Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labour has announced that it will reduce the duration of work visas issued to foreign employees of private sector firms to one year. The Saudi Gazette newspaper said that under the changed law, employees will now only be issued work visas with a validity of one year from a previous validity period of two years.
India is one of the major sources of manpower for the Saudi private sector.
But according to observers the new work visa rule will only indirectly affect the expats as it will be the companies which are hiring the manpower will have to go through the process of visa renewal every year. Workers employed privately at home and mostly in the driving profession are not included under the new laws.
However, domestic workers and foreigners working at government agencies will still be granted two-year visas. An estimated more than 30 lakh Indians live in Saudi Arabia and a large number of them come under the domestic category.