More Saudization to yield more work visas
The Labor Ministry announced Sunday that it would allow firms in the high and medium green categories of Nitaqat to recruit foreign workers required for the expansion of their business activities.
However, the same privilege will not be available for companies in the lower green, yellow and red categories. “We have clearly mentioned the categories of companies that would benefit from this service,” said Labor Minister Adel Fakeih.
He said companies would be given visas as per their requirements and in line with recruitment conditions, but their status should not decline to lower green as a result of the new recruitment, he said on his Twitter account.
Ziyad Al-Bassam, vice chairman of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), said the decision would have limited impact on the labor market as it addresses only those companies that have fulfilled Saudization conditions.
“The real estate sector will be the major beneficiary of this decision,” Al-Bassam told Arab News. It will also benefit tourism companies that have entered the higher green category, he added.
Abdullah Marae Binmahfouz, a member of the JCCI board, said he had requested the minister to allow companies in the lower green and yellow categories to benefit from the service to help them expand their activities. “This is a positive step,” he said while urging the ministry to ease recruitment procedures to boost the market as well as the economy.
“We have made remarkable headway in Saudization, which is a continuing process and will not be limited to a specific time,” he explained.
Abdullah Al-Sharief, an HR expert, said the decision would benefit only a few companies.
He urged the ministry and labor offices to speed up recruitment procedures to meet manpower requirements of various projects.
He also requested the minister to allow sectors such as handicrafts, where Saudization was not successful in the past, to recruit foreign workers.