Visa delay to go

Adel Fakeih
Adel Fakeih

Labor Minister Adel Fakeih.

Labor Minister Adel Fakeih has promised to solve the problem of delayed visas, following complaints by businessmen in Tabuk.

Fakeih made the comments at the opening of a new labor office in Tabuk. Musaed bin Abdul Mohsin Al-Bazei, a Tabuk businessman, had complained that local businesses are suffering because they do not have enough staff.

Al-Bazei said companies are waiting for more than 60 days for visas despite the fact that they are in the Green Zone of the Nitaqat program.

Meanwhile, the ministry will in the middle of next year launch an electronic system, with the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF), to process visas for all professions.

Sources said that all applications for foreign workers would go through the HRDF so that it can determine whether there are Saudis who can fill these positions. The move is a bid to limit the number of foreigners recruited by companies. The HRDF is currently involved in training citizens for positions.

The source rejected claims that those registered under the Hafiz program would have to undergo HRDF training, which has five programs to prepare male and female students for private sector jobs.

The Labor Ministry launched on Wednesday a dedicated phone number to receive all inquiries on labor issues and disputes from the public. The number is 19911.

The service is available in Arabic, English, Urdu, Hindi, Indonesian, Amharic, Malayalam and Tagalog. The call center is open from Saturday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

During a trial last month, the center received more than 110,000 calls.


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