Saudi Arabia plans six-year cap on foreigners’ residency

May 30, 2011

Saudi Arabia will soon put a six-year cap on the residency of foreigners in the country, the labour minister has said.

The decision will be part of ten programmes the Saudi government is planning to implement in order to regulate the local labour market, Adel Al Faqih said, Saudi daily Al Watan reported on Monday.

Companies will be given five months after the implementation of the labour reforms programme to regularise their situation, the minister said.

The reforms will aim at boosting employment opportunities for Saudis and increasing their competitive edge.

According to the minister, the reforms will help tackle the black market for employment visas to the rate of 99 per cent.

Al Faqih said that the ministry would go ahead with the programme and that there would be no leniency in its application.

Earlier attempts by the Gulf Cooperation Council labour ministers to impose a cap on the residence of unskilled labourers, mainly from Asia, were foiled by the powerful business communities in the six member countries.

According to the latest figures, there are eight million expatriates living in Saudi Arabia, with six million of them working in the private sector.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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