DTI News

June 12, 2024
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Major changes in Saudi Arabia rules for foreign workers: concerns rise for Indian workforce

Saudi Arabia: In a significant development, Saudi Arabia has recently introduced changes to its rules governing foreign workers, with potential implications for the substantial number of Indian workers employed in the country. The adjustments primarily focus on tightening visa regulations for the recruitment of foreign domestic workers, making it somewhat more challenging for unmarried individuals in Saudi Arabia to hire foreign workers.

According to information from the Saudi Gazette, the official website of Saudi Arabia, the new rule from the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development stipulates that unmarried Saudi citizens can only hire foreign citizens for domestic work after reaching the age of 24. This criterion must be met before a Saudi visa is granted to the foreign worker.

This move has sent shockwaves through the Indian community, given that a significant portion of the workforce in Saudi Arabia comprises Indian citizens. According to a report from the Indian Foreign Ministry, an estimated 26 lakh (2.6 million) Indian workers are currently employed in various sectors in Saudi Arabia. With the implementation of these new rules, the demand for foreign workers below the age of 24 is expected to decrease, impacting Indian workers seeking employment opportunities in the country.

The decision by Saudi Arabia to modify its rules is believed to be a strategic move aimed at regularizing the labor market. In an effort to streamline the employment process and facilitate communication between employers and foreign workers, the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources has introduced the Musaned platform. This platform is designed to provide employers with information about their rights, duties, and relevant work-related details. Additionally, it serves as a channel for issuing visas to foreign workers, fostering a more organized and efficient system.

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