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Immigration to only issue visas, work permits

12 February 2019, MVT 15:44
Immigration Controller Mohamed Ahmed Hussain. PHOTO: AHMED NISHAATH/MIHAARU
12 February 2019, MVT 15:44

Controller of Maldives Immigration, Mohamed Ahmed Hussain (Hanafee), declared on Tuesday that visas and work permits for foreigners would be issued from Immigration, although certain services regarding immigrants are being transferred to the Ministry of Economic Development.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih declared on Monday that the Economic Ministry will handle most of the services provided to immigrants starting from March, in order to combat acts of corruption within Maldives Immigration regarding immigrant issues.

Mohamed Ahmed Hussain spoke to local media Mihaaru, stating that the only services provided by Immigration would be issuing visas and work permits. The quota for these services will be determined by the Economic Ministry.

Hussain assured that the two government authorities handling services provided to immigrants, will ensure that the process is carried out with transparency.

“This way we can focus on our work and they can focus on their area. It’s better for two government bodies to be involved”, he said.

Services transferred to the Economic Ministry include:

- Registration of immigrants under the Expat Online System

- Issuing of quotas

- Issuing employment approval

- Accepting and refunding visa depository fees

Mohamed Ahmed Hussain disclosed that quotas had previously been issued from Immigration illegally to transport expatriates into the country. These include small businesses who were granted larger quotas than authorized, he said.

Additionally, the Immigration Controller stated that transferring some responsibilities under the Economic Ministry would allow the authority to diversify and improve their services, as well as branch out into the atolls.

Solving the illegal expatriate complication caused due to corruption within Immigration is one of the electoral pledges of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s administration. Transferring certain services to the Ministry of Economic Development is a paramount step to achieving this goal.

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