Information on Work Permit Applications in Maldives
Who needs a Work Permit
Any foreigner who is offered a job in the Maldives must obtain a work permit before taking up employment. The only exceptions are foreigners married to Maldivians who holds a marriage visa from the Department of Immigration and Emigrations and Foreign diplomats holding a diplomatic visa.
Who should apply
The prospective employer must apply to the Minister of Employment and Labour for a work permit before employing the foreigner.
How to apply
The employer must purchase the necessary application forms from the Work Permit Section of the Ministry of Employment and Labour located on the ground floor of the Ghaazee Building. This form has to be duly filled in by the employer and submitted to the Work Permit Section. Such forms are accepted over the counter.
Who requires a visa?
No prior visa is required to enter the Republic of Maldives. Entry permit will be granted to visitors on arrival at designated ports of entry, based on the immigration requirements. Free 30 days Visa upon arrival for all visitors. However an entry permit does not permit visitors to take up employment, set up any business or conduct any professional activities (paid or unpaid) except with the consent of the government and in compliance with pertinent laws and regulations of the Maldives.
Hot Occupation List
- Nursing Professional
- Hospitality Professional
- Skilled Labour
- Must be a valid passport holder
- Should be 18 years above
- Minimum Diploma/Graduate
- Minimum 1 Year Exp
Minimum Salary Wage
- 3500 Maldivian Rupya / Month
- Per week hrs of work - You work for 48 hrs/week
- Experience Letter
- Education Certificate
- Rest all your documentation manager shall guide you.
Steps to follow
1. Obtaining a quota
- All employers excluding the government must obtain a quota to recruit a foreigner before applying for the work permit.
- Before the application is made for a quota, the employer must advertise the vacancies in a local newspaper for three consecutive days. It is essential that the advertisement contains the following basic information.
- Job title
- Basic salary and other remuneration
- Work site
- Minimum qualification required
- Working hours
- Quota application forms are available free of charge from the Work Permit Section.
- Quota application will be generally processed within 3 – 5 days.
- An approved quota which is not utilized for 6 months will automatically be cancelled without further notice.
- Quota application must be filled in and submitted along with relevant documents as stated overleaf on the application form.
2. Obtaining a Prior Approval
- Once the quota is approved, the employer needs to obtain a prior approval before the foreigner arrives in Maldives for employment. This has to be submitted to Immigration authorities at the Airport for necessary Immigration clearance.
- The Prior Approval forms are available at the counter of the Work Permit Section for Rf. 10.00.
- The completed forms should be submitted to the Work Permit Section with the following documents.
A copy of the passport data page.
- Original police clearance certificate from the home country.
- A copy of the residential registry (Only for domestic servants).
- A copy of the employer’s national identity card (only for domestic servants).
- Copy of the company certificate or the certificate of the Investment.
- Educational and experience papers.
- Other relevant documents.
- Normally 1-2 days will be taken to process the approval.
3. Obtaining the Work Permit
- The employer then applies for the work permit within the 15 days after the arrival of the worker.
- The following documents are required when applying for the work permit.
The original Prior Approval Form.
- Original employment contract.
- Employee passport (to be checked and returned).
- 2 stamp size photos of the employee.
- A valid medical report from a recognized clinic either in the Maldives or overseas.
- Normally 1-2 days will be taken to process the approval.
- Once the work permit is processed, the employer must obtain a subsequent resident visa for the employee from the Department of Immigration and Emigration within thirty days after the arrival of the worker.
- If the employer does not apply for the work permit within the 15 days before the worker’s arrival, but applies within 30 days, the employer will be asked to pay a fine of Rf. 100.00 and the application will be accepted. However if the employer does not apply before 30 days, the application will not be accepted and the worker will be asked to leave the country. The employer concerned will be fined for the offence for the first time and if the offence is repeated, the employer’s quota will be suspended for 1 year.
4. Work Permit Collection
All documents pertaining to expatriate employment can be collected by the employer himself or by a person assigned by him legally. In some cases, the Employment Agencies do the collection on the employer’s behalf.
5. Work Permit Renewal
- Normally 2-3 days will be taken to process the work permits extension.
- If the work permit is not extended before it is expired but applied before 15 days after the expiration of the work permit, the employer must pay a fine of MRF 100.00 when applying for extension.
- If a work permit is not extended within 15 days after the expiration of the work permit, the worker will be asked to leave the country. The employer concerned will be fined for the offence for the first time and if the offence is repeated, the employer’s quota will be suspended for 1 year.
When to renew…
Normally a work permit can only be renewed within the 30 days before the expiry of the work permit. However, depending on the workload, the renewal of the work permit is categorized into three stages.
- All employers employing more than 35 expatriates can apply for renewal within the 90 days before the expiration of the work permit.
- All employers employing between 15 and 35 expatriates can apply for renewal within the 60 days before the expiration of the work permit.
- In addition, employers employing less than 15 expatriates can apply within the 30 days before the expiration of the work permit.
What documents to bring…
- The original work permit card
- A valid medical report
- The workers passport
- 2 stamp size photos
- A valid contract
- A letter from the employer requesting for the extension
- An authorization letter from the employer if a representative is coming on behalf of the employer.
6. The Security Deposit
- All expatriates who come for employment in the Maldives are required to keep a refundable security deposit with the Work Permit Section of the Ministry of Employment and Labour. The purpose of the deposit is to repatriate the expatriate when required. A percentage of the amount of the single airfare to the home country of the expatriate has to be kept as a security deposit when applying for the work permit. An interest of 2.5% for the minimum balance kept will be calculated biannually on the 31st December and 30th of June respectively and given to the employer. The deposit is calculated as follows:
- 100% of the single airfare for the employment of between 1 and 5 expatriates.
- 50% of the single airfare for the employment of between 6 and 35 expatriates.
- 10% of the single airfare for the employment of more than 35 expatriates.
- The deposit can be refunded after the expatriate leaves the country upon a written request made by the employer.
7. Work Permit Cancellation
- When to cancel the work permit - When the worker ceases employment in the Maldives.
- Who should cancel the work permit - The employer must request in writing to cancel the work permit.
- Where to go for the cancellation of the work permit - The employer must apply to the Department of Immigration and Emigration for the cancellation.
- What documents to bring
- The worker’s passport.
- The work permit card.
- A letter from the employer requesting for the cancellation of the work permit and a separate letter requesting for the cancellation of the residents’ visa addressed to the Controller of Immigration and Emigration.
- A confirmed air ticket for the worker to leave within 7 days from the date of cancellation.
8. Express Service:
- In order to meet the increasing number of transactions efficiently and the need to improve customer service, an express service channel was introduced. A separate counter is exclusively reserved for customers who require quick service. A nominal fee of Rf. 100.00 is charged to process the work permit related transactions.