2,20,000 Indians granted Saudi visa in one month

Over 2,20,000 Indians, mostly domestic helpers and labourers, have been granted visas by Saudi Arabia in one month, officials said.

Dubai: Over 2,20,000 Indians, mostly domestic helpers and labourers, have been granted visas by Saudi Arabia in one month, officials said.

"Since we resumed bringing in Indian workers at the end of Ramadan, the number of visas has reached 220,000," Ahmad Al Fuhaid, the labour ministry undersecretary for international affairs, was quoted as saying by the Gulf News.

"Around 44,000 visas were for domestic helpers while the others were for workers in the public and private sectors," he said.

The official, however, cautioned that the arrival of the Indian helpers and workers into the kingdom could take some time.

"There are several procedures to be followed including security and medical checks and proper qualification and training," he said.

India and Saudi Arabia had signed an agreement in January this year, regulating contractual relations between Indian domestic workers and their Saudi employers.

The agreement covered 12 categories of workers including drivers, janitors, cleaners, waiters, gardeners and household managers working for individuals.

Saudi Arabia has an expatriate population of nine million, mostly unskilled labourers in the construction and service sectors and domestic helpers.

They constitute around one third of the total population of the kingdom.

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