Do I need a Maldives visa to enter the country? Where and how can I fill out the health declaration form (IMUGA)? What are the current Maldives entry requirements? You can find all the information about visas, PCR tests, passport validity, and more in this article. You’ll learn tips and tricks that can help you avoid unnecessary problems and save time when planning your dream trip to the Maldives.
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Are the Maldives open for tourists now?
In short, yes, the Maldives has fully opened its borders to tourists from all over the world, without requiring vaccination certificates, PCR tests, or other pandemic-related restrictions that we have all faced.
It is important to know:The Maldives has been fully open for tourism without any restrictions since April 2022. Since then, the country has not introduced any new entry requirements or closed its borders.
You can always check the latest COVID-19 entry requirements for the Maldives on the official website Timatic.
If you need to take a PCR test before departing to a third country from the Maldives, which is required by the legislation of that third country, you can take the test at any hospital on the islands. There is a small hospital on every local island. All you need to do is contact an employee of your hotel or guesthouse in advance, and they will schedule a PCR test for you.
If you’re staying on a resort island, they will even arrange transportation for you. The test results will be sent to your email within 24 hours.
- PCR testing has always been expensive in the Maldives. The cost of a PCR test ranges from $60 to $100, depending on the hotel, island, and other factors.
If you’re staying on a local island with a hospital, you can go there and find out all the necessary information yourself.
Do I need a visa for Maldives?
A pre-approved visa is not required for entry to the Maldives.
Upon arrival, a tourist visa, also known as an entry stamp, will be placed in your passport indicating the number of days you’re allowed to stay in the country, depending on your nationality, but a minimum of 30 days. For example, Russian citizens are allowed to stay up to 90 days.
Currently, citizens of EU countries and America are given entry stamps for 30 days.
It is important to know:Please note that 90 days and 30 days are not equivalent to 3 and 1 month, respectively. The day of arrival, even if it is late in the evening, is counted as a full day. If you exceed the departure date from the Maldives by even one day according to the stamp, you will be removed from the flight, stamped with deportation, and recorded in the database. You will lose a lot of money, time, and nerves. Therefore, if you arrive on March 20 for 90 days, you must leave not later than June 17.
Also, a few general points to keep in mind:
- All children of any age, even infants, can only enter the country with their own passports.
- All passports must have a validity period of at least 6 months from the date of entry into the Maldives. However, you can leave the Maldives without any problems even if the passport has less than 6 months validity remaining.
Maldives entry rules: documents, declarations, prohibitions
And now let me tell you in detail about the Maldives entry rules, which documents are required, what is checked, what is prohibited, and so on.
Important:The entry rules for all tourists to the Maldives are the same.
- Passport with a validity of more than 6 months from the date of entry into the Maldives.
- Return tickets. They are often requested, but not always. It is enough to have the paid tickets on your phone.
- Hotel or guesthouse reservation for the entire duration of your stay. In fact, if you plan to travel to different islands and change accommodations several times, it is enough to show only the first reservation. Printing the reservation is not necessary, a screenshot on your phone is sufficient.
- Health declaration, also known as IMUGA, which you will fill out before departure. It will be discussed in detail later in the article. It is always checked, and without it, you won’t even be allowed on the flight to the Maldives.
- Medical insurance, any type. It is not checked often, but it is checked. I think it goes without saying that in a country where medical care is expensive, there are stingrays, sharks, stonefish with poisonous spines, triggerfish that attack swimmers, and many other potentially dangerous creatures, everyone is obliged to have insurance.
- Read more about medical insurance in the Maldives, pitfalls, and how much medical care costs on the islands here.
What is prohibited to bring to the Maldives
Briefly, since all the points are generally clear. I will provide some clarification where needed. These items will be confiscated at the border, and some can even result in imprisonment.
- Alcohol: The Maldives is a Muslim country, and therefore there is a complete ban on importing alcohol. It is not permitted to import even 50ml, and all alcohol will be confiscated.
- Anti-Islamic literature or items: I would like to point out that a cross or Bible is permitted. Anti-Islamic items are those that paint the religion in a negative light and call for a rejection of Islam.
- Spearfishing equipment
- Dogs: Yes, there are no dogs in the Maldives. They are completely prohibited, even if you are very wealthy and want to bring your pet dog on vacation, who has a passport, vaccinations, and all possible certificates, you have zero chance. There are no exceptions.
- Pork and pork products: Again, this is a reference to Islam. You will not find any dishes or products containing pork in the country’s stores or restaurants. Learn more about religion in the Maldives and how it affects tourists and their vacation.
Read more interesting facts about the Maldives in the article at the link.
Good to know:Drones or quadcopters can be officially imported to the Maldives. However, flying them is strictly prohibited on all resort islands. But on local islands, no one really cares, so feel free to fly to your heart’s content.
IMUGA Health Declaration
Since the cancellation of the PCR test and vaccination certificate requirement for tourists entering the Maldives, a mandatory electronic health declaration called IMUGA has been introduced.
In reality, there’s nothing complicated about it, and the process is extremely simple. Here’s what you need to know:
- You must fill it out for each tourist.
- Twice, in fact: the first time before your trip, 96 hours before your arrival. The second time before your departure, also 96 hours before your Maldives flight.
- It’s free.
- The website where you need to fill out IMUGA is https://travel.immigration.gov.mv/
- Before filling it out, prepare the following information so that you have it on hand: flight numbers, arrival and departure dates and times, the country you’re flying from, a scan of your passport photo page, and most importantly, have your photo (like in your passport) ready to upload. The whole process takes about 5 minutes.
So:You should receive a QR code like in the photo above. Save it to your phone, that’s enough. It is checked upon boarding the flight and upon arrival at the Maldives airport.
Visa run – what is it and how does it work in the Maldives
The topic is narrow and not very popular, but sometimes tourists ask.
What is a visa run:The literal translation of the word is “running for a visa” – visa run. It’s popular in many Asian countries. The essence of the process is that when your stay period on the stamp is about to expire, you need to leave the country and re-enter, and then you will receive another stamp and another 90 or 30 days of stay in the country.
Visa runs do not work in all countries, as it depends on the immigration laws. But it works in the Maldives. For example, if you are a citizen of the United Kingdom, you will be given a 30-day stamp upon arrival. At the end of the validity of this stamp, you must leave the country for at least a day and return. Upon arrival, you will receive another 30 days in your passport.
Today, tourists in the Maldives mainly do visa runs to Sri Lanka or the UAE. Why? Because it’s also visa-free for most people and cheap flights are available there.
- The article in the link provides useful information on how to get to the Maldives. There are many interesting options and routes, as well as advice on where direct flights depart from and how to do it cheaply.
What can’t be exported from the Maldives
The topic of “Maldives entry rules” is not only about what is prohibited to import, but also about what is prohibited to export. The list is also standard: weapons, drugs, and so on. But there are a few points that you need to know, and there is a lot of contradictory information on the Internet.
- Seashells. I don’t know who is writing this, but it is allowed to export them. No one will do anything to you for taking 10 beautiful shells from the beach. Perhaps if you bring a live “endangered” mollusk in your shell, there may be questions. But you can take as many shells from the beach and souvenir shops as you like.
- Corals. It is only prohibited to export live corals, but I hope everyone understands this. Even touching them with your hands while snorkeling on the reef is not allowed. Remember this and protect nature. However, you can export dead corals from the beach or souvenir shops. If you are worried, take a receipt, especially if you are carrying a large piece of coral, which is sold in large quantities in shops (as in the photo below).
- Turtle shells and any souvenirs made from them. Here there is a total ban, it is better not to even try to buy them. There is no demand for such souvenirs, no market, and the turtles will continue to live. And there are many of them swimming near the beaches on the reefs, so it’s better to see them alive.
And now to summarize for those who may have read inattentively or in fragments:
- Visas are not required for tourists from all over the world to visit the Maldives. A stamp for 30 or 90 days is issued free of charge upon arrival.
- Are the Maldives open now? Yes, they are open just like in the good old days, without PCR tests or vaccinations.
- Maldives entry requirements are standard, just like in the rest of the world. Among the peculiarities, alcohol and dogs cannot be imported in any amount. Bringing your pet on the trip is not possible.
- It is mandatory to fill out an electronic health declaration, known as IMUGA, 96 hours before departure to and from the Maldives.
And for information on safety for tourists on the islands and what dangers may await in the Maldives, please read the link.
In conclusion, now you know all about the visa for Maldives, Maldives entry rules, and the IMUGA health declaration. You can confidently start planning your dream trip. Trust us, the Maldives will not disappoint, and the relatively simple visa regime makes this country even more attractive for tourists.
Resources to help you plan your dream trip to the Maldives