Expat women abusing domestic helper visas


Published — Wednesday 5 June 2013

Last update 13 June 2013 9:38 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

Hundreds of expatriate housewives who overstayed their Haj and Umrah visas are now becoming domestic workers in name only so that they can stay in the Kingdom with their husbands, Arab News has discovered.
They are exploiting a Saudi government concession that allows Umrah or Haj pilgrims who came to the Kingdom prior to July 2008, to become domestic workers. In reality, they do not work as domestic workers in the homes of their employers, the newspaper has found.
The concession is part of a raft of measures announced by the Kingdom last month for illegal workers to regularize their work status or go home. They have until July 3, the end of a three-month grace period, to do so.
This option has allowed foreign women, who arrived in the Kingdom on Haj or Umrah visas to join their husbands in Makkah, Madinah and Jeddah, as legal employees.
The domestic help sector in the Kingdom is dominated by Indonesia followed by the Philippines, who together account for nearly 70 percent of the total domestic help in the Kingdom.
In the current regularization process, only a few women from these two East Asian nations are turning up at the passport office in Jeddah’s Rehab district to provide their biometric details before applying for an employment visa.
Hundreds of women from Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and Ethiopia are converging on Rehab district to process their documents.
Husbands who could not obtain family visas because they lack the required academic qualifications have opted for this easy way to keep their wives in the Kingdom.
According to Ministry of Haj statistics up to the end of November 2012, 25,000 Umrah pilgrims failed to return to their countries. Pakistan stood top of the list with 9,752 pilgrims, followed by Egypt with 3,519.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The government has banned the use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for cooking at the holy sites during the Haj this year. Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Mohammed bin Naif, interior minister and president of the Supreme Haj Committee,...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health has launched a program to vaccinate all public and private sector workers on Haj duty this year.Launching the program at the ministry’s headquarters here on Thursday, Tarif Al-Ama, undersecretary for treatment services...
JEDDAH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal was briefed Thursday about Murooj Jeddah residential project, located in the eastern part of the governorate. Representatives of the Jeddah Development and Urban Regeneration Company, the executing company...
ANKARA: The Kingdom plans to highlight the country’s economic progress and influence globally at the meeting of G-20 Ministers of Labor and Employment here this week, said Mufrej Al-Haqabani, Saudi Arabia’s labor minister. In a statement to the Saudi...
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Haj in Madinah has employed women workers for the first time.Six women have been employed to work only during the Haj season, on the orders of Bandar Hajjar, the Haj minister, said Mohammed Al-Bijawi, director of the ministry...
JUBAIL: The Educational Services Department of the Royal Commission for Jubail (RCJ), represented by Al-Rowad Smart Secondary School, has distributed iPad to all new students at the beginning of the new school year.Mohammed Al-Hajri, director of the...

Stay Connected