Maldivian Govt. gets tough on illegal migrant workers

Saturday, 28 December 2013 09:11 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Xinhua: Maldivian authorities have begun to fine local parties that employ undocumented expatriate workers and will deport illegal workers, local media reports said here Friday. Immigration Controller Hassan Ali told local media the initiative had been recommenced during this week and so far four parties have been fined due to the breach. Parties guilty of employing undocumented expats face a fine of between 2,000-10,000 rufiyaa. Repeat offence carries a penalty of between 10,000-20,000 rufiyaa whilst a third time carries a fine of 20,000-30,000 rufiyaa. If employers repeat the offence for a fourth time, the fine is 30,000-50,000 rufiyaa (US$ 2,000-3,334) and the permit to bring in expats would be revoked, local media outlet Haveeru reported. Meanwhile, the Maldives Government has decided to offer leniency for undocumented expatriate workers who want to return home at their own expense. The program to send back undocumented workers who bear the expense on their own will start Monday with leniency allowing them to return to Maldives after six months. If undocumented expats are deported, they will not be allowed to return to Maldives for 10 years. According to the Immigration Department, the program is designed to facilitate undocumented expatriate workers to legalise their stay in Maldives. Government estimates indicate that there are between 80,000-110,000 expats currently in the Maldives, out of which 44,000 are believed to be undocumented. Authorities have deported 173 expats so far this year.