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General Information MFA Visa Facilitation Service - FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

From Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) These FAQs are general in nature. The information given does not take personal or specific circumstances into account and should therefore not be considered as constituting personal, professional or legal advice to the user. Users requiring personal or specific advice should consult the relevant Mission of the Member States.

  1. Can I submit my visa application through the Foreign Ministry? Ministry facilitates Maldivian nationals to obtain visas from Missions that are accredited to the Maldives. In addition, in cases where there are no Embassies / High Commissions accredited to the Maldives, Ministry also facilitates visas from the relevant Missions or Ministry of Foreign Affairs of those countries. The service is available only for those applicants who are not required to appear in person for the visa process. The service is available for those visiting for official, business and/or private purposes.

  2. What are the criteria I have to meet in order to apply for a visa? The number of criteria that you have to meet depends on the issuing country. When applying for a visa, the applicant must meet all necessary criteria / pre-requirements set by the relevant Mission. You may check criteria/pre-requirements form relevant Missions.

  3. Where can I get the visa application forms? The applicant must obtain the visa application forms through the relevant website of the Mission/Visa Application Center.

  4. What do I have to submit for visa processing? Passport, completed visa application form, all necessary documentation and visa fee (if required and in the form of a Bank Draft) must be received by the Ministry in order to facilitate visa.

  5. How do I pay the visa fee? The Visa applicant is responsible for paying the visa fee. If the fee has to be paid via a bank draft, it can be sent with the visa application through the Ministry. If the fee has to be paid by cash, the applicant has to arrange the delivery of cash to the respective Embassy.
    The Ministry of its staff cannot pay the visa fees on behalf of the applicant.

  6. Can I submit visa application form through the Ministry? Completed Visa Application Forms and the relevant documents / materials may be submitted to the Ministry and it will be forwarded to the pertinent Mission via Embassy of Maldives. The original set of Application will be couriered to the relevant Embassy of Maldives through the Diplomatic Pouch.

  7. Does the Ministry assess the application form? The Ministry does not verify the information provided by the applicant. The applicant is responsible for the accuracy of information provided and for completing the application form properly where relevant and applicable. The assessment of visa application is carried out by the relevant Mission of the country that the applicant is requesting to visit.

  8. When do I have to submit visa applications? Our Diplomatic Pouch is couriered to our Embassies on the following days. In order to meet the different deadlines, applications should be sent to the Ministry at least a day in advance. COLOMBO: Monday & Thursday NEW DELHI: Thursday SINGAPORE: Thursday ISLAMABAD: Thursday

  9. Will the Ministry inform me of any issues with my application? Once Visa Application is submitted to the relevant Mission, the Ministry will keep a tab on any development on a regular basis. If any issue arises, the applicant will be notified immediately. The pertinent Mission has the right to ask for further information, documentation and materials from the applicant. The Mission also has the right to instruct the applicant to make an appearance despite submitting all necessary documentation/materials. In both cases, those must be fulfilled promptly and as advised by the Mission.

  10. How long does it take to process my visa and can Ministry update me on the visa process? Each Mission of the receiving foreign country has its own time frame for visa processing. The Ministry / Maldivian Mission do not have any authority to request the relevant High Commission / Embassy to grant the visa within a specific time frame.

  11. Can my visa status be checked during the processing period? The Ministry / Maldivian Mission do not have any authority to check or verify the application’s status within the processing period.

  12. Can my visa application be fast tracked? The Ministry / Maldivian Mission do not have any authority to request the application to be fast tracked.

  13. Do I have to be present during the processing of my visa? In cases where those High Commissions / Embassies require the Applicant’s fingerprints / interview process / any other biometric details, the Applicant must be present at the High Commission / Embassy.

  14. How do I make an appointment to submit biometric details? In situations in which the visa applicant has to submit biometric details, the applicant has to personally fix an appointment with the respective Embassy. Appointments can be fixed through visa facilitation centers or from the Embassy’s website.

  15. Can I change between different visa types once it has been issued? Visas are issued for specific purposes and based on the application documents and cannot be changed. For example, a visit visa cannot be changed to any other visa type. Where there are different visa types, it is the applicant’s responsibility to apply for the correct visa type.

  16. How would I receive my passport back? Once the visa is issued, Maldivian Mission will retrieve the passport and forward it to the Ministry either by courier or with a Maldivian national travelling back to Male’. When the Ministry receives it, the applicant would be notified and the Passport will be handed over at the earliest. Once visa is issued by relevant Mission, passports can be collected from the Ministry during official working hours.

  17. Do I have to pay any fees to the Ministry? At present, the Ministry provides the Visa Facilitation service for free. However, the Ministry reserves the right to charge any fees in the future.

FAQs relevant to the Schengen Visa

  1. Which countries are part of the Schengen Area? The Schengen area covers 26 countries ("Schengen States") without border controls between them. These countries are: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. These countries apply the common visa policy for short stay visas.

  2. What is a Schengen visa? a) A transit through or an intended stay in the territory of the Schengen States of a duration of no more than 90 days in any 180-day period ("short stay visa"), b) A transit through the international transit areas of airports of the Schengen States ("airport transit visa"). Generally, the visa issued allows you to visit any of the Schengen States during the same trip, within the validity of the visa. A Schengen visa is not appropriate, if you wish to remain in a Schengen country for longer than 90 days, take up employment or establish a business, trade or profession.

  3. Do I need a visa to enter a Schengen State? Maldivian nationals require visa for travel to the Schengen States.

  4. Where do I submit my Schengen visa application? You must lodge the application for a Schengen visa at the Consulate or the visa centre of the country that you intend to visit, or – if you intend to visit more than one Schengen State, the Consulate of the country of your primary destination (i.e. main purpose of stay or longest stay). If you intend to visit several Schengen States and the stays will be of equal length, you must apply at the Consulate of the country whose external borders you will cross first when entering the Schengen area. As a general rule, you must apply for a visa at the Consulate with territorial competence for the country in which you legally reside. • For more detailed information, please visit the relevant EU website:

  5. Can I enter the Schengen area in country X, while the visa was issued by Schengen country Y? As a general rule you may cross any Schengen border with visa issued by any Schengen country. However, the short-stay visa does not automatically entitle you to enter the Schengen area.

  6. How long does the Schengen visa procedure take? As a general rule, once a Schengen visa application is submitted to the Consulate, a decision is taken by the Consulate within 15 calendar days. This period may be extended up to 30 days or 60 days. More information is available on the EU website link: Processing of a visa application

  7. How long before the start of the intended visit should I apply for a visa? Applications can be lodged no more than three months before the start of the intended trip. It is advisable to lodge an application at least 15 calendar days before the intended visit. However, it is also recommended that you lodge the visa application considering national holidays of the Schengen State of destination and in the country where you apply for the visa. Holders of a multiple-entry visa (valid for a period of at least six months) may lodge the application for a new visa before the expiry of that visa.

  8. How much does it cost to apply for a visa? The general visa fee of EUR 80 must be paid when you submit the visa application. The visa fee for children from the age of six years and below the age of 12 years is EUR 35. This is subject to change. You should always check relevant website for fee changes. If you submit the application at an external service provider (eg VFS Global/BLS Spain) you will be charged a service fee.

  9. My passport expires in two months’ time. Can I apply for a visa? In principle you cannot. It is a requirement that the expiration date of your passport have minimum 6 months duration before the expiry date.

  10. Which documents do I need to provide when submitting my visa application? Information on the documents to be submitted can be found on the Consulate or external service provider websites of the country you intend to visit.  

  11. My visa has been issued by, for example, the German Consulate. Could I use this visa to make a trip to other Schengen States? Yes. According to the Schengen rules, the Schengen visa is generally valid for all the countries in the Schengen area. Please note, however, that you always have to apply at the consulate of the country which is your primary destination. The territorial validity of your visa is indicated on the visa sticker under the heading "Valid For". You will find information on how to read your visa sticker on this page of EU website: How to read/understand the visa sticker.

  12. Can I leave the Schengen area and return again with my Schengen visa? Schengen visas may allow for a single-entry or multiple entry. With a single-entry visa you can enter the Schengen area only once. This is indicated on the visa sticker by "01". With a visa allowing for two or multiple entries you may enter twice or several times during the validity of the visa.

  13. I have a valid long stay visa/residence permit for a country that is part of the Schengen area. Do I need another visa to travel to other Schengen states? No. A long stay visa or a residence permit issued by a Schengen State allows you to travel or stay in other Schengen States, while respecting the maximum duration of a “short stay” (a stay of "90 days in any 180-day period").

  14. Do I have to present any other document at the Schengen external borders apart from my travel document with the Schengen visa? The short-stay visa does not automatically entitle you to enter the Schengen area. At border (or during other controls) you may have to show the visa but also provide additional documentation, for example information on that you have sufficient means to cover the stay and the return trip. It is therefore recommended that you carry with you copies of the documents which you presented when applying for the visa (e.g. letters of invitation, travel confirmations, other documents stating the purpose of your stay).

  15. I have connecting flights, with a stop at a Schengen state airport. Do I have to apply for an airport transit visa or a short stay visa? It is important to distinguish between two situations:

a) transit through the international transit area of an airport (onward journey where you do not leave the international transit area of the airport) b) transit via the territory of a Member State albeit limited to an airport (onward journey where you leave the international transit area of the airport).

An airport transit visa (ATV) authorises you to pass through the international transit zone at an airport located on the territory of the Schengen State and to await a connecting flight to a non-Schengen country. The ATV does not allow you to enter the Schengen territory (to stay at a hotel or to take an onwards flight to another Schengen State, for example).

To find out whether you need an airport transit visa, you can consult the overview on the EU website, click here.

Traveling to a Schengen State via another Schengen State airport is not considered an airport transit neither is travelling to a non-Schengen country via two Schengen state airports. All flights between two or more Schengen States are considered to be «domestic» flights. Depending on your nationality, you might need a short stay visa as you enter the Schengen area – even if the stay only lasts a few hours and you remain in the airport (outside the international transit zone).

It is strongly advised that you always check the transit visa requirement before you embark on your journey!

  1. Can my visa be extended? When applying for a visa extension, you must show that due to force majeure or for humanitarian reasons or for serious personal reasons it is not possible for you to leave the territory of Country before the expiry of your visa or the authorized period of stay.

  2. My Schengen visa has been refused. What can I do? Will the visa fee be refunded? You may appeal against this decision. The decision to refuse a Schengen visa and the reasons for the refusal are notified using a standard form that is handed out by the Member State's consulate that refused the visa. The notification of the refusal must include the reasons, on which the refusal was based, and the procedures and deadlines for submitting an appeal. When a Member State represents another for the purpose of issuing visas (e.g. Switzerland represents the Netherlands), the appeal procedure will be that of the Member State who took the final decision, i.e. the representing Member State which is in this example, Switzerland. You are free to re-apply again if your application has been refused earlier. However, it is recommended that you take note of the reasons for the earlier refusal before submitting a new application and make amendments, where necessary. The visa fee is not refunded if the visa is refused. The visa fee covers the cost of the examination of the visa application.

  3. I have submitted my passport to the Swiss Embassy in Colombo for visa purpose. Can I travel back to Maldives on a temporary travel document? Yes. You must apply for a travel document to the Maldives High Commission in Colombo and the mission will issue the CI after approval from the Maldives Immigration. Please refer to the Maldives HC Colombo website for procedure to obtain CI. Link:

NOTE: Currently only Sri Lanka allows foreigners to travel back on a temporary travel document. Other countries frequently traveled by Maldivians such as India and UAE do not permit to exit the country using a temporary travel document.


MFA Visa Facilitation Service - FAQs

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