Parliament commences preliminary debate on amendment to Immigration Act

The parliament has commenced preliminary debate on an amendment presented by the government to the Immigration Act.

The amendment was presented to the parliament by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Chairperson and MP ‘Reeco’ Moosa Manik on behalf of the government, with the intention of easing the process for investors and foreign businessmen to settle down in the Maldives.

If the amendment is passed, residential visas will be issued for persons mentioned in article 6[a] of the Immigration Act: a foreigner married to a Maldivian, or a former spouse of a Maldivian citizen who is assigned the guardianship of their child by a court of law.

A foreigner who has invested in a business which is declared by the Economic Ministry as a large investment will also be allowed a residential visa according to the new amendment presented, or foreigners who have invested in a government project to enhance the economy of the country.

Speaking in parliament’s sitting today Peoples Alliance (PA) MP Abdul Azeez Jamal Abubakur expressed concern that the bill would allow Israeli nationals to live in the Maldives, and that it was a threat to the sovereignty of the country.

Jamal said that the bill needs to clearly define how the Economic Ministry will determine the distinction between large businesses and investments, and how many persons can have residential visas.

He also alleged that the amendment was drafted with the intention of letting specific foreigners in the Maldives have residential visas, and said he would not support the amendment.

Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) MP and Parliamentary Group leader Riyaz Rasheed also alleged that the government was attempting to deploy Israelis to the Maldives and “make them wear white jubba [Arab garment] and promote their religion in this country.”

He also claimed that the government was intending to issue the residential visas to foreigners brought to the country by Indian infrastructure giant GMR, which is managing and upgrading the country’s main airport.


6 thoughts on “Parliament commences preliminary debate on amendment to Immigration Act”

  1. Riyaz Rasheed is a chatterbox who talk rubbish in the Majlis and no Maldivian take him speciously. His problems are that State Trading Organization’s management is not granting him with credit facility for his petrol station; this is the truth behind all the prejudices. It is time that he understands that the government des not gives favors to unproductive guys like him with public funds.

  2. hey. hassan ahmed. better u close your mouth. u dont know anything.

    If he sign to MDP he will get Unlimted Credit from STO. but he dont sale his seat to MDP.

    hassan ahmed, dont talk like old lady.

  3. We welcome people of all colours, creeds and faiths. I can't see anything wrong with an Israeli setting here. Bring your money and we'll give you a passport. Nothing wrong with that. Lots of other countries do the same.

  4. @ Ahmed Bin Addu Bin Suvadheeb; Yes, people like mad man Muthalib and Adhaalath party have problems!

  5. actually there is something wrong with bringing in other faiths to the country... it will bring more problems with it. our islands being so small they are, there will be hardly any room left if every believer of every faith demands their places of worship in the islands... so no other faiths pls. 'other' countries, particularly western countries, had no choice but to 'appear' (this is important!) to be tolerant to other faiths to keep the narrative going, that they are tolerant, multi-cultural and bla bla bla.. but see their real colours today? they can't even tolerate muslim women's headdress! these so called tolerant westerners.

    SO there is nothing wrong by settling other Muslims from other countries in Maldives even if they are from Israel. The common determinator shall be Islam, not race or ethnicity.

  6. What is a resident visa? It is not indefinite and has a period to it and comes with a lot of requirements.
    This is not citizenship and the Government has the absolute authority to cancel the resident visa and send that person abroad.

    It is absolutely right that a resident visa is given to people who invest in Maldives.
    This is not the same as Permanent Resident or Indefinite Leave. A lot of Maldivians have resident visas in other countries too and they have to renew them periodically.


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