Sri Lanka and Maldives deal to relax mutual visa rules

Sri Lanka and Maldives deal to relax mutual visa rules

The governments of Sri Lanka and the Maldives are set to relax reciprocal visa rules as they sign four agreements alongside Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s official visit to the archipelago this week.

Wickremesinghe arrived in the Maldives early on Monday alongside his spouse, Professor Maithree Wickremasinghe and a six-member delegation early Monday, invited by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Alongside relaxation of visa rules, the deals to be signed will cover a cover a variety of core areas including higher education, skills development and training for citizens of the two countries.

According to Sri Lankan media, the deals are set to include: an agreement on the facilitation of Visa arrangements; a Memorandum of Understanding on Matters in Higher Education and Water Supply Sectors; a Memorandum of Understanding on Vocational Training and Youth Development; and a Memorandum of Understanding on Safeguarding the Promotion of the Rights of Children, Women, Elders as well as Disabled Persons.

Sri Lanka and Maldives relax visa rules to offer short-term visa free entry

The agreement to relax visa conditions between the two nations was proposed by Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, and has since been approved by the Sri Lankan Cabinet.

The visa agreement would allow visa free entry for 90 days to Sri Lanka for Maldivians and vice versa, provided they were in possession of valid passports and sufficient funds for the trip.

The two governments would also grant multiple-entry visas for individuals enrolled at government-recognised education institutions in the other country.

The two leaders will also review the existing bilateral ties between the two countries and explore new areas for cooperation, including global matters of mutual importance.

Maldives President Solih noted: “Investing in skills development and the youth is a high priority for my government. Today, we signed important MOUs that will contribute to higher education, youth development and enhancing the capacity and quality of human resources.”

Photo: Cytonn Photography

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