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India resumes 2018 Visa Exemption Agreement to facilitate visa free travel for Maldivians

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India has agreed to resume the
2018 Visa Exemption Agreement with the Maldives from October 15. As per the reviews, the settlement was quickly suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Referring to this, Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid stated that he’s delighted that India has agreed to resume the
2018 Dec Visa Exemption Agreement between the 2 international locations, underneath which Maldivians would require no visa to travel to India.

The High Commission of India within the Maldives tweeted on the identical and said, “No visa required from Oct 15 for Maldivians travelling to India for Medical, Business & Tourism functions. Maldives would be the 1st beneficiary of visa free travel since COVID restrictions had been imposed by India in Mar 2020. This transfer restores the bilateral visa-free settlement of Dec 2018.”

This transfer comes as India is all set to reopen for vacationers from October 15, after remaining closed for greater than a 12 months, whereas the Maldives remained open for vacationers since July 2020. Reports have it that the home tourism trade has been adversely hit by the 2 waves of COVID-19 pandemic.

The tourism sector made up for round 10 % of the Indian financial system in pre-pandemic years.

As relating to the 2018 visa exemption settlement, it eases travel for Maldivian nationals to go to India for enterprise, tourism, medical and academic functions, whereas it additionally grants Indian staff work permits inside 15 days of their arrival and eases visa guidelines. Reportedly, the settlement was signed in December of 2018, when Maldives President Ibu Solih visited India.