Immigration: No constraint on visa issuance to any nationality

Tourists pictured at an Immigration counter at Velana International Airport. (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

Maldives Immigration says it has not placed any direct or indirect constraint on issuance of visas to citizens of any country.

The statement comes after Chief Minister of State for Kerala, India, Pinarayi Vijayan requested the Indian government to solve the issue of work visas to Indian nationals working in Maldives.

In the letter addressed to Minister of External Affairs of India, Sushma Swaraj, Vijayan said more than 30,000 Indian nationals work in health, education and tourism industry of Maldives, most of them from Kerala.

Vijayan said they were facing work visa issues from Maldives, and expressed deep concern over the issue.

He said work visas which are arranged within the matter of a week are now taking too long to get arranged. He requested the Indian government to take it as a serious issue and provide Indian migrant workers with a solution to the problem.

Meanwhile, information officer at Maldives Immigration, Hassan Haleel reported to “Sun” that the authority has granted work visas to 2,621 Indian nationals so far this year.

Haleel said the authority has not placed any constraint on issuance of work visas to any nationality. He said holding work visas due to any issues that may arise is not specific to any nationality, but dependent on individual cases.

“We have refused visas to people from countries such as China, Bangladesh, Germany and Italy. Approximately 1,100 visa applications are rejected each year due to various reasons. This doesn’t mean a specific people are being targeted for rejection,” said Haleel.

Haleel said the Indian government has not reached out to express any official concern over an issue related to work visa issuance.