A number of Maldivians in India have expressed discomfort in obtaining Dependent Visa according to various locals there.
Maldivians living there who spoke to Maldives Wire Noted that since the signing of FTA between Maldives and China, India has decided to cancel extension of any further dependent visa for Maldivians.
“This problem started out last year when the FTA was signed. The officials at Immigration said that Maldivians are not entitled to dependent visa anymore and the children under 18 should be enrolled at hostels if they wanna continue studies without parents. Later, they said that Dependent Visa has been cancelled to all countries”, said a Maldivian who visited the Immigration Office in Bangalore few days ago.
Dependent Visa is a form of Visa issued to parents or spouses of students in Indian Colleges and schools as part of the extensive visa system of India. So far, no official statement has come from Indian Foreign Ministry regarding any change of visa policies, according to the Maldivian Ambassador in India, Ahmed Mohamed.
The Maldivian Embassy and the Foreign Ministry assured that they are working close to their Indian Counterparts to ensure a solution for the visa problem. A number of Maldivian students undertake their studies in India ranging from Elementary school to Universities.
The harsh visa policy as a “punishment” for the signing of FTA has been heavily criticized by various parties in social media as an absolute infringement of rights.