The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has publicly appealed for Maldivians to register online at the ministry's website before travelling abroad for the upcoming academic holidays.
While appearing on RaajjeTV's "FalaSuruhee" programme, the ministry's Joint Secretary, Badhoora Saeed described the importance of registration as a protective measure for Maldivians while abroad and revealed that arrangements have been made for online registration.
Badhoora also highlighted the importance of registering at the embassy of the destination country as many Maldivians neglect to do so.
Moreover, she reminded travelers to have a copy of their passport and ID card and inform family of the accommodation's address so that the ministry can easily reach out to help in case of an emergency.
It is very difficult when we are not able to contact the person we are trying to help. The ministry recommends double-checking if the destination country requires visa, the visa's duration as well as the passports expiry date, and whether the passport at least 2-3 empty pages.
~ Joint Secretary Badhoora Saeed
While noting that many Maldivians travel for medical reasons, Badhoora highlighted the importance of double-checking whether the medication the individual is travelling with is permitted in the destination country, as the medication may be confiscated, causing a huge loss to the patient.
Additionally, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdulla Humaid, added that travelers should double-check the duration of the visa issued by the destination country's immigration, even if the country has made a visa-waiver agreement with the Maldives for 90 or 180 days.
He further emphasized that over-staying the visa duration is a criminal offense and reminded travelers to return before the visa's expiry date.
The ministry has advised the public to safeguard important travel documents such as passports, and instructed travelers to report lost documents to the nearest police station to request temporary travel documents in addition to the police report .
Our ties with foreign countries depends on the level of respect we give to that country's laws and regulations while visiting the country. Lately, the number of crimes committed by Maldivians abroad has increased. These things can impact the ties between nations.
~ Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdulla Humaid
Furthermore, the ministry strongly recommends Maldivian travelers going abroad during the academic holidays to be mindful of and abide by the destination country's laws and regulations.