Do I Need a Visa to Travel to the Maldives from India?

Did you know the Maldives is just a short inexpensive flight from India? I’m looking to go there for a future visa run, but I want to make sure I have all the proper paperwork…

Do I need a visa to travel to the Maldives from India? Indian citizens do not need a visa, you will be issued a 90-day visa for free when you arrive. US citizens and citizens from most countries will be issued a free 30-day visa upon arrival. You must have a valid passport, return flight ticket, and a sufficient amount of money.

You can also get a visa on arrival if you’re from one of the countries that I’ll list below.

The specific requirements for visiting the Maldives are:

  • A valid passport with at least 6 months until it expires from the date of your travel
  • A plane ticket leaving the Maldives
  • Enough money to cover your stay: At least $100 USD + $50 USD per day
  • Reservation at a hotel or resort (Keep the address close!)
  • Recent passport size photographs with a white background
  • Application form (IM23)
  • Sponsorship declaration form – if sponsored by a company, then the form should be signed by the company. If sponsored by an individual, then a copy of his identification card is necessary.
  • Proof of expatriate health insurance

Having all of this stuff does NOT guarantee you will get into the Maldives though. You also might be issued a visa for less than 30 days. If you’ve been through immigration or ever been shaken down by the police, then you know that it is the individual decision of each immigration officer.

Below we’ll go through common reasons for refusal to entry and other important things to know if you’re planning on going to the Maldives…

Everything You Need To Know To Get A Visa in the Maldives

US passport with computer and passport photos

The Maldives is the beautiful island paradise with the beautiful blue waters and cabanas with the glass floors, so you can watch the fish below.

The archipelago of 1,192 coral islands is grouped into 26 coral atolls. 200 of those are inhabited islands and 80 have tourist resorts. But 99% of the area of the Maldives is water.

Because tourism is so vital to their economy, they make it very easy to get a visa. Here are the places which are eligible for a free visa on arrival.

Places Eligible for a Free Visa on Arrival in the Maldives:

American SamoaAndorraAngola
AnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and Barbuda
BhutanBoliviaBosnia and Herzegovina
BotswanaBouvet IslandBrazil
British Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgaria
Burkina FasoBurundiCambodia
CameroonCanadaCape Verde
Cayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChad
ChileChinaChristmas Island
Cocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComoros
CongoCook IslandsCosta Rica
Czech RepublicDenmarkDjibouti
DominicaDominican RepublicEast Timor
EcuadorEgyptEl Salvador
Equatorial GuineaEritreaEstonia
EthiopiaFalkland Islands Faroe Islands
FranceFrench GuianaFrench Polynesia
GuyanaHaitiHeard and McDonald Islands
HondurasHong KongHungary
Isle of ManIsraelItaly
Ivory CoastJamaicaJapan
KenyaKiribatiKorea, Republic of
KyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatvia
Libyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuania
MaliMaltaMarshall Islands
MayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States of
Moldova, Republic ofMonacoMongolia
Netherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew Zealand
NiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana Islands
Papua New GuineaParaguayPeru
PortugalPuerto RicoQatar
ReunionRomaniaRussian Federation
RwandaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan Marino
Sao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegal
SerbiaSeychellesSierra Leone
Solomon IslandsSomaliaSouth Africa
South Georgia South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpain
Sri LankaSt. HelenaSt. Pierre and Miquelon
SudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan Mayen Islands
Syrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistan
Tanzania, United Republic ofThailandTogo
TokelauTongaTrinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUganda
UkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited Kingdom
United StatesUruguayUzbekistan
VanuatuVatican City StateVenezuela
VietnamVirgin Islands (British)Virgin Islands (U.S.)
Wallis and Futuna IslandsWestern SaharaYemen

Here are the Most Common Reasons a Traveler is Refused Entry:

Ben Jenks refused face in India
  • Fraudulent or insufficient travel documents. There just needs to be solid proof or a reasonable suspicion.
  • Suspected intention to cause a disruption of harmony and unlawful activities. Don’t kill the chill Maldives vibe 🙂
  • Strong anti-religious or political views

NOTE: The Immigration officer does have the right to refuse you and just because the visas are free does NOT mean everyone automatically gets in.

If you are admitted to the Maldives, here are the reasons that immigration could remove you immediately:

  • Working on a tourist visa. No digital nomad-ing!
  • Breaking the law or having the intention to break the law. No jaywalking!
  • Suspected of disrupting the religious or political harmony. The Maldives in a Muslim country and it’s important to be respectful.
  • Being a public nuisance.
  • Expired work permit.
  • Expired work visa. If you stay longer than the 30 days allotted, you could be deported and face heavy fines.

You May Need A Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate as Well

If you’re over the age of 1, and have been to a country with a high-risk for yellow fever transmission for more than 12 hours, then you need a vaccination certification.

A yellow fever certificate is valid 10 days after vaccination.

There are the countries listed which pose a risk of transmitting yellow fever:


  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Kenya
  • Liberia
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Togo
  • Uganda


  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Suriname
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Venezuela

Isn’t the Maldives Extremely Expensive Though?

The Maldives does have some very expensive resorts that will cater to your every wish. It’s also geographically isolated so if you’re flying from the USA you’ll spend $1,000 or so just for a flight.

Flights from India to the Maldives can be lower than $300 USD though which is why it’s an attractive option to do a visa run.

I looked on to see how much the most expensive hotel was and it was over 846,216 LKR + 101,546 in taxes and charges. That’s $5,372 USD for 4 nights.

Most of the high-end resorts though were closer to 366,905 LKR or about $2,079 USD for 4 nights. That actually seems pretty reasonable for a villa that offers big game fishing, seaplane rides, island hopping, a spa with Ayurvedic body and facial treatments. Not to mention 9 bars and restaurants that serve food 24-hours a day.

One major expense is transport between islands: The islands are spread out over 35,000 square miles and some resorts require taking a long boat ride or seaplane flight. This can cost you 100s or 1000s of dollars.

The main island is Male and the more budget-friendly islands are about 15 to 25 miles away.

You can find guesthouses and hotels for less than $50 a night, and while it doesn’t look like you’d have a glass bottom cabana. The hotels did look comfortable and close to the beach.

Like any traveler looking to have an authentic experience, you can eat the local Maldivian food for $10-15 for dinner. You’ll dine on fresh fish, curry, coconut, and rice. Not too bad sounding actually.

Related Questions:

Is there a Maldives Visa for US Citizens? As long as you have a valid passport that won’t expire for 6 months, a return flight, and $100 + $50 for each day of your stay, you can get a free 30-day tourist visa when you arrive.

Is there a way to check the status of your Maldives visa online? You can check the Maldives immigration website for information regarding visas.

Benjamin Jenks

Traveler, Filmmaker, and Lover of India. I've been living, writing and sharing what I've learned about traveling in India since 2018. Learn more about me here or Youtube.

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