Employment opportunities for Indians as well as other foreigners will now be fewer and far between in Saudi Arabia, due to the Nitaqat (Saudisation) scheme implemented by the Arabian Kingdom. From next month onward only a few organisations, which have scored well in the new system will be allowed to source employees from other countries. This measure has been adopted by the government of Saudi Arabia in order to provide more jobs to Saudi nationals. The measure comes even as the Saudi government only gave 1.65 lakh visas to Indians in 2016, this figure was a drop of 46 percent from 2015 figures, according to a Times of India report.
As per the new Saudi Arabian work visa regime, employers have been divided into four categories Platinum, Green, Yellow and Red. The Green category is further divided into three categories namely high, medium and low. Considerations such as the size of the firm, industry of firm, the percentage of Saudi employees and the salary of Saudi employees help determine the status of the firm. Of the considerations listed above, the highest weightage is given to the percentage of Saudis employed by the organisation. Only those organisations which have the Platinum and High green status will now be allowed to get visas for employees, according to the report.
Most Indians employed in Saudi Arabia are working in the hospitality and construction business and are not likely to gain from such rules. Firms which are not able to apply for visas to hire foreigners can get foreigners only through the transfer of sponsorship of visa. This means they can only hire workers who are already in Saudi Arabia. As per the report, there are currently 30 lakh Indians in Saudia Arabia and they make the largest number of foreign workers in the country.