Maldives targets to repatriate 20,000 unregulated expatriates in 2021

July 19, 2020: Expatriates being repatriated. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail has announced that the government will be working to repatriate 20,000 unregulated expatriates from the Maldives in 2021 as well.

Speaking in a program of PSM, Minister Fayyaz said that he would work until the issue of unregulated expatriates in the Maldives was fully resolved. 

The Minister accepted that the government had not achieved its target of repatriating 20,000 unregulated expatriates in 2020. The Minister stated that the government had so far repatriated 7,000 expatriates in 2020 and that it was estimated that 10,000 expatriates could be repatriated this year. 

“We have the permission of the Bangladeshi government to do this. We have permission for one flight (repatriation) per week right now.” Said Minister Fayyaz. 

The Minister noted that the work can only be carried out as much as passports for the unregulated workers were created. 

He noted that there were around 150,000 Bangladeshi expatriates in the Maldives. The Maldives had also stopped accepting unskilled workers from Bangladesh in 2019, according to Minister Fayyaz. The Minister noted that around 60,000 to 80,000 of these expatriates were unregulated and without the proper documents. 

The Minister then pointed out that around 7,000 unregulated expatriates and 8,000 expatriates with proper documents who wished to return have been repatriated so far. While 13,000 Bangladeshi expatriates have been repatriated so far in total, just a mere 2,000 Bangladeshi expatriates have arrived in the Maldives, according to the Minister who stated his satisfaction with the work conducted regarding the matter so far.