The Republic of Maldives consists of 1,190 islands (fewer than 200 are inhabited) in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Sri Lanka. The Maldives has a population of 270,000, of which about 70,000 reside in Male, the capital city. Beautiful atolls, inhabited by over 1,100 species of fish and other sea life, attract thousands of visitors each year. Tourism facilities are well developed on the resort islands. The Tsunami of December 26, 2004 caused some damage to several hotels and facilities on some of the islands. Most of the tourism infrastructure remains intact. Travelers planning to visit the Maldives should consult with travel agencies or the Maldivian Tourist Board to ensure their itineraries take this event into consideration. Read the Department of State Background Notes on Maldives for additional information.
ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: A valid passport, along with an onward/return ticket and sufficient funds, is required for entry. A no-cost visitor visa valid for thirty days is issued upon arrival.
The Department of Immigration and Emigration routinely approves requests for extension of stays up to ninety days for travelers who present evidence of sufficient funds and who stay in a resort or hotel or present a letter from a local sponsor. Anyone staying over sixty days without proper authorization faces heavy fines and deportation. All visitors departing the Republic of the Maldives (except diplomats and certain exempted travelers) must pay an airport departure tax. Travelers need a yellow fever immunization if they are arriving from an infected area.
Arrival by private boat: Travelers arriving by private yacht or boat are granted no-cost visas, usually valid until the expected date of departure. Vessels anchoring in atolls other than Male must have prior clearance through agents in Male. Maldivian customs, police and/or representatives of Maldivian immigration will meet all vessels, regardless of where they...