Dubai: Saudi Arabia plans to extend the validity of the residency permits of foreign workers, including Indians to five years to ease mental and financial pressure on the expat community, a media report said today.
The Directorate General of Passports is working on the final touches on the plan to introduce the five-year validity, the Gulf News reported.
No time frame has been announced for the move, but passport officials told local daily Al Madinah that the application would start soon, the report said.
Currently, the permits are valid for one year and must be renewed, for a fee, annually. The move is expected to ease mental and financial pressure on the large expatriate community including Indians in Saudi Arabia.
Around nine million foreigners, mainly Asians, live in Saudi Arabia, making up one third of the total population.
Most foreigners are unskilled workers in the construction and service sectors. Foreigners hold 90 per cent of the jobs in the private sector and that there is one Saudi national for every ten foreigners in the sector.