About 12 million foreign nationals arrived in Saudi Arabia in 2017 on pilgrimages, visit, work and business, said Abdulrahman Al-Yousef, Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular Affairs.
Al-Watan Arabic daily was quoted as saying on 21 February that out of this, 1.5 million arrived on visit visas and 50,000 on business visas.
Al-Yousef, while addressing the SMIC (Saudi Meetings Industry Convention), said that validity of a business visa is for two years and it allows people to enter multiple times.
The figures issued by the GaStat (General Authority for Statistics) in January 2018 revealed that over 94,000 expat workers left the Arab country in the third quarter of 2017. As a result of this, the number of expats employed in Saudi Arabia’s private and public sectors fell to 10.6 million in Q3, a fall of 94, 390 in Q2 2017 when 10.79 million were employed, said Saudi Gazette.
It was reported that about 509,180 work visas were granted during the third quarter of 2017. Of these, 22.3 percent of visas were issued by the government sector and 39.9 percent by the private sector. In addition, approximately 37.8 percent of visas were issued for hiring domestic workers.
Saudi Arabia has reportedly seen a flight of expat workers owing to the imposition of dependent fee and levies on foreign workers in 2017.
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