Parliament accepts resolution on pre-approval visa for tourists

Tourists at Velana International Airport on March 29, 2021. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Parliament, on Monday, accepted the resolution submitted calling to introduce pre-approval visa on arrival and electronic authorization for tourists arriving in the Maldives.

The resolution – aimed at facilitating a hassle-free entry process to tourists arriving in the Maldives – was submitted to the Parliament by South Mahchangolhi MP Ahmed Haitham last Monday.

The resolution was accepted during the last sitting of the 19th parliamentary assembly held on Monday, with the votes of 29 lawmakers. Two lawmakers voted against the resolution.

As per the resolution, 9.5 million people out of all tourists who visited the Maldives in the past five years were people who required visas to enter the nation. Henceforth, as the government aims to bring in two million tourists this year; the resolution underscored the need to facilitate easy accessibility of visa for tourists.

On the contrary, it was noted that tourists only receive their visa upon arrival in the Maldives, for which they are forced to spend a significant amount of time at the airport. Moreover, it was also stressed that some tourists, who are unable to get visa for various reasons, are forced to return to their nations.

According to statistics, 9,940 individuals were forced to return to their nations after they were denied visas in the past five years.

The resolution stressed the lack of an adequate solution for this.

Tourists arriving in the Maldives can receive a 30-day on-arrival visa which must be requested before arrival.