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Travel, Study, Live & Work Overseas

Visa Information

It is The International Wanderers understanding that the Maldives does not currently have working holiday agreements in place with any other country.

However other types of visas are available. These could include work, student, skilled work or business visas.

For the most up to date and accurate information we suggest you contact the closest Embassy or Consulate of this country.




Volunteering in Maldives

There are a large number of volunteer opportunities to suit all tastes on this island paradise. Whether you are interested in conservation, environment, community uplift, social work or marine life everything is possible.

The turtle conservation program has three main goals, to gather turtles, care and rehabilitate them and finally release them back into the environment. Volunteers work with an established team of dedicated professionals at the Marine Centre situated in a remote part of an island. This location provides the perfect environment for rehabilitating the turtles before release.

Coral gardening is another unique opportunity where volunteers venture out in small expeditions to local islands and reefs collecting coral pieces. They are carried back to the main station where processing and attachment to frames takes place. The fragments of coral are allowed to grow in the frames until they are ready to be used to replenish the nearby reefs. Volunteers also help to monitor and maintain the frames on a day to day basis. Additional duties of volunteers include monitoring the local reefs and recording their conditions.

There are also many voluntary teaching positions available in Maldives. Positions for Teaching Assistants, Pre-school to high school workers and sports coaches not requiring any specific experience are very common. The children on the island need help with English and volunteers can help with all aspects of the language. Having conversations and playing with the children encourages the children to practice their language skills and build confidence. For professional teachers there are voluntary teaching positions all levels up to secondary school. During the free time, the volunteers can explore the uninhabited islands, snorkel and go night fishing with the locals. 


Working in Maldives

One third of the work force in Maldives is made up of expatriate workers, the vast majority of which are made up of labourers. But there others like doctors, teachers, and hospitality workers from a wide range of countries. Resort industry is by far the largest employer of expatriate workers. Workers from the Asian subcontinent are so common that they are typically not seen as external workers. Whereas western expatriates, who make up a minority of the imported labour force, are considered to be “foreigners”. Generally the western workforce makes up the management level of the resort industry.

The experience of working in Maldives resort industry is very different. it has to be understood that you are essentially ‘trapped’ on the resort island and there isn’t much to do expect work, swim, snorkel, or dive. If the work environment on the resort island is not to your taste, then you will not be too happy.  So before packing, make sure that your employer is an internationally recognized organization. Such places have strong rules and operating policies with HR focusing on equality with minimal cultural issues. Local employers don’t always have very strong operational policies and do a lot of things on a whim. If possible get some idea of the turnover rate at the resort as it is a direct reflection of the environment at the resort.  


Citizens of every nation are issued one month tourist visa on arrival at Maldives. However, employment is not allowed on this visa. If you find short term employment then, a registered Maldivian business can sponsor you and apply for a business visa that is valid for three months at a nominal cost. This visa can be renewed for three times, but you must leave the country each time and return on the new visa. Proper work visas are more tightly regulated and require that the employer apply to the Labour Department of the Human Resources Ministry to obtain a work permit quota so a foreigner can be hired. In the next step the permit has to be validated by the Immigration Department after paying a significant ‘deportation’ deposit in addition to annual fee.


Studying in Maldives

The literacy rate in Maldives is 98%, with schools following the British system of education. However the inland nation does not really offer a typical study environment like that found in most other countries of the world. In fact the government has a program in place to send its students to other nearby countries for higher education.

Maldives has only one university that was inaugurated in February 2011. It held the designation of a college since 1999. Some of its programs include arts, Islamic studies, marine studies, engineering, tourism, health and management. In addition to full degree programs, the university offers some short term programs.

There are many internship programs available in the country related to a variety of fields like conservation, marine life studies and reef studies. Internship programs are equally suitable for experienced professionals or students taking a gap year and wishing to gain some experience. Such programs offer no financial compensation and are strictly voluntary in nature, but participants do get accommodation, food and domestic transport. Programs require a minimum three month commitment but preference is given to candidates willing to give six month commitments.

For those interested in casual studies, then Maldives offers internationally recognized diving courses. Many of the islands have sheltered lagoons which are protected from strong open sea currents and hence provide the ideal environment for beginners. For the more serious students more advanced courses are also offered which are certified by different agencies housed on the islands. The courses are conducted in all major European languages in addition to English.


Before you take off

Please contact us if you believe information on this page is incorrect, misleading or offensive, or if something important is missing.

The International Wanderer aims to provide you with up to date and accurate information. However, content is submitted by writers/wanderers from all over the globe. Sometimes we will get it wrong. Furthermore, working holiday and other visa opportunities and requirements (or numbers allocated) may change. New working holiday agreements are constantly being negotiated between countries. We suggest that you contact the nearest consulate or embassy of the country you wish to visit to ensure you have the most recent and accurate information. For further information about this website see our Terms & Conditions.