Accommodation providers for expats to register with Economic Ministry

Security personnel patrol as Bangladeshi workers (C) living in the accommodation block are put under quarantine after positive cases of COVID-19 coronavirus were found in the area, in Male on May 9, 2020. | Photo: Ahmed Shurau

Male’, Maldives – Economic Ministry has made a regulation making it compulsory for those who are providing accommodation to expats as a business to register with the ministry from November 29 onward.

According to the regulation, any place which provides accommodation services to expects, other than those places used by businesses to accommodate their own staff or the employers same building, need to register with the Economic Ministry. In addition to this, accommodation for those who are categorized as ‘professionals’ in the foreign workers regulation also are exempted from registrations.

Ministry had told that these accommodations need to be registered under a sole proprietorship, company, partnership or a cooperative society. Registrations have to be made through the business portal of the ministry under ‘expat accommodation’.

According to the ministry, the business registration number, business name and address of the accommodation location need to be provided during the registration and also a contact persons number need to submitted during the registration. If the building is owned by the person providing the service, that person need to provide the registration of the building as well. If the building is leased, a no-objection letter from the owner of the building must be submitted with the application.

In addition to this, the applicants are required to submit a copy of the floor plan and a document that mentions the number of rooms, number of beds and facilities must also be submitted. Also, a registration fee of MVR 500 has to be paid to the ministry.

The ministry had stated that the city council would be inspecting if the facilities follow the accommodation regulation for expats and that councils would ensure that the expats living in these quarters are documented and within the employment regulations.

The new regulations has been made after numerous cases of inhumane living facilities came up recently, Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail had said that the ministry was working on the issue earlier this year. After the Covid-19 community spread started in the capital Male’ City, most of the initial cases were found from such accommodations. In addition to this, the government has been sending back undocumented expats and also those who wanted to return back to their countries. While most of them were from Bangladesh, the government has sent back more than 8,000 of such people so far.