Only 36 percent of foreign workers pay work permit fees: Minister Ihsan

Homeland Security Minister Ali Ihsan has revealed that out of the 139,000 foreigners with active work permits in the Maldives, only 36 percent are paying their work permit fees.

Speaking at a press conference in Iskandar Koshi on Monday, Minister Ihsan said the Expat system shows that 139,000 foreigners have been issued active work permits to work in the Maldives. Noting that an active work permit signifies permission for an individual to work in the Maldives, the minister said if the employer does not cancel the work permit, it will appear as an active work permit in the Expat system even if the individual is no longer in the Maldives.

While the government recently resumed allowing workers from Bangladesh to work in the Maldives after a four-year hiatus, Ihsan said the Immigration Border Control System shows that there are currently 90,624 Bangladeshis in the Maldives. This is less than the maximum limit specified in Article 65 of the Employment Act, which sets the maximum number of individuals allowed to be brought from one country to 100,000.

Ihsan said the previous government used the expat system to keep track of the number of foreign employees in the Maldives. However, the current government is using the immigration's border control system to track the numbers, he said.