Saudi cuts expat visa to one year: report

Saudi Arabia has halved visa residence for its expatriate workers in the private sector to one year to bring it in line with health insurance, a newspaper in the Gulf kingdom reported on Wednesday.

The decision to cut the residence from two to one year was enforced on Saturday and it will affect all foreign workers in private sector establishments, Almadina said, quoting an “informed” source.

“The decision affects all professions and is intended to bring the visa period in line with the period of health insurance, which is one year,” the Arabic language daily quoted the source as saying.

The paper said the decision was taken after Saudi Arabia issued a law making it compulsory to all private sector firms to issue health insurance for their employees as a condition for issuing a visa.

Nearly seven million expatriates live in Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab economy and the world’s oil powerhouse. They account for just over a quarter of the country’s total population of 27.1 million. 

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