- What is Kafala (Sponsorship) system:
(i) Saudi Arabia follows a sponsorship (Kafala) system for regulating employment of expatriate workers. Any expatriate worker entering the Kingdom requires sponsorship of a sponsor (known as Kafeel), who may be a Saudi citizen or a company, and shall remain under the sponsor’s responsibility during the term of the employment contract.
(ii) No expatriate worker can leave the country, without the consent of the sponsor.
- Who may be employed in Saudi Arabia?
(i) Any person aged between 18 and 60 years, physically fit and possessing professional and academic qualifications required by the Kingdom (provided there is a shortage of citizens holding such qualifications), or belonging to those category of workers needed by the Kingdom, may be employed in Saudi Arabia. Such a person holding a passport with at least 6 months validity, should have entered the country legally and have an employment contract with an employer under whose responsibility he shall remain during the term of the contract.
- What is the procedure for recruitment of workers from India?
(i) Recruitment of professionals and Emigration Clearance Not Required (ECNR) category workers may be done by foreign employers (FEs) directly or through registered Indian Recruiting Agents (RAs).
(ii) ECR (Emigration Clearance Required) category workers could be recruited only through eMigrate portal.
(iii) ECR category female workers may be recruited by FEs after registering themselves on the eMigrate portal and by:
(a) utilizing the services of any of the 6 State-run recruiting agencies designated for this purpose, viz. NORKA Roots and ODEPC (Kerala); OMCL (Tamil Nadu); UPFC (Uttar Pradesh); OMCAP(Andhra Pradesh) and TOMCOM (Telangana), or
(b) directly after obtaining the prescribed documentation attested from the Indian Mission, and subsequently getting the emigration clearance online through the eMigrate portal.
(iv). Nurses may be recruited by the Saudi Ministries of Health and Defence& Aviation for the Government/Military Hospitals through Indian RAs designated for this purpose. Other Hospitals in the Kingdom intending to recruit Indian nurses need to register themselves on e-Migrate portal and utilise the services of the above 6 State-run agencies only.
v). Female Domestic Service Workers may be recruited only through the eMigrate portal in accordance with the provisions of the India-Saudi Arabia Bilateral Agreement on DSW Recruitment of 2014viz.(i) recruitment only through recognised RAs in both countries (ii) DSW to have completed 30 years of age, (iii) minimum wage of SR 1500/- per month, (iv) a prescribed standard employment contract is to be signed by the DSW, Saudi Employer, as well as the RAs in both countries which after its attestation by the Indian Mission after submission of a bank guarantee for US$2,500 by the sponsor, needs to be uploaded on e-Migrate portal for processing emigration clearance.
Caution: It is strongly recommended that any female DSW being recruited to Saudi Arabia must insist that the RA follows the prescribed procedure of the India-Saudi bilateral agreement on DSW recruitment. In case of doubt, please contact Indian Embassy/Consulate for advice.
- What is eMigrate portal?
(i) TheeMigrate portal is the electronic platform of the Government of India for automation of the emigration processes, in which all key stakeholders in the emigration lifecycle such as the Indian Missions, PGE, PoE, FEs, RAs, Emigrants and Insurance Agencies, etc. are electronically linked on a common platform.
(ii) The portal allows the prospective emigrants to access the services offered by PGE including emigrant registration, emigration clearance, etc.; the RAs/FEs to apply for registration/accreditation and to raise recruitment related applications online which the internal users like Indian Missions, PoE, PGE, etc. are able to process electronically, and also provides for integration with Passport System for validation of Emigrant’s passport details, online payment of application processing fee, validation of Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Yojna (PBBY) policy details, etc.
(iii) All recruitment of ECR category workers including nurses and DSWs to ECR countries are to be done ONLY through the eMigrate portal.
- What is the importance of medical test prior to processing visa?
(i) A worker is required to undergo a medical test in India prior to processing visa in order to ensure that he is medically fit. After arrival in the Kingdom another medical test will be taken and during which if found unfit, the worker will be sent back to India at his cost. The mandatory medical insurance provided by the employer is very basic and does not cover treatment of serious ailments. Since it is not possible to return to India before completion of the term of contract on any grounds, including health, it is very important that one should not proceed to Saudi Arabia unless he is medically fit and free from serious ailments.
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