The department of immigration has temporarily ceased issuing quotas to employment agencies for bringing in expatriate house maids or domestic servants.
According to local media, the department would not be issuing employment approval for house maids from August 21 to November 30 as part of efforts to clamp down on illegal immigrants.
The move follows a freeze on issuing quotas for farmers, tailors and barbers earlier this month.
An immigration official told newspaper Haveeru that house maids were often thrown out by their employers.
“These immigrants survive by doing odd jobs and any other kind of work they can find. Most of these immigrants have come as housemaids. Identifying the vocation with other vocations that may facilitate human trafficking, we have decided to discontinue allowing quota for housemaids even. This move will restrict illegal immigration,” the official was quoted as saying.
He added that the restriction would encourage hiring Maldivians for vacancies.
The immigration department deported 6,400 undocumented workers between January and July this year.
A special operation to deport undocumented workers was announced on April 24, with Minister of Defence and National Security Mohamed Nazim – also in charge of the immigration department – promising “the whole Malé will be cleaned [of migrant workers]” within three weeks.