The Galolhu national stadium is filled to capacity with undocumented expatriate workers who wish to register for the Economic Ministry’s regularization program.
Economic Ministry discontinued registration services at its Regularization Unit headquarters and re-opened the service at the national stadium to accommodate the overwhelming number of undocumented expatriate workers who wish to join the regularization program – many of whom queue up overnight outside the headquarters and wait long hours in queues stretching out into the street.
A large crowd of expatriate workers had been queued up outside the national stadium since Friday evening. Workers were allowed to enter the stadium and queue up at 7:30 am this Saturday due to their overwhelming numbers, though the service began at 9 am.
The expatriate workers at the stadium are being issued appointments for registration, and the Economic Ministry reports it plans on photographing and gathering information on all workers queued at the stadium.
The workers will later be sent a text message informing them of the date and time for registration – which will remove the need to queue.
The Economic Ministry has 50 desks set up at the stadium, and will issue appointments for all workers who queue at the stadium before 5 pm.
The ministry says it expects its service this Saturday to cover a large percentage of the undocumented populations, and that it will plan additional appointment sessions based on the total number of workers who are processed.
The lack of resources at the Economic Ministry had also limited the number of undocumented workers processed out of its Regularization Unit headquarters to 100-150 workers per day.
Maldives Immigration estimates the population of undocumented expatriate workers in Maldives to be close to 63,000.