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NRIs over 60, working in Saudi Arabia may have to return home

Representational Picture

Jeddah, Oct 17 (UITV)- Indian expatriates in Saudi Arabia over 60 years of age may have to return home with the Saudi government contemplating an age bar for foreign workers in private sector companies. This plan comes as a part of the Saudi labour ministry’s long-term strategy, designed in 2015, to prepare Saudi youth to dominate country’s job market.

The total workforce in the private sector in Saudi Arabia consists of approximately 90 percent expatriates among whom Indian constitute the largest community. Indians are the largest single expat community among non-Gulf nations numbering about three million.

The government objective is to create a situation where the number of expatriates is reduced to a possible minimum, and then encourage private sector companies to hire more native workers.

At present there is no restriction on the maximum age of foreign employees to be permitted to work in Saudi Arabia. If the decision of age bar is implemented, it will pose a great challenge for many companies who are in need of qualified and experience workers.

In fact, recent changes in Saudi job market are impacting the lives of many foreigners in the country as the laws are being made harsher and stricter on all fronts.

The officials have made it clear that expatriates who retire cannot get their sons to become their sponsors. Private companies too cannot sponsor retired men, which means that elderly NRIs will have practically no other option but to return home.