Many unskilled Arab expatriates are buying visas meant for the job of barber from recruitment firms to enter the Kingdom and find other jobs, say local and foreign operators here.
The trade in barber visas is flourishing in Egypt, said Ahmed Tamim, an Egyptian who manages a barbershop in Jeddah.
"Many Egyptians with no academic qualifications prefer to buy barber visas to enter the Kingdom and find work for better pay. Several recruitment offices here sell visas of Gulf countries.
However, many Egyptians prefer to come to the Kingdom because of the low cost of living here," said Tamim.
"Recruitment offices have various prices for visas. There are visas for construction workers, electricians and barbers. Many Arab expats have jobs as barbers here," he said.
Abdullah Al-Sagheer, a Saudi associated with the small and medium enterprises sector, told Arab News that many expatriates buy visas for unskilled professions.
"This paves the way for them to find better-paying jobs in the Kingdom. Saudis are not interested in these professions."
He said employers must make sure they are recruiting workers meant for certain positions. "They can play a big role in stopping unskilled workers from entering the market."
The Ministry of Labor has banned visa trading and associated activities in the Kingdom. Firms involved in such illegal activities would have their services cut and all visas canceled.