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Pre Departure Mannual


For Intending Emigrants

Part – I



Emigration, in this context, means the departure of any person from India with a view to
taking up any employment (whether or not under an agreement or other arrangements to
take up such employment, with or without the assistance of a registered Recruiting Agent
or employer) in any country or place outside India.

The Present Situation

Every year hundreds of thousands of Indians emigrate in search of job. The effect of
economic liberalization in India is visible on labour migration too. One of the striking
features of labour migration from India is that more than 90 percent of the total outflow is
to the Middle East.

The Emigration Act

The Emigration Act, 1983, seeks to safeguard the interests and ensure the welfare of
emigrants. Only the recruiting agents registered with the Ministry of Overseas Indian
Affairs are eligible as per the Act to conduct the business of recruitment for overseas
employment and they are required to obtain proper Registration Certificates (RC) from
the Protector General of Emigrants.

The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, administers the Emigration Act through the eight
offices of Protector of Emigrants (POEs). The offices are located at Delhi, Mumbai,
Kolkata, Chennai, Chandigarh, Cochin, Hyderabad and Thiruvananthapuram.
Service Charge

No recruiting agent shall collect from the worker the charges more than the equivalent of
his wages for forty-five days as offered under the employment contract, subject to a
maximum of twenty thousand rupees, in respect of the services provided and shall issue
a receipt to that worker for the amount collected in this regard.

Emigration Check Required (ECR) Category

Categories of persons, whose passports have been endorsed as “Emigration Check
Required” (ECR), if intending to travel to an ECR country (Listed on page 3) for
employment purposes, are required to obtain emigration from the Protector of Emigrants
(POEs) either directly or through the recruitment agents or through the employer

Emigration Check Not Required (ECNR) Category

Section 22 of the Emigration Act, 1983 provides that no citizen of India shall migrate
unless he obtains authorization from the concerned POE in the prescribed manner and
form. However, with a view to facilitating the movement of the workers, 13 categories of
persons (listed later in this chapter) have been exempted from this requirement and have
been placed under “Emigration Check Not Required’ (ECNR) category. Such persons
are not required to obtain any emigration clearance from the offices of POEs before
seeking employment abroad.

Countries with ECR / ECNR status

There are total of 175 countries (called as ECNR countries) do not require emigration
clearance, whereas 17 countries are listed as emigration check required countries, they
are listed below:

List of Countries for which Emigration Clearance is Required (ECR)

1. Afghanistan
2. Bahrain
3. Indonesia
4. Iraq
5. Jordan
6. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
7. Kuwait
8. Lebanon
9. Libya
10. Malaysia
11. Oman
12. Qatar
13. Sudan
14. Syria
15. Thailand
16. United Arab Emirates
17. Yemen

List of Persons/Categories of Workers in whose case Emigration Check is Not

1. All holders of Diplomatic/ Official Passports

2. All Gazetted Government Servants

3. All Income-tax payers (including agricultural income tax payers) in their individual

4. All professional degree holders, such as Doctors holding MBBS degrees or
Degrees in Ayurveda or Homeopathy; Accredited journalists; Engineers;
Chartered Accountants; Lecturers; Teachers; Scientists; Advocates etc.

5. Spouses and dependent children of category of persons listed from (2) to (4).

6. Persons holding class 10 qualification or higher degrees.

7. Seamen who are in possession of CDC or Sea Cadets, Desk Cadets (i) who
have passed final examination of three year B.Sc. Nautical Sciences Courses at
T S Chanakya, Mumbai; and (ii) who have undergone three months pre-sea
training at any of the government approved Training Institutes such as T S
Chanakya, T S Rehman, T S Jawahar, MTI (SCI) and NIPM, Chennai after
production of identity cards issued by the Shipping Master, Mumbai/ Kolkata/

8. Persons holding permanent immigration visas, such as the visas of UK, USA and

9. Persons possessing two years’ diploma from any institute recognized by the
national Council for Vocational Training (NCVT) or State Council of Vocational
Training (SCVT) or persons holding three years’ diploma/equivalent degree from
institutions like polytechnics recognized by Central/State Governments.

10. Nurses possessing qualifications recognized under the Indian Nursing Council
Act, 1947.

11. All persons above the age of 50 years.

12. All persons who have been staying abroad for more than three years (the period
of three years could be either in one stretch or broken) and spouses.

13. Children below 18 years of age.

Guidelines for Emigration Clearance

The procedure for emigration clearance has been simplified. Emigration clearance to
individuals/groups is granted on the same day on which the application is made at any of
the offices of the Protector of Emigrants (POE).

Procedure for Emigration Clearance

1) Emigration clearance will be made on the passport when the individual approaches
either directly or through a registered Recruiting Agent or through the employer

2) In cases in which the profession indicated in visa does not tally with the profession
indicated in the passport, an affidavit may be obtained from the Recruiting
Agent/Employer concerned.

3) No clearance may be given for Iraq unless specifically authorized by Indian Embassy
in Iraq.

4) No emigration clearance shall be granted for recruiting Indian nationals for any
Foreign Employer placed in ‘Prior Approval Category’ (PAC)

Applying for Emigration Clearance

The application for emigration clearance should be made in the prescribed form with
prescribed particulars by the applicant directly or through a Recruiting Agent or through
the employer concerned to the POE.

Documents required for Semi-Skilled Workers

Semi-skilled individuals who seek emigration clearance directly from the Protectors of
Emigrants (and not through Recruiting Agents) are required to produce the following
documents in original for scrutiny and return:

1) Passport valid for a minimum period of six months with valid visa.
2) Employment contract from foreign employer duly attested by the Indian Mission.
3) Challan towards deposit of prescribed fee.
4) Valid Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Policy

Documents required for Unskilled Workers

Unskilled workers and women (not below 30 years of age) seeking employment abroad
as housemaids/ domestic workers shall continue to furnish (in original) the following
documents at the time of obtaining emigration clearance:

1) Passport valid for a minimum period of six months with valid Visa.
2) Work agreement from the foreign employer duly attested by the Indian Mission and
signed by employer and employee or Permission letter from the concerned Indian
Mission/ Post.
3) Challan towards deposit of prescribed fee.
4) Valid Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Policy
5) Approval of the Ministry, if the female worker is below 30 years of age.

Documents required for Emigration Clearance (Through Project Exporter)

1. Valid Passport (Valid for at least 6 months)
2. Valid visa in English language.
3. Permit issued by Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, with effective date of validity.
4. Valid Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Policy
5. Valid Bank Guarantee

The Protector of Emigrants (POE) shall, after satisfying themselves about the accuracy of
the particulars mentioned in the application and in the other documents submitted along
with the application, grants emigration clearance in the prescribed manner and form. In
case there is any deficiency, the POE shall intimate the same by order in writing to the
applicant or, as the case may be, the Recruiting Agent or employer, through whom the
applications have been made about the deficiencies and require him to make good such
deficiencies within such time as may be specified in the order or reject the application.

Details of the Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Yojana (PBBY)

· The Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Yojana (PBBY) was started in 2003. The PBBY was
upgraded as the Pravasi Bharatiya Bima Yojana, 2006 to provide broader coverage
to the emigrant workers.
· The scheme has been further modified in 2008. The emigrant workers get a
minimum insurance cover of Rs. 10 lakhs (instead of Rs. 5 lakhs) and the policy will
be for the period of employment contract, i.e. either 2 years or 3 years as the case
may be. The reduced premium along with other benefits have been made effective
from 01.04.08.

A comparative statement of PBBY 2006 and PBBY 2008 is as under:
Item PBBY 2006 PBBY 2008
Minimum sum for which insured under PBBY Rs. 5.00 Lakhs Rs. 10.00 Lakhs
Hospitalization (Medical Expenses) Covering injuries /sickness / ailment / diseases
Rs. 50,000/- Rs. 75,000/-
Repatriation covers for medical unfit
Actual one-way economy class air fare
Family Hospitalization in India Rs. 25,000/- Rs. 50,000/-
Maternity Rs. 20,000/- Rs. 25,000/-
Attendant Actual one-way economy class air fare
Actual one-way economy  class air fare
Legal Expenses Rs. 25,000/- Rs. 30,000/-

Actual Premium to be charged (without any hidden costs)
Rs. 475/- for the contract period
Rs. 275/-for 2 years policy period.
Rs. 375/- for 3 years policy period.

This policy is available from undernoted Insurance Companies:-
1. Oriental Insurance Company Ltd.
2. United Insurance Company Ltd.
3. National Insurance Company Ltd.
4. ICICI Lombard.
5. Star Health & Allied Insurance Co. Ltd.
6. IFFCO Tokyo
7. Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co. Ltd.
8. Reliance General Insurance Co. Ltd.

Claim Procedure

Insured worker is supposed to have the copy of PBBY insurance policy with him. Name
of the nominee is so mentioned on the policy, in view of the eventuality of death of

In the event of claim, insured worker/claimant has to lodge a claim under the policy, with
the respective insurance company’s office wherefrom the policy was issued, if not
specifically provided by the insurance company otherwise. While doing so, claimant has
to indicate the policy number and details of accident. In the event of death, nominee has
to lodge the claim.

After intimation of reported claim, insurance company intimates the insured/claimant the
details of documents required to settle the claim. After processing such requisite
documents, claim amount is paid to the insured worker/claimant, as the case may be.

Do’s and Dont's

In Saudi Arabia, under the local laws, one should always keep his/her Iquama with
him/her. “Iquama” (identity cards) are issued by the Ministry of Interior. Labour cards are
issued by the Ministry of Labour. Both Iquama and Labour cards are issued to all
expatriates workers soon after they settle down on their jobs.

Saudi Arabia normally does not allow change in job sponsorship. Change of
job/sponsorship is permitted only after two years of continuous work with the original
employer/sponsor and with his written consent. Further, only a limited category of workers
are allowed change of sponsorship.

· The emigrant workers must get their work contract prepared in both English and
Arabic They should not part with their passports and copies of the work contracts.
Note: In Saudi Arabia work contract are prepared in Arabic only. Passports are
kept by the Employer/Sponsor.

· Non-payment or delayed payment of wages or any other problem with the
employer should be reported directly to the Ministry of Labour of Saudi Arabia.
Under the Saudi Labour laws, Ministry of Labour is the only authorized authority to
redress grievances of the expatriate workers excluding domestic workers, farm
workers and fisherman. In case of difficulty, the matter to be brought to the notice
of the Indian missions to seek their assistance.

· Workers are given gratuity equivalent to 21 days’ wages for every completed year
of service.

Verification of the genuineness of visa/an employment document

The matter may be referred to the Embassy of India in Riyadh or the Consulate General
of India in Jeddah if necessary, with full particulars of the sponsor company (Name,
Address, Telephone and Fax No.) which issued the visa, along with Passport particulars.
Fate of Indian Nationals with ‘Visit visa’

Some companies may be bringing people on ‘Visit Visa’ to meet their urgent manpower
requirements for short-term work. Under the appropriate Saudi Laws, companies are not
permitted to bring workers on Visit visa. However, short term Business work visas are
permitted for the skilled and highly specialized categories of workers. In case the
employer needs them for further period; employer must arrange employment visa for
such workers.

Visit visa is different from employment visa and it is not covered by the labour laws of
Saudi Arabia . Thus, the holder of visit visa do not have right to work.
Employment Contract

Indian workers are advised to obtain written work contract duly signed by the sponsor /
employer company before their travel to Saudi Arabia.

Essential terms for a contract

The contract should contain all-important terms of employment as per 15(2) of Emigration
(i) Period of employment/place of employment;
(ii) Wages and other conditions of service;
(iii) Free food or food allowance provision;
(iv) Free accommodation;
(v) Provisions in regard to disposal/transportation of dead body of the emigrant worker in
case of death;
(vi) Working hours, overtime allowance, other working conditions, leave and social
security benefits as per local labour laws;
(vii) To-and-fro air-passage at the employers’ cost; and
(viii) Mode of settlement of disputes;

Obtaining copy of the contract while in India

As per the instructions of the Government of India, recruitment agents are expected to
provide a copy of employment contract to each worker before his/her departure. To
safeguard his/her own interest, an individual worker has to demand from the recruitment
agent a copy of the duly signed contract before departure. Complaints may be lodged
against defaulting agencies with the nearest Protector of Emigrants.
Important Documents

In addition to all the originals, copies of the following documents may be retained with the
1. Employment contract,
2. Passport,
3. Visa and
4. Certificates of educational qualification

NOTE: In Saudi Arabia, sponsor/employer keep original passports and employment
contracts with them. However, workers must keep copies of these documents with them.

Guidelines for those Emigrating through RAs

· Be sure of your Recruiting Agent. Ask him to show his Registration Certificate
issued by the Protector General of Emigrants, Govt. of India. Do not deal with him
unless he is registered and the registration is valid. In case of doubt, check with any
of the offices of the Protectors of Emigrants (POEs) or the Protector General of
Emigrants (PGE).

· DO NOT deal with sub-agents as they are not permitted under the Emigration Act,
1983 and Rules.

· Ask the Recruiting Agent to show you the Demand Letter and Power of Attorney
from the foreign employer.

· Also carefully go through the Employment Contract detailing the salary/wage levels
and other service conditions.

· DO NOT pay the Agent anything other than the service charge more than the
equivalent of his wages for forty-five days as offered in the employment contract,
subject to a maximum of twenty thousand.
· Make payments preferably by Demand Draft or Cheque and obtain a receipt.

Complaints of overcharging or cheating can be lodged with the concerned POE or with
the Protector General of Emigrants (PGE).

Check before Departure

· Ensure that the validity your Passport is not less than six months. A valid Visa must
be either stamped on or accompany your Passport. Always keep a photocopy of
your Passport and Visa. It is advised that workers also keep a copy of their passport
and visa with their family members in India prior to their departure.

· You must possess a copy of the Employment Contract signed by you and your
foreign employer duly attested by the registered recruiting agent. A copy also be
kept with the family members in India.

· Insist on a copy of Employment Contract in English duly authenticated by the
recruiting agent. Also keep a copy of contact details and address of the recruiting

· Open a Savings Bank N.R.E. Account in one of the Banks in India to enable you to
send your remittances from abroad.

· Get familiar with the local labour laws, working and living conditions of Saudi Arabia.

Keep with you complete address of the Indian Embassy in Riyadh and Consulate in

In the Country of your Employment

· Obtain the Labour Card and IQUAMA (identity Card) as early as possible after
arrival in Saudi Arabia.
· DO NOT part with your Passport and copy of Employment Contract signed by you in
Note: Passport is kept by the Employer/Sponsor in Saudi Arabia.
· DO NOT sign any other Employment Contract or any blank paper.
Note: In Saudi Arabia, a new work contract in Arabic only is signed with the worker
after his arrival which is duly countersigned by the Ministry of Labour. This contract
is treated as the valid document with regard to salary and all other terms related to
employment. The contract signed in India between the worker and the employer has
no legal sanctity under the Saudi Labour laws; the worker should ensure that the
terms and conditions signed in the work contract after his arrival are not different
from what he signed in India prior to his departure.
· DO NOT strike work or resort to agitations. These are illegal under Saudi Arabia’s
labour laws. You could be arrested, imprisoned and deported.
Customs Formalities
· Personal baggage – Customs checking is VERY STRICT. Kindly co-operate with
the Customs staff at the International Airport.
· Ensure that you do not carry any narcotics or alcoholic drinks. Alcohol is strictly
prohibited. Its consumption is a serious offence attracting severe punishment or
· DO NOT accept any unchecked parcel from any one. If you have to take a parcel for
someone, check thoroughly that it does not contain alcohol or narcotics or any other
forbidden material. Otherwise, it may land you in serious difficulties on arrival in
Saudi Arabia.


· You must make and keep a photocopy of all the pages of your Passport. DO NOT
lose your Passport or its photocopy. A copy of the passport also be kept with the
family members in India.
· In case you misplace your Passport, inform the nearest Indian Mission immediately
giving them details, i.e. Passport number, date and place of issue, your name and
date of your entry in Saudi Arabia. You can give these details only if you keep a
photocopy of your Passport.
· DO NOT lose your copy of Employment Contract. Make photocopies and keep them
always with you and also ensure that a copy of your work contract remains with your
family in India.
· You must have a full name, address, telephone/fax number of your foreign
employer, before you leave India.
· If you have difficulty in locating your foreign employer, contact the nearest Indian
Mission immediately.
· DO NOT accept temporary or permanent employment with another person or
establishment other than the sponsoring Company/ establishment/ person.
Employment with other than your original sponsor is strictly prohibited and attracts
severe punishment.
· Before the Visa or Employment Contract expires, get them renewed. If you are
returning to India for a short while during the tenure of your Employment Contract
abroad, ensure that the validity period of Visa does not expire before you return to
Saudi Arabia.
· Ensure also that your Passport is valid. Get it revalidated from the concerned Indian
Mission abroad or from the Regional Passport Office (RPO) in India, at least two
months before its expiry.

Embassy of India, Riyadh
B-1, Diplomatic Quarter,
Telephone : 00-966-1-4884144, 4884691, 4884692,
4834254, 4884697, 4881982 (24 hour Help Line)
Fax : 00-966-1-4884750 (Chancery)
4804764 (Commercial)
E-Mail : ambassador[at]indianembassy[dot]org[dot]sa
(Ambassador’s Office)

(DCM’s Office);

consular[at]indianembassy[dot]org[dot]sa (passport);
cw[at]indianembassy[dot]org[dot]sa (Community Welfare);
www.indianembassy.org.sa (website)

Consulate General of India, Jeddah
Bldg. of M/s Bughshan & Bros.
Madinah Road, Near Al Mira Carpets
P B No. 952 Jeddah 21421
Telephone : 00 966 2 6520104 / 112, 6517581
Fax : 00 966 2 6533964
Email : cg[at]cgijeddah[dot]org (CG’s Office)
welfare[at]cgijeddah[dot]org (Welfare Section)
consular[at]cgijeddah[dot]org (Passport Section)
Important Contacts
Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs
Government of India
Akbar Bhavan, Chanakya Puri,
New Delhi-110021
Telephone No 91-11-24197900
Fax No: 91-11-24197919.
Email: info[at]moia[dot]nic[dot]in

Shri Vayalar Ravi
Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs
Ph. (O) 91-11-24676836 / 37 / 39
Fax (O) 91-11-24197985
Email: minister[at]moia[dot]nic[dot]in
Ph (R) 91-11-23792148 / 49
Fax (R) 91-11-23792142

Dr. A. Didar Singh
Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs
Ph: 91-11-24674143 / 44
Fax: 91-11-24674140
Email : secretary[at]moia[dot]nic[dot]in

Shri Karan A. Singh
Protector General of Emigrants
Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs
Ph: 91-11-26874250
Fax: 91-11-24197984
Email: pge[at]moia[dot]nic[dot]in

List of Offices of Protector of Emigrants in India

1. Protector of Emigrants, New Delhi
Jaisalmer House, Canteen Block,
Mansigh Road, New Delhi 110001.
Ph. 011 – 23382472
Fax 011 – 23073908
2. Protector of Emigrants Bombay,
Building E, Khira Nagar,
S V Road, Santa Cruz (West), Mumbai, 400054.
Ph. 022 – 26614393
Fax: 022 – 26614353
3. Protector of Emigrants Thiruvananthapuram,
Sugandh, 24/846 (1), Thycaud,
Thiruvananthapuram – 695014.
Ph. 0471 – 2741790
4. Protector of Emigrants Kochi,
3rd Floor, Putherikal Building,
Market Road, Kochi 682035.
Ph. 0484 – 2360187
5. Protector of Emigrants, Chennai,
TNHB, Ashok Nagar Shopping Complex (Annexe)
Ashok Nagar, Chennai 600083,
Ph. 044 – 24891337
6. Protector of Emigrants Chandigarh,
Kendriya Sadan
Fifth Block, Ground Floor,
Sector 9A, Chandigargh - 160017.
Ph. 0172 – 2741790
7. Protector of Emigrants Kolkata,
Room No: 18, A–Wing,
3rd Floor, M S O Building, D F Block,
Salt Lake, Kolkata 700084.
Ph. 033 – 23343407
8. Protector of Emigrants Hyderabad,
Gruhkalpa, Ground Floor
Opposite to Gandhi Bhawan,
Nampally, Hyderabad.
Ph: 040 - 24652557
Information Available on the Website of MOIA
 Revised emigration requirements
 Recruiting agents having suspended RC
 Online emigration clearance system
 List of Registered recruiting agents with valid RC at poeonline.gov.in
 Internal watch-list of recruiting agents
 Recruiting agents having cancelled RC
 Foreign employers on PAC
 Project Exporters at poeonline.gov.in
 Emigration Act, 1983
 Emigration Rules, 1983
 Pravsi Bharatiya Bima Yojana
 Redressal of Public Grievances Information on Recruiting Agents and Black Listed
Foreign Employers
 Guidelines for recruiting agents/guidelines for prospective Emigrant workers.
Consultation With Public
PGE conducts the Public Hearings in the office of the Protector of Emigrants, Jaisalmer
House, Canteen Block, Mansingh Road, New Delhi between 3.00 PM to 4.00 PM. on all
Tuesdays where members of the public could come with their grievances/suggestions
without any appointment.
Information Under RTI Act
For information (under the RTI Act, 2005) citizens may approach the Public Information
Officer (RTI) of Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs available from 10:00 hrs to 13:00 hrs
on each day (except Monday and Friday). The information pertaining to MOIA is also
available on the MOIA Website (http://www.moia.gov.in) in detail. Further, the citizens
may also approach the PIO (RTI) using email addresses dsfs@moia.nic.in &

Part – II


Saudi Arabia is the largest state in the Arabian Peninsula, with the Red Sea and the Gulf
of Aqaba on the West and the Persian Gulf on the East. The Kingdom occupies 80
percent of the Arabian Peninsula and includes the world’s largest continuous sand desert
known as the Empty Quarter. Saudi Arabia, with an area of 2.24 million sq. km, is the
14th largest country in the world. It has boundaries with Iraq (814 km); Jordan (782 km);
Kuwait (222km); Oman (676 km); Qatar (60km); UAE (457 km) and Yemen (1458 km).
From the Western coastal region, the land rises from sea level to a peninsula-long
mountain range, beyond which are plateaus. The South-west region has the greenest and
the most attractive climate in the Kingdom. The East is rocky or sandy low-land that
extends to the Gulf.

Extreme heat and drought are the main characteristics of the country in summer, when
temperatures of over 50º Celsius are occasionally experienced, while during winter frost
and even snow may occur in the interior and the mountain regions. Winter temperatures
vary between 8 and 20 degrees C in Riyadh and interior cities, while they range from 19
degree C and 29º C in Jeddah, on the Red Sea coast, and other costal areas.
The annual rainfall is as low as 100 millimeters, though sudden downpours followed by
flash floods is not uncommon. The rainfall season is normally between January and May.


Saudi Arabia has been the homeland of the Arabs. Islam took its birth here in the 7th
century. Mecca and Medina, the two holiest cities in Islam, are located in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia owes its present formation to King Abdul Aziz Al- Saud (1882-1953), who
established the modern Kingdom in 1932. Since 1953, Saudi Arabia has been ruled by
the sons of King Abdul Aziz. The present ruler of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah, came to
the throne in 2005.


Oil was discovered in 1936 and commercial production began after the World War II.
Saudi Arabia is the world’s major producer of oil and has the world’s largest proven
hydrocarbon reserves (25%). The petroleum sector accounts for about 75 percent of
budget revenues and 90 percent of export earnings. About 40 percent of the GDP comes
from the private sector. Saudi Arabia joined the WTO in 2005. In 2005, Saudi Arabia had
a per capita income of US$ 12,900.
The national currency is the Saudi Riyal (SR), which is made up of 100 halalah. The
exchange rate is fixed at SR 3.74 per US dollar, which is roughly equal to Indian Rupees

The main natural resources of the country are: petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, gold and
copper. The country imports machinery, industrial equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals,
motor vehicles and textiles.

Saudi Arabia has a population of 28 million. The major religion is Islam and the main
language is Arabic, though English is widely spoken and understood.

Foreign Labour

There are over 8 million expatriate workers in the country, mainly from South and Southeast
Asian countries. Indians are the largest expatriate community, numbering over two
million. About 70% Indian expatriate workers fall under the blue collar category, while
20% are professional and 10% white collar non-professional. Other major expatriate
communities are: Pakistan – 12.5 lakhs; Bangladesh -15 lakhs; Egypt-12.5 lakhs;
Philippines -12 lakhs; Indonesia-10 lakhs; Sri Lanka -5 lakhs.

Labour Laws

Labour laws apply to all expatriate workers in Saudi Arabia, except domestic servants,
farm workers and fishermen. The Ministry of Labour has been entrusted with the
responsibility of implementing the labour laws. Complaints can be lodged with the Ministry
of Labour if an employer terminates a work contract without valid reason. The aggrieved
party is entitled to an indemnity to be assessed by the competent commission based on
the nature of work, period of service, the workman’s age, the pay scale, family
responsibilities, etc. Labour laws have provisions to safeguard the workers against fraud,
abuse and arbitrary termination of contract or non-compliance with contractual


Warning against ‘Free Visa’

According to  existing Saudi Labour laws, it is illegal for expatriate workers to work with sponsor other than one in whose name visa was issued, provided, he/she has legally taken transfer to other sponsor. Except for investors, it is also illegal for expatriates to do own business and to engage in the profession other than one for which visa visa/iqama (residence permit) has been issued.
 Therefore, the impression that under the category of ‘Free visa’ which is nothing but a fallacy, the expatriate worker can do any job and anywhere, is wrong and in its name, the innocent and gullible workers are trapped by unscrupulous elements. In fact, there is nothing which exists as Free visa. It is therefore, advised that the prospective Indian workers must check their type of visa and profession on their visa sticker by confirming from some independent Arabic knowing person/agency, before departure. 

Location of the Embassy

B-1 Diplomatic Quarter, PO Box 94387 in Diplomatic Quarter, Riyadh - 11693, Saudi
Arabia, Riyadh 11693, Saudi Arabia
Ph: 00-966-1-4884144, 4884691, 4884692, 4834254
Fax :00-9661-4884750
The Consular/Passport and Welfare Wings are located on the Ground Floor of the
Embassy building.

Contact Details
Enquiries relating to Consular, Labour and Welfare services can be obtained from the
following telephone numbers:-
General Enquiry (966-1) 488 4144, 488 4691, 488 4692
24-hr Help-Line (966-1) 488 4697, 488 1982
Attache (Consular) (966-1) 488 4144 Ext. 104 (for passport matters)
Attaché (Visa) (966-1) 488 4144 Ext. 112/205 (visa and attestation)
Attache (CW) (966-1) 488 4144 Ext. 325
Fax No. (966-1) 488 4183
E-mail consular@indianembassy.org.sa (Consular/Passport services)
cw[at]indianembassy[dot]org[dot]sa (For Labour and Welfare services)
Working Hours for Consular Services (Saturday through Wednesday)
1 Submission of Passport applications / attestation of documents 8.45 AM to 11.30 AM
2 Submission of Passport applications /documents by authorised company representatives 11.30 AM to 12.00 NOON
3 Delivery of attested documents (normally on the day of submission) 3.30 PM to 5.00 PM
4 Delivery of Passports (on the day mentioned at the time of submission) 15.30 PM to 5.00 PM
5 Submission of Visa Applications 08.45 AM to 11.30 AM
6 Issue of Visa (normally on the day of submission) 4.00 PM to 4.30 PM

Ray Jureidini (2003), Migrant Workers and Xenophobia in the Middle East, Geneva,
United Nations Research Institute for Social Development.
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