'Saudization' set to hit OFWs

Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are preferring saying in Saudi Arabia during their vacation period following Saudi Arabia’s move to stamp “exit only” on their passports.

It is to be noted here that Saudi Arabian immigration authorities have stamped “exit only” on the passports of workers who recently returned to the country.

This seems to be in line with the Saudization policy of the government that requires at least 10% of a company’s staff be made up of Saudi locals. The Saudization program divides companies in to four categories yellow, red, green and blue based on number of locals working in a particular company.

Recruitment consultant Emmanuel Geslani said that such provisions would not allow them to enter in Saudi Arabia after their vacations. John Leonard Monterona of Migrante-Middle East also claimed that those possessing exit/re-entry visas are being stamped “exit only” on their passport.

Monterona said in a statement, "There were 4 OFW-engineers who have called me and our Migrante officers in Riyadh as they were surprised that their respective exit/re-entry visa had been stamped 'Exit' only by the Saudi immigration officer at the counter."