Fewer expatriates have been detained for unpaid visa fees before leaving the country since Immigration Control adapted its policy to “international standard procedure,” Immigration Controller Abdulla Shahid has said.
Previously, expatriate workers have been allowed to leave the Maldives without paying outstanding visa fees, Haveeru reports. The policy allegedly cost the Maldivian government Rf 120 million (US$7.8 million) last year.
Shahid told Haveeru that the Maldives’ former policy allowing expatriate workers to leave with outstanding visa fees was a rare case within the international community.
Immigration recently required recruitment agencies to pay visa fees for expatriate workers for a minimum of three months in a lump sum.
Shahid said that fees are non-refundable if a worker does not stay for a visa’s entire duration.