NEW DELHI: India had tightened the visa regulations for the citizens of the Maldives, reflecting recent stress with the island nation.
As per the new rules, Maldivian nationals now intending to stay in India for over 90 days for medical, study or any other purpose have to obtain appropriate visa otherwise they may face deportation as there is no provision in India for extending the visit visa or converting to any other type.
In a notice, the Indian High Commission in Male also said, “Due to technical reasons, the HCI will henceforth require one week's processing time to issue visas for travel to India. The applicants are, therefore, advised to plan their travel and apply for visa well in time to avoid inconvenience.
“It is also informed to the general public that visa free travel facilities to India, available to Maldivian citizens, are valid for tourism purpose only. For any other purpose, people are advised to apply and obtain the appropriate visas before travelling to India,” the HCI had said last week.
The stiff visa norms comes at a time when the bilateral ties are at all-time low in the wake of anti-India protests in Maldives followed by termination of GMR airport project by the government there.