Economic Minister hails declined number of expat arrivals

July 15, 2020: Expatriate workers at the airport. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail has stated that the number of expatriates entering the nation was in decline and that most of these individuals were visa holders of the nation.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Sun, Minister Fayyaz said that there were misconceptions regarding this among the public, whereby many think that a large number of expatriates were entering the nation every day even while the government was conducting repatriation programs.

He said that the number of expatriates coming into the nation was very much in decline.

“Many say that Bangladeshi or individuals from other nations are coming every day. They are visa holders who are returning to the nation after travel. They are not new arrivals.” Said the Minister. 

Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail in an exclusive interview to Sun Online on September 14, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

During the wide-ranging interview, the Minister said that the issuance of the moratorium to Bangladesh and with the inclusion of prior applicants, around 1,500-2,000 new arrivals was recorded. 

“That is the number of new arrivals. It is a huge achievement. Previously, new arrivals were numbered at around two, three, five thousand every month.” Said the Minister.

He added that foreign workers were still required to run the economy and that the government’s main aim was to regularize expatriates and close down doors to corruption. 

The government in collaboration with Maldivian has so far repatriated more than 7,000 expatriates. The majority of these expatriates are undocumented. Minister Fayyaz, who has estimated that there are around 63,000 undocumented expatriates in the Maldives, has previously stated that the government was targeting to repatriate 20,000 expatriates by the end of 2020.