MVR 1.76 billion in fees outstanding for expat permits

Undocumented expatriate workers at the Galolhu National Stadium for appointments for Economic Ministry's regularization program on October 19, 2019. (File Photo/Sun/Ahmed Awshan Ilyas)

Employers owe the state MVR 1.76 billion in outstanding fees for various permits issued to expatriates working in the Maldives, according to the Home Ministry.

According to an announcement published by the ministry on the Government Gazette, the outstanding fees were for 102,807 expatriates, registered to 10,619 employers.

The ministry has instructed the employers to settle all outstanding fees and fines by June 18.

The ministry will make a public announcement listing the employers who fail to settle the outstanding payments by the deadline, after which they will be suspended via the Xpat system, with the issuance of all new permits kept on hold.

Employers can call 1500 or email to [email protected] for additional information.

The Home Ministry has also issued a statement warning of possible delays in issuance of work permits.

The ministry said it is currently revising the regulations governing the recruitment of expatriates, identifying the issues with the current system, and working on establishing an effective system to provide faster and more convenient services.

The ministry warned that there may be delays in provision of services, including the issuance of quotas, work permits and deposit refunds as it carries out the work.

The Home Ministry has established a national taskforce to address the issue of illegal migration.

Known as the ‘National Task Force on Combating Illegal Expatriate Operations,’ it has conducted 33 operations, identifying, and repatriating more than 1,700 undocumented expatriates.