Saudi Arabia Announces New Work Visa Rules for Foreign Workers

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Saudi Arabia has recently implemented new regulations for the issuance of work visas to foreign domestic workers. These changes are part of the country’s broader initiative to better organize and control the domestic labor sector.

The Ministry of Human Resources has developed the Musaned platform, a comprehensive system designed to inform users about their rights, responsibilities, and the range of services available to them. This includes the process of visa application, recruitment requests, and the management of the employment relationship between domestic workers and their employers.

Key aspects of the new visa rules include:

  1. Stricter Visa Issuance Criteria: The government has set more stringent requirements for obtaining visas to hire domestic workers from abroad. Notably, an individual must be at least 24 years old to be eligible to apply for such a visa.
  2. Eligibility for Visa Applications: The new rules specify that Saudi citizens, Gulf nationals, foreign wives of Saudi men and their mothers, as well as holders of Saudi premium residency permits, are eligible to apply for visas to employ foreign domestic workers. This eligibility is contingent on the financial capacity of the employer.
  3. Musaned Platform’s Role: The Musaned platform plays a crucial role in facilitating the transfer of wages to domestic workers through digital means, such as STC pay and Urpay apps. It also offers services like transferring a house worker’s service between employers, authenticating domestic labor contracts, and resolving disputes.
  4. Categories of Domestic Workers Covered: The regulations encompass various categories of domestic workers, including housekeepers, drivers, housemaids, cleaners, cooks, guards, farmers, tailors, live-in nurses, tutors, and nannies. The aim is to enhance transparency and efficiency in the recruitment process and provide a mechanism for dispute resolution and safeguarding the rights of both employers and domestic workers.

Saudi Arabia has been trying to modernize its labor market and ensuring fair treatment and clear contractual relationships between domestic workers and their employers.

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