Nasheed, who had been jailed for 13 years on terrorism charge in 2015, was welcomed at Male airport by president-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and hundreds of supporters.
He arrived two days after the country’s Supreme Court withdrew a warrant for his arrest in the case.
Nasheed became the country’s first democratically elected president in 2008 but had to resign in 2012, in what he described as a coup.
In another development, Parliament Speaker Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed resigned from his post hours before impeachment motion against him was to be taken up this evening.
Maseeh, close to outgoing President Abdullah Yameen, was served with impeachment motions by opposition several times in the past but was never taken up by Parliament.
However, with reinstatement of 12 disqualified MPs by Supreme Court recently, the majority has shifted to opposition.
Yameen suffered a surprise defeat in Presidential elections held in September.