Expat work permits to be issued from Feb 15 onward

Expatriates lined up in Hulhumale' | Photo: Avas

Malé, Maldives – Economic Ministry has announced that work permits will be issued starting from February 15, under the newly formed regulations regarding expatriates working the Maldives.

An announcement made for the purpose read that work permits are to be issued upon the completion of the verification process by the Ministry which will be made through the Xpat online service system. The employers or an agent appointed by the employer of the expatriate must then present the expatriate worker to the Ministry after the verification process is completed and an appointment is made.

The verification services can be obtained from the time of entry into the Maldives and during the period to obtain the work permit.

Verification procedures are to be carried out with the biometric data and information details related to the expatriate, said the Ministry. The Ministry stated that the expatriate can only be employed upon the issuance of the work permit. The work permit, in turn, will only be issued when the required procedures are completed.

Expatriates are required to obtain a work permit and visa within 15 days of arrival. A fine plus a work permit fee of MVR 350 will be charged under the regulation if the documents are not obtained within the demanded time. Visas under the new regulation are to be issued in three categories;

  1. Professional and Managerial category: The category is for individuals working in a post that requires an MQA accredited Level 7 certificate.
  2. Non-Professional category: The category is for individuals with an education background of secondary level to MQA accredited Level 6 certificate holders. Individuals with sufficient work experience equivalent to the education specifications mentioned above are also eligible while individuals applying for work requiring little to almost no skills are also eligible. Individuals who can read manuals and requires a basic skill set with work experience are also eligible for the category.
  3. Domestic category: Individuals working in households.

The new regulation will be enforced starting from February 15. The regulation is a part of the government’s efforts to control the issue of undocumented expatriates living in large numbers in the nation. The government is also conducting repatriation operations for expatriate individuals wishing to return home as well.

The Ministry also recently opened up for institutes offering medical services required for the work permit to register at the Ministry. The forms for the registration are available to download from the Ministry’s website.