KSA studying longer residency visas as way to drive Saudization

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Saudi Arabia is studying a plan to offer longer residency visas to employees as an incentive for companies recruiting a sufficient proportion of nationals, Aleqtisadiah reported.

Companies employing required quotas of Saudi nationals would be allowed to offer foreign workers two-year residency visas under the plan being looked at by the Saudi Ministry of Labor and the General Directorate of Passports, the newspaper reported.

Ahmed Al Humaidan, deputy minister of labor affairs at the Saudi Ministry of Labor, told Aleqtisadiah that the ministry decided to study such an extension, but limited it to companies falling under Green and Platinum categories.

Part of the aim of such an initiative would be to encourage the Saudization, or the employment of Saudi nationals, Aleqtisadiah reported.

Companies in Saudi Arabia are divided into categories based on their compliance with the state’s Saudization policy. Top-ranked companies fall under the Platinum or Blue category, while companies considered of excellent compliance are in the Green category. Companies of poor compliance belong in the Yellow category, while the Red category includes non-compliance with the Saudization policy.

Al Humaidan did not set a deadline for a decision on the matter, stating that the results will be announced once the study is complete.

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