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.


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