Monday, October 12, 2015

Fast Track Online Visa Issuance System launched in Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is, as most of you know, home to one of the largest expatriate workforces anywhere in the world. These expatriates naturally require visas to stay in the Kingdom. The Labor Ministry in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has unveiled the details of the newly introduced online fast track visa system for the private firms which have won the contracts of government projects. The director general of Makkah branch of the Ministry of Labor, Abdullah Al Olyan has stated that these firms have been fulfilling the regulations of the Ministry’s Saudization policy, can and will be able to take complete advantage of the convenient new system.

In accordance with the system, those private firms will be able to complete the entire process of the issuing of visa and hiring of workers instantly online. The system has also allowed the various government agencies to see the contract information with private sector firms. Al Olyan spoke to a workshop about outlining the salient features in the fast track system which has been devised for the human resources officials which are employed in firms in the private sector. He also added that the new system has been designed as an incentive to all those firms which have been effectively implementing Saudization.

He added that the firms which come in at the green and platinum categories of the Nitaqat Saudization program will become the beneficiaries of this new system. The visas which will be issued through this service will be valid for a total of two years after the issuance or for six months prior to the ending of the contract period. An official from the Ministry of Labor has stated that the owners of these private sector firms can decide the nationality of the workers that they want to hire for their companies and can also get their visas issues according to the respective category of his firm in the Nitaqat categories. It is even possible that the transfer of workers which have been hired, from old contract directly on to new ones.

The entire process of the application for visas, examination of applications, issuance of visas and also several other procedures will become available online and there will also be no bureaucratic bottlenecks. In the case of cancelling any visa, there is no such need to approach the offices of the ministry and the visas will become restored to use at any time. Not more than a few months ago, the Ministry of Labor has directed all of the recruitments of offices in order to publish the information of the domestic workers on the Musaned Website in order to keep up with the policy of transparency.

These private sector companies must all display their respective information of the workers, which includes the profession and nationality, which is available. The Ministry of Labor has also stated that the penalties will also be applied to these private sector companies which are delaying the disclosure and submission of their total recruitment costs.

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