Maldivian passport
The front cover of the current biometric passport.
Issued by Maldives
First issued25 January 2016 (latest update)
EligibilityMaldivian citizenship
Expiration5 years from the date of issue

Maldivian passport is a proof of citizenship, issued by Maldives Immigration, to all the nationals of the Maldives for international travel. The current passport, the 2nd generation e-passport, was launched on 24 January 2016.[1] This passport consists of a highly secured poly-carbonate data page with laser engraved photo and data. Each visa page of the passport has a different design, represented with numerous illustrations by the Maldivian local artist, Hussain Ali Manik.[2] A Maldivian Passport can be issued to any Maldivian citizen who applies for a passport.

Maldivian passport is one of the most secure biometric passports in the world with 34 visible and invisible security features and full compliance to the highest security passport standards.[1] The Maldives is the first country in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation SAARC to introduce such a sophisticated bio-metric passport.

According to Henley Passport Index (2024 update), Maldivian passport is the most powerful passport in South Asia, ranked globally at 58,[3] enabling travel to 94[3] countries without a prior visa.


The first Maldivian travel document was issued in the 1950s by the Ministry of External Affairs (now Ministry of Foreign Affairs), called the Maldivian Pass. This was only able to be used for travel between Maldives and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), and mainly used for trade purposes.[4]

The first actual passport for a Maldivian was issued from the British High Commission in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in the 1960s and the series was known as the British passport. It enabled Maldivians to elsewhere as a "British protected person of the Maldives islands".[4]

The new, first ever Maldivian passport was introduced on 20 April 1964. This was issued by the Maldives Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was the first ever passport issued by an authority of the Maldives government, which was under the then Prime Minister of Maldives, Ibrahim Nasir. The series introduced on 12 December 1965 was issued by the new Maldives Passport Office, after full independence was attained on 26 July 1965.[4]

The second series of the passport issued after full independence, the "A" series, was introduced in 1975, replaced by a second issue the same series in 1980, by the newly formed Department of Immigration & Emigration. Third and fourth issues of the A series were issued on 1990 and 2003 respectively.[4]

The first electronic passport, or e-passport, was introduced on the 42nd anniversary of independence, 26 July 2007, containing an embedded microprocessor containing biometric information.[4]

The 2nd generation e-passport was launched on 24 January 2016.[1]

Types of passport

Electronic passport

Electronic passports are issued to Maldivians aged 10 years and above. An electronic passport is issued only to the applicant. Additionally, applicants between 10 and 18 years of age needs to attend Maldives Immigration with one of the applicant's parent.[citation needed]

Application can be made for electronic passports with either 32 pages or 48 pages. A passport with 32-pages costs MVR 1,000 and 48-pages costs MVR 1,500. Validity of all types of passports are 5 years. If the applicant is under the age of 18, a passport can be issued by the request of either a parent, or by a legal guardian.[5]

Non-electronic passport

Non-electronic passports are issued to children below the age of 10 years, applicants residing abroad; who are therefore unable to attend to collect the passport, applicants who are above 70 years of age and are unable to attend to collect the passport, and for an applicant with permanent illness/disability or temporary medical condition which renders an applicant who is about to travel, unable to walk or have difficulty in walking.[5]

Emergency passport

Emergency passports are mostly issued in medical cases when the applicant is unable to attend to Immigration, due to the critical condition of an illness. In addition to the application form, doctor's letter will be needed with the explanation of the medical condition of the applicant. These passports are issued even during non-working hours and during public holidays.[5]

Maldives passport card

On 11 October 2017,[6] the Maldives introduced a novel multi-application card that, as well as being a passport, can be used for payments, national ID requirements, as a driving licence, health card, and insurance card.[7][8][9] Known as the Passport Card, the document was developed by Maldives Immigration in conjunction with Hamburg-based DERMALOG Identification Systems.[9][10]

The new card claims to be the world's first bankcard made of polycarbonate material with a dual-interface chip for contactless and contact card reading.[10][11] Certified by the Bank of Maldives as well as by MasterCard, this allows it to be used internationally for payment like any other MasterCard.[9]

The government anticipates that additional services and information will be added in the future such as eTransport, academic information, and medical information.[9]

The card contains biometric data[12] of the cardholder, such as fingerprints and these features allow the Maldives Passport Card to be used as a regular passport at all borders of the Maldives, including its new eGates.[9] The Passport Card conforms to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) international passport standards[9] and has "PCMDV" as the first 5 characters in its machine readable zone MRZ).[13]

Visa requirements

Main article: Visa requirements for Maldivian citizens

Countries and territories with visa-free entries or visas on arrival for holders of regular Maldivian passports
  Visa free access
  Visa on arrival
  Visa required

In 2018, Maldivian citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 83 countries and territories, ranking the Maldivian passport 59th in the world according to the Visa Restrictions Index.

See also


  1. ^ a b c "President Launches Biometric Passport and Immigration Auto-Gate Service". The President's Office.
  2. ^ "Maldives - Overview - Success Stories - DERMALOG - The Biometrics & Security Innovation Leader".
  3. ^ a b "Global Passport Ranking".
  4. ^ a b c d e "The Revolution". Maldives Immigration. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  5. ^ a b c "How to Apply".
  6. ^ "Maldives Immigration". Republic of Maldives. 11 October 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Maldives introduces new 'passport card'". Maldives Independent. 12 October 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Maldives Immigration". Republic of Maldives. 11 October 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2018. Apart from being an identity travel document, the Passport Card launched today can be linked to the holders' account at the Bank of Maldives, and insurance plan at Allied Insurance.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Maldives Unveils Multi-Application Passport Card". ID & Secure Document News. Reconnaissance. November 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Maldives Unveils Multi-Application Passport Card". ID & Secure Document News. Reconnaissance. November 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2018. This unique polycarbonate passport card is manufactured with exceptional levels of technology and with the highest levels of security, by German company Dermalog.
  11. ^ "Maldives Immigration". Republic of Maldives. 11 October 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2018. The Maldives is the first country to introduce a multifunctional polycarbonate passport card.
  12. ^ "Mastercard and Bank of Maldives Introduce Passport Card in Partnership with Maldives Immigration". Mastercard. 26 October 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2017. Maldives Passport card is a Mastercard Biometric Debit Card issued by the Bank of Maldives. It is a Dual Interface Chip card with additional features and applications. It is the first Payment card in the World by a network which has Passport, National ID and Driving license of the cardholder in one plastic card. The Mastercard Passport Card can be used for a wide range of purposes/services. Primarily the Passport Card is an identity travel document complying with the ICAO data standards allowing it to be used at e-gates at the Maldives International Airport. Additionally, it can be used for identity verification by law enforcement agencies. It can also be used to provide government services such as medical services and other e-services.
  13. ^ "Maldives Passport Card" – via