Saudi govt formulates new rules for hiring domestic workers

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Dubai, Oct 28 (UNI) An applicant should have a second wife or extra children or the need for taking care of parents in order to apply for a second housemaid visa, according to the new rules set by the Saudi Labour Ministry for hiring domestic helps.

The Ministry has also agreed to issue replacement visas before those presently serving as housemaids and drivers leave the Kingdom on an exit-only visa.

Those applying for housemaid visas will have to prove their financial capability and necessity. This specific condition was included in order to prevent illegal transaction of visas, the Ministry said.

In order to be granted a second driver visa, the family head should have a second wife, school-going children and unmarried working daughters, it added.

Saudis, suffering from old age, disease and handicaps, will have to include a medical report with their application for visas for the recruitment of a driver, maid or nurse.

Referring to financial capability, the Ministry said the applicant should have a monthly salary of 3,500 Saudi Riyals in order to apply for the first visa, 8,000 Saudi Riyals for a second visa, 12,000 Saudi Riyals for a third visa and 20,000 Saudi Riyals for a fourth visa.

As many as 99.2 percent of visas issued by the Ministry in 2005 were for house servants. During the same year, the ministry issued 82,740 visas for drivers and 254,455 visas for house servants, a senior Labour Ministry official was quoted by Arab News as saying.

Runaway maids is one of the major problems facing Saudi families.

A study has pointed out that Bangladeshi workers represented 27.7 per cent of runaway house servants, followed by Pakistanis (14.4 per cent), Indians (12.1 per cent), Filipinos (2.1 per cent), Sri Lankans (1.6 per cent), Turks (1.9 per cent) and Nepalese (1.5 per cent).


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