The revolution of the Maldivian passport

The first Travel Document to a Maldivian was issued on 1950s, by the Ministry of External Affairs. It was named as the Maldivian Pass, which was only valid to travel between Maldives and Ceylon. It is said that the reason for introducing this travel document was for trade purposes, precisely for fish exporting.

The first Maldivian passport was issued from the High Commission of the United Kingdom, based at Colombo, Sri Lanka. This series was known as the British Passport, and it enacted all the Maldivians to travel to abroad as a ‘British protected person of the Maldives islands’.

This British Passport was replaced by introducing the first Maldivian Passport on 20th April 1964.

The Ministry of External Affairs issued this passport, which was the first ever passport issued from an authority of the Maldivian government, as a result of the independence demands from a British protectorate, by the former Prime Minister of Maldives, Ibrahim Nasir.

Passport was again transformed on 12th December 1965, soon after the Maldives reclaimed independence on 26th July 1965. This series was issued by the newly inaugurated Passport Office of Maldives, the office designated for immigration control of Maldives. The total cost of this passport was MVR4.

The second series of the passport issued after the independence, the ‘A’ series, was introduced on 1975. This was replaced by the 2nd issue of ‘A’ series of passport on 1980, which was the first issue after the Passport Office re branded as the Department of Immigration & Emigration. The 3rd and 4th issue of the ‘A’ series was issued on 1990 and 2003 respectively. The first electronic passport, the 1st generation e-passport (also known as bio-metric passport or digital passport) was introduced on the 42nd anniversary of the Maldives independence, which was on 26th July 2007. E-passport has an embedded electronic microprocessor chip which contained bio-metric information. This information was used to authenticate the identity of the passport holder.