RIYADH — The Ministry of Labor has issued a total of one million labor visas for 10 recruitment companies. Each company will have 100,000 visas, Al-Watan Arabic newspaper reported on Tuesday quoting ministry sources.
This is a 30 percent increase in the number of visas issued to recruitment companies. The Labor Ministry’s move is part of measures to contain human trafficking and trade in so-called ‘free visas’.
The companies will use the new visas to meet the growing demand in the employment market, especially in the small and medium scale sectors.
Several SMEs are facing an acute shortage of manpower.
Imad Al-Dhukair, president of the Saudi Canadian Council, said that the new move would be instrumental in addressing the shortage of labor resources in the local market.
The ministry has started taking stringent measures to combat the free visa trade. Those found guilty will face penalties, including up to 15 years in jail or fine of SR1 million or of both.