The Maldives is a tiny country consisting of little islands. It is located in the Indian Ocean south-west of Sri Lanka and India. This paradise island country is a famous holiday destination for many tourists all around the world because of its fine white sand beaches and crystal clear blue waters. The capital city is Male which is the central commercial hub of Maldives. It is a busy city full of tall buildings, offices, and retail outlets. The main religion is Islam. Shops and offices are closed during prayer times.
Do you want to work in Maldives? This country has a lot of job opportunities for Filipinos. Employers like to hire Filipino because Filipinos are generally well-educated, smart, honest, and hardworking. Another reason is Filipinos are generally fluent in English.
There are two ways to apply for a job in Maldives. One way is you apply thru an employment agency in the Philippines. This route is easy because you don’t have to search for a job. The agency will match your qualification and will find a job for you in Maldives. They will be the one to process your documents. The downside is you are going to wait until when they are going to finish processing your documents. They are going to deduct from your salary the expenses they have paid in processing your papers. The other way is applying directly to a company or resort in Maldives and processing your documents here in the Philippines by yourself. This is called direct hired which I have done that’s why I am now working here in Maldives. This is a costly way. Be prepared for a big amount of money but you can quicken the processing of your papers because you are the one doing it by yourself.
How to Apply Directly to a Company in the Maldives
This is my fourth time working in the Maldives but it is my first time working here as a documented Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), meaning I processed my documents thru POEA and I have an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC). Interested in how it works? Read on…
To start with, of course, you have to find a job online. I recommend you start searching at https://www.job-maldives.com/. You can also join LinkedIn and search for a job there. Another way is to join a Facebook group of Filipinos working in Maldives called “Filipinos in Maldives”. This is a private group so you have to get approved first by the admin before you can join. You can find a lot of jobs posted in this Facebook group. Aside from this, if you have a friend who is already working in Maldives, you can ask him or her for a job referral or recommendation. If you are already a member of the Facebook group Filipinos in Maldives, you can post there that you need a job and write your qualifications and experience. There are more than four thousand members in this group. Many of them can see your post and may help you find a job thru recommendation or referral.
Finding a job in the Maldives is hard especially during this pandemic. Many companies have temporarily closed or shut down due to this crisis. Employers in the Maldives, prioritize to hire the locals. Aside from this, most employers prefer foreign applicants who are already in the Maldives because it is easier for them to hire employees this way. Nevertheless, don’t get discouraged. I started applying in January 2020 and found a job after more than one month but they canceled the hiring because of the Covid-19 crisis. I did not give up. When I went back to the Philippines in June 2020, I started to apply for a job again until I found one in September of the same year.
Primarily you got to have an email where you send your application, resume, and other documents to the company. Then, you got to install Whatsapp and Skype on your mobile phone. Most employers use Whatsapp as a means of communication. They will call or interview you thru Whatsapp or Skype so you better be prepared and always keep your line open.
If you apply to a resort, your salary is big and you will receive a service charge so your total monthly salary is high. If you apply to a company in Male City or Hulhumale expect that they only give a low salary. If you want my personal opinion, it is better than working in the Philippines. Make sure they will provide your free accommodation and free food allowance. I got a job as the Marketing and Business Development Manager of a trading company in Male City. I lowered my salary expectations so I got the job. The important thing is that the company that will hire you should process all the employment documents needed for your POEA processing.
Processing your Work Documents as a Direct Hired Employee
Once you are hired by a company or resort in Maldives and discussed with you about your job duties, responsibilities, salary, etc, they will email you an Offer Letter. This document will be the basis for them to make your employment contract. The offer letter contains the terms and conditions of your employment which includes your job description, salary, other remuneration, service charge or commissions, working hours, leave, probationary period, and the length of your contract. Once you agree to the offer letter, then you sign it, print, scan and email it back to them. Then they will make an Employment Contract and email it to you. If you are satisfied with the Employment Contract, you sign it and send it back to them thru email. They will also ask you to email your passport copy and passport size photo. Then they will process your work permit for your visa. It may take 5 to 7 days to process your work visa. After the processing of your work permit, they will email a copy to you. Then that is the time they are going to process the necessary documents for your document sealed attestation at the Philippine Consulate (it was previously called red ribbon). You have to tell the HR that they have to submit the following documents to the Philippine Consulate:
- Employment Approval (Work Permit)
- Employment Contract
- Registration copy of the company
- Your passport copy
Employment approval (work permit) should be attested from the Ministry of Economic Development (the HR of the company will be the one to do this). All documents should be attested by a lawyer except the passport copy (the HR will be the one to process all of this). The regular service fee is $25. The processing period may take a maximum of 7 days. The company will pay for the processing fee.
When the processing is finished, tell them to send all the original documents to you via DHL or any reliable international courier. You need to give them your correct complete address so that they can send it to you. It may take 10 to 15 days for the parcel to arrive. Recommend DHL to the company. It is faster and reliable.
When you received the documents, go to the office of POEA and ask for the checklist for direct hire. They will give you the checklist where you can see the other required documents to process your OEC. There are two phases of this process. Phase one includes the following documents:
- Passport and photocopy of your passport
- Employment Approval (Work Permit)
- Employment Contract
- Registration copy of the company
- Attestation from the Philippine Consulate (the paper with the seal)
- A certified true copy of your Transcript of Records
- Certificate of employment from previous jobs
After you have submitted all the required documents for phase one, you have to wait for a maximum of 15 days to receive a POEA clearance for the ban on Direct Hired. You have to call the POEA office to follow-up from time to time before you go to their office. Once they informed you that you already have the clearance, then you go to their office to get your documents and they will tell you to do the requirements for phase two of the processing. This includes:
- E-Registration (done online on POEA website)
- PEOS (done online on POEA website)
- PDOS (needs to have an appointment first at OWWA)
- Insurance from a private insurance company (preferably Paramount Insurance)
- Payment of OWWA fee
- Payment of POEA processing fee
It is important to note that you do the medical first before you get the insurance and pay the OWWA fee and POEA processing fee.
After you have accomplished the requirements for phase two, POEA will make your OEC and will give it to you on the same day you have submitted all the requirements and paid all the fees. You have to make a photocopy of everything and keep it for yourself.
Once you have the OEC, you have to book a flight or your company will book a flight for you, depending on your arrangement. In my case, the company won’t pay for my flight going to Maldives so I have to shoulder the cost myself. Nevertheless, my employer will pay for my return ticket and my flight tickets for my yearly vacation. Most of the companies especially the resort will pay for your flight to and from the Maldives. You have to be clear about it with your employer from the start. Otherwise, the plane ticket is very expensive.
Since the pandemic, there is an additional requirement for you to travel abroad. You will need to take an RT-PCR Test from a DOH-accredited testing center. You need to get the original copy of the swab test result and present it upon checking in at the airport. If you are traveling on a domestic flight, you need to get a travel permit first from your municipality or police station. You will also need the travel permit upon checking in at the airport. Within 24 hours before your flight to the Maldives, you have to register on Maldives’ health declaration website called Imuga. This is the link: https://imuga.immigration.gov.mv/. Once you are on this website you select “Traveller Health Declaration” and click on it. Also before the day of your flight, make sure you install the Traze mobile app on your mobile phone to get a QR code. Make a screenshot of the QR code. You will need to show this upon your international flight.
Upon arrival in the Maldives, you will need to take a 14-day home quarantine in your accommodation then you will need to undergo an RT-PCR test before you can start working.
So there you have it, the step-by-step guide on how to work in the Maldives as a direct hire. I hope this will be a big help to all our fellow kababayans who wish to work in the Maldives. Do not be afraid. Pray always. Ask for God’s guidance. He will guide you and protect you. God bless you.
Disclaimer: This guide is based on my experience and my own opinion. Some information may change from time to time.