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  4. How long does it take to go through passport control in the Maldives

Almost none of the tourists stay in the capital of the Maldives upon arrival, everyone rushes to the ferries and planes that will rush off to the paradise islands. How much time to leave between arrival in Male and transfer to your hotel? How long will the procedures take at the airport? This will be discussed in our article.

Male airport

Maldives International Airport (Velana Airport, MLE) is located just 5 km from the capital of the Republic of Maldives. The airport is small, so you do not have to spend a lot of time in it, getting from the arrivals area to the exit or at the check-in area for domestic flights.

It is a unique island airport that can accommodate any type of aircraft. It consists of international and domestic terminals. There is a separate terminal for seaplanes carrying tourists to the islands.

  • The international terminal is a kind of gateway to the Maldives. It is here that passengers of international flights pass control.
  • Flights to local airports located on other islands depart from the domestic terminal.
  • The seaplane terminal is located a short distance from the international one. The seaplane check-in counter is located next to the exit from the international terminal.

You can get from Male airport to the city by ferry (runs every 10 minutes), bus, and car. Several years ago, a bridge was built between the capital and the airport, which, by the way, is one of the attractions of the Maldives.

How to prepare for the Maldives security check

To quickly go through all the procedures, you need to prepare the documents in advance.

  • Before you go through passport control, you must have completed a migration card. Usually it is issued on the plane. Therefore, take a pen with you on your trip so that it is convenient for you to fill out the card. If, for some reason, migration cards were not handed out on the plane, ask for the card at the airport before passing through passport control. It must be completed in English.
  • Prepare international passports (must expire at least 6 months from the time of your arrival in the Maldives).

Control procedure

We advise you to be patient. Although the Maldives airport is small, the locals are quite leisurely people. Therefore, the procedure for passing the control can take a long time. In general, it looks like this:

  • After landing, passengers in the bow of the aircraft are offered to be the first to pass the control. Tourists are released in groups.
  • Upon leaving the plane, you need to prepare a passport, boarding pass, QR code with a declaration of health and a PCR test. They are checked at the entrance to the airport.
  • At the entrance to the airport building, passengers will have a temperature screening.
  • This is followed by passport control prepare your passport and migration card.
  • Customs clearance hand luggage is scanned on the scanner. The procedure may take longer if the bag contains liquids that customs officers might mistake for alcohol.
  • We pick up the suitcases from the luggage belt.
  • We find a guide who meets package tourists or we independently navigate with a transfer (for individual travelers). If you book a hotel on a resort island, you will be met by a representative of the hotel, and then will sail or fly with you to the island of your choice.

Ken Yam
Ken Yam

Timeline: Traveler Experience

It is difficult to say for sure how long it will take to complete all the procedures at the airport. Based on the experience of travelers, the time from boarding the plane to leaving the airport depends on your seats in the cabin.

  • Tourists in the tail section can wait for their turn to leave the plane for 30-40 minutes, because the passengers sitting in front go through the first control.
  • Then passengers are brought by bus to the airport. You can also spend 15-20 minutes on the bus, depending on the speed of the previous group of tourists passing the control.
  • Please note that sometimes the planes are late or make half an hour circles over the airport, waiting for the opportunity to land.
  • Screening and validation tests take minutes. At the entrance, you just need to show the QR code of the declaration of health it is not always scanned, sometimes they just glance at it.
  • Passport control can take up to 10 minutes depending on queues. Please note that behind the first row of customs booths there are also free ones, where you can go to go through control.
  • Luggage is another story. It may take 15 to 40 minutes to receive it.


How much time to leave between arrival and departure at the resort

If you are a package traveler that the tour operator is responsible for delivering, there is nothing to worry about. Your transfer to the hotel is the responsibility of the tour operator. However, if you are an individual traveler, take a time gap between arrival and ferry seaplane at least 2-3 hours. Please note that if you are sitting at the end of the aircraft cabin, this is plus half an hour of waiting. In addition, the plane can be late. It is especially important if you expect to leave for the selected island by ferry that runs on a specific schedule. Some ferries only run a few times a week and missing them is a big annoyance. If you are planning to transfer to another plane, for example, you have chosen a domestic flight, despite the small size of the airport, still leave at least 2 hours of time because you will need at least an hour to complete all procedures and check-in for a new flight.

Asad Photo Maldives
Asad Photo Maldives

VIP service at the airport

For VIP clients in the Maldives, they offer special services that allow them to go through all the procedures much faster and more comfortable. In this case, the passenger is met by a personal assistant near the exit from the plane with a sign on which the client's name is indicated. In advance, you must provide a phone number for communication. The client is delivered by car to the VIP room. All the necessary formalities related to the passage of passport control are carried out in the VIP room. It also offers snacks and drinks, as well as free Wi-Fi. The porter will take care of the delivery of the client's belongings and accompany him.

VIP services include a meeting with a nameplate near the plane, fast track (fast track of all formalities), as well as access to the VIP lounge with a lounge and a buffet. Further, they provide assistance in registering for a seaplane or domestic flight. The cost of such services is from $ 260.

For those who have chosen a seaplane as a transfer

Please note that in the Maldives, seaplanes (moving between the islands) fly on average until 15:00. In this case, you need to choose such a flight in order to arrive at Velana airport at least a few hours before the seaplanes stop working, otherwise you will be able to fly to the island only the next day.

Asad Photo Maldives
Asad Photo Maldives


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