May 2nd, 2013

Working Visas now required for seafarers passing in Saudi waters

Seafarers are now required work and visitor’s Visas in able to work in the waters of Saudi Arabia, specifically those employed in the Eastern Province for Saudi Aramco.

Under the new system, foreign seafarers will no longer be allowed to use their seaman's passport, to gain entry in the country’s waters.

Col. Khalid Al-Arqoubi, security spokesman for the Border Guard Command in the Eastern Region, said the new regulations have been drawn up to further streamline the entry and exit of seamen who work in regional waters but do not enter the Kingdom's mainland.

"Seamen are now required to obtain temporary work permits before they start working in the regional waters; (especially) those who usually work for Saudi Aramco,” adds Al-Arqoubi.

He added that the sailors were previously allowed to use their seaman's passports to work for a maximum of six months in Saudi territorial waters. They will now have to get temporary work permits for their stay.

Foreign sailors will only be allowed into the country for work specified on their permits. If they want to leave at the end of their employment, they will be given an exit permit. If they want to return, they can apply for a multiple entry visa or obtain a new one.

Seafarers will be able to get visas from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to comply with Ministry of Labor regulations regarding temporary work permits.