Govt restricts 25 business sectors for expatriates

Maldives government launched nationwide efforts to crackdown on illegal immigration -- Photo/ Maldives Immigration

Ministry of Economic Development and Trade announced restrictions on multiple business activities for expatriates.

The move aims to address the extensive involvement of expatriates, especially illegal immigrants, in various business sectors.

Government has been taking stronger measures to curtail this.

In announcement made by the ministry on Thursday, it has confirmed a total of 25 business sectors are now restricted for expatriates.

This include;

  • Online businesses including e-commerce and retailing
  • Wholesale trade (except for construction materials)
  • Domestic logistics
  • Postal and courier services
  • Sale of food and beverages
  • Rental services (inclusive of construction and heavy-duty machinery)
  • Employment and recruiment agencies
  • Travel agencies, tour operators, reservations agencies and similar entities
  • Landscaping
  • Public Administration and work related to national security
  • General Tuition class and Quran Class
  • General Clinics
  • Repair of computers, general and home appliances
  • Programming and broadcasting 
  • Legal profession
  • Photography and videography
  • Development of picnic islands
  • Commercial usage of vehicles
  • Souvenir and handicraft work
  • Manufacture of rubber and plastic laden materials
  • Manufacture of tobacco-based products
  • Woodwork (except for furniture)
  • Mining and coring
  • Sand mining
  • Forestry

With expatriate population in Maldives at alarming levels, the government recently launched a nationwide effort to crackdown on illegal immigration.

Maldives Immigration last Sunday said that through their efforts, over 1,800 illegal expatriates have been deported already.

In a joint-operation last Saturday, the authority had discovered and detained another 83 illegal immigrants.

Minister of Homeland Security and Technology Ali Ihusan said the entire process of legitimizing illegal immigrants or deporting them will be completed within three years.