Syrian visitors in Saudi Arabia to get temporary work permits
Syrians staying in Saudi Arabia on visit visa may soon be granted temporary work permits to take jobs at the private sector
Syrians staying in Saudi Arabia on visit visa may soon be granted temporary work permits to take jobs at the private sector, Al-Hayat newspaper reported on Sunday quoting a Labor Ministry’s source.
Saudi Arabia has made exemptions to the Syrians, who have arrived recently in the country on visit visas and also the Yemenis who corrected their residence status after a royal order. They are also receiving educational facilities and free of charge medical treatment in government hospitals.
Citizens of three other nationalities were given special privileges in consideration of the political situation in their countries. Under a decision by the Council of Ministers, the nationals from Burma (Myanmar), Turkistan and Palestine (holders of Laissez-Passer from Egypt) are not to be deported out of Saudi Arabia.
The source said the Syrians, presently living in the Saudi Arabia, are divided into two categories: Expatriates holding regular residence permits (iqamas) and others staying on visit visas.
In view of the problem in Syria, Syrian expats are allowed to transfer their iqamas to other employers without the consent of their original sponsors if they are being sent on final exit visas, the source said.
Those on visit visas will be given temporary work permits which will enable them to work in the private sector.
“A tripartite committee consisting of the ministries of labor, interior and foreign affairs is currently working out a mechanism to allow visiting Syrians temporary work permits,” he said.
The source added that the mechanism is in its final stages.
He explained that the visiting Syrians will be treated similar to the Yemenis who had been illegally staying in Saudi Arabia before April 2015 and who are now holding a “visitor’s ID” after correcting their residence status.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on Dec. 7, 2015.