Saudi Arabia has one of the highest percentages of foreign workers employed in the world. Most workers are employed in the construction industry, hospitality industry and the energy sector. Indians and Egyptians take the top positions in numbers and percentage of population of non-resident migrants. Other than highly qualified white collar professionals playing roles as doctors, engineering, architects, chartered accountants, and bankers; the rest are employed in electronics, gold, automotive and textile industry. Indian expats constitute of less than 3% of the population. With such a huge diversity of roles played in Saudi Arabia’s growth, expatriates and their families now have it easier to get re-entry visas in their home countries. The Saudi Foreign Ministry announced recently that government as well as private employees can have their visas renewed from Saudi consular departments at Saudi Embassies abroad.
Foreign talent can qualify for renewals if they do not stay in the home country for more than seven months or one year fro their dependents. Workers should produce letters from their legitimate employers and have it authenticated by Council of Saudi Chambers and the Saudi Foreign Ministry. Supporting this application should be copies of residence permits and personal details as required.
For domestic household workers, only under ‘exceptional circumstances’ can they apply for renewals of their work visas. The rational behind the changes is to help expats and dependents working in Saudi Arabia who go home for various reasons, can go back to the oil rich country and continue contributing to Saudi Arabia’s monumental growth. According to an Indian ministry publication, unskilled and semi-skilled workers constitute 70% of Indian migrants, while 20% are white collar workers and 10% fill the professional workers category.
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