The department of immigration and emigration has temporarily ceased issuing quotas to employment agencies to bring in foreign workers for farming, tailoring and barbershops.
The department said in a press release yesterday (August 11) that the freeze was enforced on August 7 and would continue till October 30.
The move was intended to assist efforts to deport undocumented workers, reduce the influx of expatriate labour, and provide job opportunities for Maldivians, the department explained.
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.