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India resumes 2018 visa exemption agreement with Maldives | Latest News India

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India has agreed to resume the 2018 visa exemption agreement with Maldives from October 15. The agreement was temporarily suspended due to coronavirus disease (Covid-19), Maldivian foreign minister Abdulla Shahid tweeted on Sunday.

“Delighted that India has agreed to resume the 2018 Dec Visa Exemption Agreement between the Maldives and India, which was temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 border closure,” Shahid wrote on the microblogging platform.

“From 15 Oct 2021, Maldivian Nationals will be exempt from visa requirements for tourists, medical and business purposes,” he added. In a subsequent tweet he also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and external affairs minister S Jaishankar for considering the Maldivian government’s request to resume the agreement.

This move comes as India is gearing up to open up for tourists from October 15 after being closed for a year. The domestic tourism industry has been disproportionately hit by the two waves of the Covid-19 pandemic. The sector accounted for about 10 percent of the Indian economy in pre-pandemic years. Maldives on the other hand has remained open for tourists since July 2020.

The 2018 visa exemption agreement eases travel for Maldivian nationals to visit India for tourism, business, education, and medical purposes and it also grants Indian employees work permits within 15 days of their arrival and eases visa rules, allowing their visa fees to be paid for by their employers. The agreement was signed in December of 2018 during the visit of Maldives President Ibu Solih.

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2021-10-10 13:06:12

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