Abu Dhabi: The number of work visas issued by Saudi Arabia to foreigners during 2020 decreased on an annual and quarterly basis, driven by the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the suspension of air traffic, and the Saudisation plans, local media reported.
Foreigners’ job visas recorded a decrease of 57.8 per cent to 611,185 during the first 9 months of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019, according to data of the General Authority for Statistics and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development.
The data showed that work visas issued during the period from January to September 2020 was about 446,000 visas compared to 1,057,315 visas during the corresponding period in 2019.
Work visas have decreased by 32.8 per cent in the first half of 2020 on an annual basis, and visas issued to the private sector, which account for about 59 per cent of total visas, also decreased by 21 per cent.
Visas issued in the second quarter of 2020 have nosedived by 91 per cent year-on-year to 502,000 visas, while the total number of work visas in Q2 2020 reached 49,600, compared to 552,430 in the corresonding quarter of 2019.
The total of work visas for the private sector in Q2 2020 reached 32,000, compared to 307,000 visas in the second quarter of 2019.
According to the labor market bulletin, the number of work visas reached about 583,750 in Q1 2020 compared to 390,828 at the end of the first quarter of 2019, and about 341,467 visas by the end of the Q1 2018.
During the second quarter of 2020, work visas for foreigners recorded a decrease of 91% year-on-year to 502,860, compared to the total number of visas issued in the corresponding period in 2019.
The total number of work visas decreased to 49,570 in Q2 2020, compared to 552,430 in Q2 2019, while the total number of work visas for the private sector was of 32,040 compared to 307,510 in Q2 2019.
The number of visas decreased in Q3 2020, by more than 88% to 72,000, compared to 606,000 in Q3 2019.
The number of work visas issued in Saudi Arabia to foreigners decreased in Q3 2020 by 86.7 per cent to 46,039, compared to 348,088 in Q3 2019.