Only 70,000 of 146,500 foreign workers in Maldives documented

Expatriates wait for a chance at registration at the National Football Stadium in capital city Male' | Photo: Mihaaru

Male’, Maldives —The Economic Ministry has informed that there are only 70,886 documented workers who are living legally with all the required permits in Maldives.

While giving a presentation at the Economic Committee of the People’s Parliament, an official of the Economic Ministry stated that while the expat system is collecting the information of foreigners in Maldives, so far, they have noticed that there are currently 146,515 foreigners living in the country.

The official informed that over the past 24 hours they have been collecting information of foreigners on an Excel sheet in the Migration System. This sheet shows that there are currently only 70,000 foreigners living in Maldives.

Truth is there is no official statistics to show the actual number of foreigners in Maldives. There are mistakes even in the excel sheet in the Migration System.

Official stated.

The official from the Economic Ministry has stated that they have noticed several issues in the way used to collect the information of the foreigners in Maldives.

According to the official, a work visa can be achieved using a legitimate employment approval, a work visa is needed to pay for the work visa fee. However, he stated that the records of the Economic Ministry shows that there are foreigners with no legitimate employment approvals who have work visa and has provided the work visa fee as well.

The unclear number have lead to MVR 642.4 million in unpaid visa fees according to the Economic Ministry data. However, officials of the Ministry state that even this figure may be incorrect.

Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail said that while the new guidelines for foreigners in Maldives passed on 15 February was helpful in solving some issues, the pandemic had interrupted any further action on the matter.