|19 August, 2019

Instant labor visa service launched in Saudi

This service aims to achieve significant growth in Saudization rates

Airport customer service representative holding passport. Image used for illustrative purposes.

Airport customer service representative holding passport. Image used for illustrative purposes.

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RIYADH – The Ministry of Labor and Social Development on Monday announced the launch of instant labor visa service through its qiwa electronic portal. This will enable those private sector firms, which achieved higher percentage of Saudization and full compliance of the ministry’s regulations, to obtain visa instantly without going through the long recruitment process that takes normally around eight months. There are several prerequisites for private companies and establishments to enjoy this privilege and that includes career advertising, and fulfilling other requirements related to the size of the firm and the volume of contracts.

This service aims to achieve significant growth in Saudization rates through applying a formula of “localization versus instant recruitment”, as it enables the employer to obtain any number of visas in the event of achieving higher rate of Saudization in the firm.

The ministry has set a number of conditions for obtaining the service, under which only those firms that are in the category of medium green and above in terms of the percentage of Saudization are eligible to avail off the service. The firm shall remain in the medium green category for 13 consecutive weeks or 26 intermittent weeks during the past 52 weeks. Similarly, the firm shall have a valid work permit and full compliance with the Wage Protection Program.

Through its recently launched qiwa platform, the ministry aims to make a quantum leap in the labor market with ensuring an enhanced efficiency of all sectors. Private employers can now register for the service via the standard link https://www.qiwa.sa/.

Exemption for travel of 3 categories of minors

Three categories of Saudi citizens under the age of 21 have been exempted from obtaining permission from their guardians for travel. They are foreign scholarship students, employees taking part in official trips abroad with a letter of consent from the employer, and those who are married. This provision is contained in the new amendments made in the Travel Documents Regulation that were approved by the Council of Ministers recently.

The General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) on Monday published on its electronic portal the new amendments which allow a woman to apply for and obtain a passport without requiring the approval of her male guardian. The amendments included granting the same rights to males and females above 21 years of age, and travel permit for custody of minors. According to the amendments, all Saudis under the age of 21 need to have the permission from their guardian for obtaining travel documents. However, there are exemptions for three categories. As for foreign scholarship students, they need to produce a certificate from the Ministry of Education in this regard. In the case of a minor whose father died, mother will be the guardian, according to the amendments.

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