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220,000 Indians granted Saudi visas in one month
September 1, 2014, 4:20 pm
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Labour ministry gives 44,000 visas to domestic helpers

 Saudi authorities have granted more than 200,000 visas to Indian domestic helpers and labourers in one month.

“Since we resumed bringing in Indian workers at the end of Ramadan, the number of visas has reached 220,000,” Ahmad Al Fuhaid, the labour ministry undersecretary for international affairs, said. “Around 44,000 visas were for domestic helpers while the others were for workers in the public and private sectors,” he said in remarks published by local daily Al Eqtisadiya on Monday.

However, the official added that Saudi nationals needed to appreciate that the arrival of the helpers and workers into the kingdom could take some time.

“There are several procedures to be followed including security and medical checks and proper qualification and training,” he said.

Al Fuhaid denied reports that Saudi Arabia would be bringing in workers from Thailand to work in the private sector.

“There are no contacts whatsoever with the Thais over bringing in labour from their country,” he said.

He added that labour accords are being considered with Vietnam.

“A draft agreement has been signed and we are looking forward to the final agreement being signed soon,” he told the daily.

A labour ministry delegation is expected to fly out to the Indonesian capital Jakarta to help remove obstacles to bringing domestic helpers into the kingdom.

According to the official, Saudi Arabia and Nepal were also working on a draft covering Nepalese workers in the Saudi kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has an expatriate population of nine million, mostly unskilled labourers in the construction and service sectors and domestic helpers.

They constitute around one third of the total population of the kingdom.

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