Schengen Visa services were underway to resolve this issue, according to the Minister.
“Even though the service is currently available for just Germany, we hope that Maldivians can apply for Schengen Visas to other European countries from the Maldives in the future.” said the Minister.
The Minister then noted the importance of the easements in the Maldives for the hundreds of thousands of tourists that arrive in the Maldives every month. The Maldives currently provides a 30-day on arrival visa to tourists visiting the country.
He also noted that Maldivians are able to travel to 84 countries, including the UK, without an already issued visa. Similar arrangements have also been made with the UAE, Russia, Morocco, and Thailand with agreements in 2019, according to the Minister.
“The Maldivian passport is the most powerful passport in South Asia, with its security features.” noted the Minister. Speaking further, he also revealed that arrangements have been made for the ITB fair in Berlin next February. Maldivians will be able to apply for Schengen visas from a temporary desk from February 3-5, 2020.
The Minister then thanked the German government for the Schengen visa arrangements by stating that this was a sign of the close relations between the two nations that were growing stronger.