Maldives Immigration on Sunday denied claims that it was denying work permits to Indian citizens.
Immigration Controller Mohamed Anwar refuted the claims, and said that Maldives Immigration officers do not discriminate when carrying out their duties.
The authority would continue to grant Indian citizens work permits and visas in accordance to the immigration regulations of the country, he had said.
“We’ve been issuing business visas, dependent visas and work permits to Indian nationals. We have been granting these permits to the Indian citizens, and we will continue to do so, within the confines of our regulations.”
“This year so far, we’ve been providing our services without any restrictions. We would not restrict work permits for targeted countries,” Anwar assured.
While Maldivian citizens are required to carry any previous passports when travelling to India, Anwar noted that Maldives does not enforce any such protocols on Indian citizens travelling to the Maldives.
Indian media had recently reported that the Maldivian Immigration was denying work permits and refusing to renew the permits for Indian citizens working in the Maldives. Reportedly some premier resorts in the country had specifically stated “Indians need not apply” on job advertisements since the Maldivian government was allegedly refusing to issue work permits to them.
Meanwhile, foreign recruitment agencies in Maldives also concurred that there have been some problems in acquiring work permits for Indian citizens recently. However, they said that work permits were still being granted to Indian citizens in white-collar jobs in the Maldives.
Indian politicians were quick to weigh in on the Maldives-India work permit, with Indian National Congress’ President Rahul Gandhi using the opportunity to criticise the Indian government. He had sourced a link to an article about the issue and said on Twitter “this is what happens when foreign policy becomes all about photo ops and ‘no agenda meetings’ instead of strategic intent.”
The Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayal Vijayan had reportedly sent a letter to the Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj urging him to resolve the matter as soon as possible. He told Swaraj that the news had caused much anxiety to the people of his state since there are over 30,000 people from Kerala working in the Maldives.