Moving to Maldives
Maldives is home to perhaps the best beaches in the world. They are on almost every one of the country’s nearly 1200 islands and are so consistently perfect that it’s hard not to become enchanted by them – from white powder sand to luminous cyan-blue water. This fact alone is enough to bring nearly a million tourists every year to this tiny and otherwise little-known Indian Ocean paradise.
The Maldives are a chain of islands in the Indian Ocean near Sri Lanka and India with around 400 thousand inhabitants. Those considering taking up residence in the Maldives should be advised that Islam is the only religion that is allowed to be practised openly in the Maldives.
The Maldivians originally came from northern India and the Maldivian people speak the Dhivehi language, which is in the same Indo-European language family as English. It is written with its alphabet that is based on the Arabic script. The people of the islands were at first devout Hindu, then Buddhist, and finally became Muslim in the year 1153. It was a British protected sultanate from 1887 until it became independent in 1965 and a Republic in 1968. There were three failed coup attempts in the Maldives during the 1980s. The Maldives were devastated by the tsunami in the year 2004 after the large earthquake. There is a real danger of global climate change and rising sea levels that the Maldives could become uninhabitable in this century; for this reason, the Maldives has become the first government in the world to swear off the use of carbon fuels.
People of all nationalities are allowed to get a tourist visa for up to 30 days after arrival in the Maldives. According to the website of the Maldivian Department of Immigration and Emigration, Maldivian Immigration may refuse entry to people whom they feel have "strong anti-semantic religious or political views" - which could potentially be broadly defined. There are around 100 thousand foreigners working in the Maldives or illegal immigrants. Most foreigners living in the Maldives are from the other South Asian countries. Nowadays, however, there are also many tourists - around 500 thousand a year - and since 1972, tourism has become one of the pillars of today's Maldivian economy. The Maldives has dedicated several entire small islands to resort hotels so that tourists are not likely to encounter native Maldivians at home unless maybe at the capital city, Male. There are many different types of Maldivian music, such as Boduberu and Thaara, and traditional dances to go along with them.
Moving to the Maldives is not impossible, but getting a residence permit must be done from outside the country, and it entails getting a work permit first, which means having a job offer from an employer located in the Maldives for a position that no local Maldivian is available to fill.
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