Saudi Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD) has launched an initiative to extend new work visas for two years instead of one year, without any additional fees.
The initiative is taking into account the practical operational aspects facing private sector enterprises.
Khalid Abalkhail, the spokesperson for the ministry, told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the decision is related to regular work visas, noting that housekeeping visas are not included. He abstained from revealing the number of issued visas to the private sector in the past year.
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Economist Khalid Alshunyber also told Asharq Al-Awsat that due to a number of reasons, such as the number of unused visas in the market, the ministry issued one year ago a decision to reduce the visa validity to one year instead of two.
He added that the ministry’s previous decision to reduce the visa duration was significant, and the picture would have been clearer had the figures of canceled visas during that period were revealed.
He stressed that extending the visa doesn’t necessarily encourage manpower recruitment but was only reimposing a past condition.
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