Media professionals will now face restrictions working in the Maldives, as the government announces new immigration rules.

Journalists, photographers and other media professionals who need to visit the Maldives for work will now be asked to go through background checks. The department of immigration has set new rules that will require reporters to disclose personal information such as financial details, education and travel histories as well as details of their work and criminal records.

The move comes after a period of growing international press coverage over the country’s political crisis and the allegations of corruption and misconduct towards the President Abdulla Yameen. A spokesmen, Hassan Khaleel, said the measures are needed to “check who these people are and the purpose of their work.”

At the moment there is no visa category for journalists and others employed in the media sector who come to the Maldives for work on a 30-day tourist visa. For this reason, Khaleel said they will now have to apply for a business visa, which requires a Maldivian sponsor for a three month permit. However, reporters might obtain a special permission from the immigration department or a relevant ministry.

So far, four journalists from the German public broadcaster ARD and a Polish photographer have been expelled from the Maldives and are now forbidden to enter the country again for another 10 years.

These proposed laws will make the work of media professionals’ even more challenging, especially after the passing of a new defamation law, which gives authorities the power to revoke broadcast licenses, interrupt broadcasts and close media outlets.