Visa on arrival for Indian nationals makes it an attractive third country halt before entering the US
It’s truly mind-boggling how the Covid-19 has been affecting life and travel for people around the world. As Indians remain one of the largest groups of immigrants in America, the current restriction on work and visit visa holders from India into the US has led to a never before situation where Indians are constantly discovering newer transit hubs to travel to the United States.
The latest country to join this list is none other than the island nation – Maldives. It may be noted that during the past year, Maldives emerged as one of the top most holiday destinations for Indians given its Covid-safe status and policies to welcome Indian visitors.
It comes as no surprise that as soon as Maldives reopened its doors for Indian travelers July 15 onwards, attention was shifted on the island nation as a possible third country destination to travel via to enter the US.
Read: After Mexico, Indians now traveling to the US via Qatar (July 26, 2021)
As Maldives provides visa on entry to Indian travelers, many WhatsApp and Telegram groups were formed to explore the possibility of flying in Indian parents on B1-B2 visa via Maldives.
The American Bazaar has learnt of at least five WhatsApp groups where members are helping each other out disseminating information about guidelines while also connecting to arrange for travel partners to travel on the same dates to ease out any anxiety of long travel and stay in a third country.
According to Maldives Ministry of Tourism what also works for Indian travelers is that there is no mandatory quarantine requirement for those with a negative RT-PCR test taken 96 hours before the travel and exhibiting no symptoms.
Maldives also offers a frills-free destination as it has no elaborate requirements. All Indian travelers are expected to submit a Health Declaration on Maldives immigration portal 24 hours before arrival.
Sushil N. who joined one of the groups dedicated to travel to the US via Maldives says, “Since Maldives option is just opening up, most interested are currently enquiring about guest houses in Male and if there is an approved list of places available for stay.
“There are other concerns too such as if the travel to the US after the stay is allowed.”
But given the fact that Maldives has been welcoming Indian guests during the safer periods of the ongoing pandemic there definitely is a sense of reassurance for many having their parents travel via Maldives.