Tourist VisaNo prior visa is required to enter the Maldives and based on immigration requirements, entry permits will be granted on arrival.
However an entry permit does not permit visitors to take up employment, set up any business or conduct any professional activities (paid or unpaid) except with the consent of the government and in compliance with pertinent laws and regulations of the Maldives.
Study Visas & Work Permits
Details on study visas / Work Permits, other categories of permits into the Maldives including transit passengers and crew members can be obtained from the categories of permits section of the Maldives Department of Immigration and Emigration website.
Visitors of all nationalities in possession of the following would be granted entry into the Maldives:
- a valid international travel document issued by a sovereign state’s government
- a valid return air ticket and necessary visas to a destination where the passenger has permission to enter
- a minimum of US$30.00 per person per day or confirmed hotel reservation for the intended period of stay in the Maldives
For more details check out the Entry into Maldives section of the Maldives Department of Immigration and Emigration website.
One or more of the above requirements may be waived for the following personnel:
- UN personnel
- Persons already approved for employment in the country
- Technical and other experts attached to the Maldives Government
- Personnel with confirmed bookings in a registered tourist accommodation in the country
- Personnel sponsored by Maldivians
The Maldives is served by all major scheduled airlines in the region in addition to several charter flights from Europe and Scandinavian countries.
The Maldives is forty five minutes from Colombo, three hours from Dubai, four hours from Singapore and thirteen hours from London.
Malé International Airport is located on a geographically separate island named Hulhulé which is about 10 minutes’ boat ride from the capital. A ferry service is available from the airport island to the capital around the clock.
Transfers to resorts would be arranged prior to arrival by your resorts/tour operators via speedboat or sea plane.
No prior visa is required to enter the Maldives and a free 30 day visa is granted to all visitors who meet immigration requirements upon arrival.
Please note that the import of firearms, liquor, drugs and pornography in to the Maldives is strictly prohibited. Alcohol may be imported only with an official license and dogs, pigs, and pork products are prohibited. Also personal pets can be brought in only with special permission (dogs not allowed).
Flight durations to Maldives
Washington D.C., USA – 18 hrs, 30 mins
London, UK – 10 hrs, 45 mins
Rome, Italy – 9 hrs, 15 mins
Berlin, Germany – 9 hrs, 40 mins
Paris, France – 10 hrs, 30 mins
Dubai, UAE – 3 hrs, 45 mins
Moscow, Russia – 8 hrs, 15 mins
Hong Kong, Hong Kong – 6 hrs, 10 mins
Beijing, China – 7 hrs, 20 mins
Singapore, Singapore – 4 hrs, 30 mins
Delhi, India – 3 hrs, 15 mins
Tokyo, Japan – 9 hrs, 40 mins
Canberra, Australia – 11 hrs, 50 mins
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – 4 hrs, 10 mins
To get the international flight schedule please visit http://fis.com.mv/cgi-bin/webfids.pl
Health Requirements & Advice
Any traveler originating from a known yellow fever and cholera area should be sure to carry their vaccination record showing they have been vaccinated. It is possible to be turned away if vaccination proof is not available. Keep in mind this is only necessary for individuals traveling from a known yellow fever or cholera region.
Maldives is indeed a wonderful vacation destination, however it makes sense to take some simple precautions before traveling to ensure that your dream vacation is just that!
Aircraft arriving from yellow fever infected countries or from countries where Malaria is prevalent will be disinfected using aerosol spray (approved by WHO) approximately 10 minutes before arrival at the airport. Passengers feeling uncomfortable during the spray should cover their nose and mouth.
Barring any major accident that requires attention in a hospital the biggest concern most travelers have is Dengue Fever. The easiest way to prevent this illness is to avoid mosquito bites. Mosquito repellent, long sleeves and pants, and other typical precautions will help reduce the number of bites and risk of Dengue Fever.
Sunburn is another health risk in this multi-island nation. Many travelers plan for plenty of time on the beach to soak up the sun and easily overdo it. Sunburn can not only make you uncomfortable and miserable throughout your vacation, but it can also be quite dangerous in the case of sun poison. Be sure to take precautions to avoid sunburn.
Before traveling to the Maldives it is highly advised to visit your local health department to ensure your vaccinations are up to date. Try and do this months before traveling to ensure that any shots you may need will have time to take effect before your trip. For a very small population, some vaccinations are required to enter the Maldives.
Using Credit Cards
Anyone traveling to the Maldives will usually use their credit card as the primary form of payment for hotels, outings, dining, and the like. This is a good habit when traveling because credit cards offer many benefits if the card is lost or stolen that aren’t available to cash and traveler’s cheque users.
The Maldives is a high end vacation destination and it is difficult for travelers to know exactly how much they will spend on a daily basis. Trying to carry enough cash to cover one’s stay would be a challenge because it is bulky and if it is lost it is gone. However, with credit cards travelers will always be able to pay for whatever expense crops up without having to worry if they have enough cash on hand.
Most Maldives resorts and restaurants accept a wide range of credit cards. You will want to confirm with your hotel before you travel that your particular credit card is accepted, however most users of Visa, MasterCard, and American Express will have no problem. There is usually a 5% fee charged to credit card transactions, but for most travelers the ease of use outweighs the extra charge.
You will need to tip occasionally in Male’ and other islands in the Maldives. You won’t be able to use your credit card for this so you will want to have some lower denomination bills for your butler, porter, and any other individual who offers you personal services. You can tip in dollars, Euros, or in the Maldives own Rufiyaa. There is no need to change a lot, or any, money into the local currency unless you just want to. If you need a cash advance for any reason there are some ATMs in Male’ that will allow this as well as banks.
Travel Tips & Advice
Dress is informal, but locals who are Muslim will be offended by nudity or scanty clothing in public places, and the Government rigidly enforces these standards. Bikinis and other scanty beachwear are not acceptable in Malé or on any other inhabited island. When entering a mosque, the legs and the body, but not the neck and the face, should be covered. Handshaking is the most common form of greeting. The indigenous population not involved in the tourist trade lives in isolated island communities maintaining almost total privacy. A large number of locals smoke, but smoking and eating during Ramadan is discouraged.
Hulule International Airport – Hulule Island is 2km (1.2 miles) from Malé (travel time by boat – 15 minutes). Boats from the various island resorts meet each arriving plane to take visitors to their accommodation. There is no scheduled transfer from Hulule Island to the other islands. If an advance booking has been made, representatives of the resorts will receive tourists at the airport and will take care of all onward transport arrangements. Airport facilities include left luggage, first aid, bank, duty free shops, snack bar, post office and restaurant.
The following goods may be imported into the Maldives Republic without incurring customs duty:
A reasonable amount of cigarettes, cigars and tobacco; a reasonable number of gifts.
This is officially discouraged.
Prohibited itemsPornographic literature; idols of worship; pork products and certain other animal products; explosives and weapons; alcoholic beverages. Drugs are strictly prohibited; the penalty for importing drugs for personal or other use is life imprisonment. Animals require a veterinary certificate.
The following may not be exported in any form: tortoise and turtle shells and products made of turtle shell (the Government has banned the killing of turtles), and black coral in whole form.
Prohibited items for export
The following items may not be exported in any form:
- Black Coral/products of black coral
- Stony Coral
- Triton Shell
- Pearl Oyster
- Turtle Shell
- Puffer fish
- Parrot fish
- Skate and Ray
- Bigeye Scad under 15 cm.
- Bait fish used in tuna fishery
- Trochus shell