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Indians cheer as Saudi drops job clause for resident visas to worker kin

Millions of expatriates in Saudi Arabia including Indians are heaving a sigh of relief as the government here has decided to issue permanent resident visas to families of the workers....

Written by Press Trust Of India | Dubai | Published: December 28, 2009 3:39:45 am

Millions of expatriates in Saudi Arabia including Indians are heaving a sigh of relief as the government here has decided to issue permanent resident visas to families of the workers,based only on their financial status and not their profession.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry said permanent resident and visit visas were earlier issued only to those in ‘white-collar’ jobs such as engineers,doctors and executives and now it would only look at the financial status of the applicant,Arabic daily Al-Yaum reported.

“The ministry’s office in Riyadh issued such recruitment visas for three days last week and stopped it temporarily. It is expected that the ministry would resume the service next month,” a ministry official told the paper.

Following the report,a large number of Indian workers have approached the Indian Embassy in Riyadh and consulate in Jeddah to include their spouses’ names in their passports. Indian missions are now issuing new passports after including spouses’ names.

The news is a big relief for many of the seven million expatriates,who are unable to bring their families due to their profession written on their ‘iqama’ (identity cards).

“This is great news for thousands of professionals like me who are unable to bring their wives and children to the Kingdom because of the profession in iqama,” the paper quoted Shabeer Ali,a computer engineer based in Jeddah,as saying.

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