In a setback, Saudi Arabia sets new conditions for overseas workers including Pakistan: Report

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In a setback, Saudi Arabia sets new conditions for overseas workers including Pakistan: Report

*RIYADH - **In a setback, Saudi Arabia sets new conditions for overseas workers including Pakistan, Media Report has revealed.*

*The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would now conduct test of its foreign manpower before granting them the visa, as the country is set to introduce a new skilled foreign manpower program.*

As per *Saudi Gazette*, Naif Al-Omair, head of the KSA ministry's vocational examination program, said that the ministry would organize five stages for vocational tests, the first planned next month. He said vocational theoretical and practical examinations would cover workers from seven countries i.e. India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

"These countries export about 95 percent of the workers to the Kingdom," he said.

Under the new policy that is set to be implemented next month, visas would be issued only after skill tests and the previous system would be gradually phased out. Omair said the workers who pass the tests will be given a five-year certificates, adding that the program allows for testing the workers at their homes before they arrive in the Kingdom.

He said workers from India will be examined first in December while those from the Philippines will sit for the tests in May 2020 and workers from Sri Lanka and Indonesia in July 2020 and those from Egypt, Bangladesh and Pakistan in December 2021.

Millions of Pakistani expats work in Saudi Arabia, and are a source of much needed remittance, worth billions of dollars.