Tourism

How to Renew Your Tourist Visa in the Maldives

US passport on the beach

Step-by-step guide to getting your Maldives Tourist Visa Extension

The Maldives is one of the most beautiful places in the world — FACT.

It is also one of the most annoying countries to get your visa extension to stay longer than the standard 30-day tourist visa.

If you find yourself in the Maldives and are looking to stay a bit longer than 30-days you’re in luck — there is an option to extend up to 90 days in total (60 extra days). The process to renew your Maldives tourist visa can take awhile, but if you follow this guide you can make it as painless as possible:

What You Need

  • Application form (form IM23)
  • Passport size photo
  • $50 Visa Fee (750 MRF)
  • Expatriate Insurance (approximately $30)
  • Ticket leaving the country (your last date of stay)
  • Invoice showing paid accommodation up to your return ticket
  • Copy of the business license from your place of stay (your ‘sponsor’)
  • Copy of your passport
  • Passport

(See list at http://www.immigration.gov.mv/pages/visa.html)

Timeline

Day 1 — Submit your paperwork

Day 2 — Pay your visa extension fee

Day 3 — Retrieve your newly stamped passport

Process

The weekend in Male is Friday-Saturday so the immigration office is closed these days. Each day you’ll want to get to the office as early as possible (8AM open time) because they only hand out 75 tickets each day. The later you arrive the longer you’ll have to wait in the queue.

The main immigration office (as seen on Google Maps) is NOT the building where you want to go. You need to go to the light-yellow building across the street (where the Huravee Building Bus-Station is). Go to the 3rd floor and you’ll see the Work Permit office. Walk straight up to the desk and ask for a ticket.

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Before you head to Male — you should have your paperwork completed.

First fill out the IM23 form with your hotel/guesthouse. Make sure they fill out the entire section for the ‘Sponsor’ and you fill the entire section for yourself. They should also give you a copy of their business license and a copy of an invoice showing you’ve paid up until your ticket leaving the country.

Next get a passport size photo — you can go to the Kodak Express which is walking distance from the immigration office. If there’s no line, it shouldn’t take more than 5–10 minutes to pay, take your picture, and get prints.

After that you need to get your expatriate insurance. There is conveniently an Allied Insurance office across the street from the main immigration office. Head there with a copy of your IM23 form, copy of your passport, business license, return ticket, & invoice of stay (they can make copies at the insurance office if you need). You’ll have to fill out an Expatriate Insurance Form and pay about $30. You’ll then get a stamped copy to bring to immigration. It should take about 5–10 minutes.

Now that that’s finished — you can finally head to immigration. Bring ALL of your forms and passport and wait until your number is called. They’ll check over all your forms to make sure you have everything and ask you a few questions (why, where, when are you leaving, etc.). They may even ask for you to show your bank account to prove you have enough money to stay ($100 + $50/day). They’ll then take all the forms and your passport to review.

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If they accept your forms you should be all set — but you still have to come back to Male for 2 days 🙂 They’ll give you a receipt to pay and tell you to come back the following day. Repeat the same process — go early, pick up a ticket and wait your turn. Bring the receipt they gave you Day 1 and pay your 750 MRF fee ($50). They’ll then give you another receipt and tell you to come back the next day to get your passport. Repeat the process again — go early, pick up a ticket and wait your turn. This time present the receipt you got Day 2 and you should have your freshly stamped passport!

Note: You can easily fly out of the country for a day and return for another 30 day tourist visa. The ministry of immigration does say they have the option to refuse entry to ‘frequent tourists’, however, I’ve yet to hear about anyone being stopped at the airport. FYI Male to Colombo, Sri Lanka is $200–400 RT.

Plan accordingly as you’ll need to get your passport renewed BEFORE the last day of your visa or else you’ll be hit with a $1,000 fine on your first day over!

Full details are available from the link below:

Source URL: Medium

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