Recruitment from Uganda put on hold

February 16, 2019

Saudi Gazette report

More than 2,500 work visas issued to Saudi families to recruit housemaids from Uganda are on hold after the country’s government stopped sending domestic workers to the Kingdom about 45 days ago citing a number of reasons, according to sources in local manpower recruitment agencies.

The sources, quoted by Al-Madina Arabic newspaper, said there were mainly four factors that impeded the arrival of Ugandan housemaids to the Kingdom, including the inability to access the Ministry of Labor and Social Development’s Musanid app from Kampala, the Ugandan capital.

The ministry introduced the new smartphone app to facilitate the recruitment of housemaids from abroad in early 2017.

Another impediment before the recruitment was a decision to temporarily suspend the printing of Ugandan passports, as the country was introducing changes to the travel document. The Ugandan government has also instructed the Saudi Embassy in Kampala not to stamp entry visas on the old passports or deliver the passports that were already stamped to their owners.

Finally, a decision by Kampala to suspend labor export to Saudi Arabia is preventing Ugandan housemaids from traveling to the country.

The recruitment agencies said as a result of these reasons, they were not able to follow up with the work visas that were already issued or to request for the issuance of new visas.

Abdulaziz Al-Miqahwi, the owner of a recruitment office, said the decision of the Ugandan government to change the country’s passports temporarily halted all the paperwork for travel in the east African country.

“We are not able to follow up 2,500 recruitment visas that were already issued nor can we ask for new visas to be stamped,” he said.

Mohammed Al-Baqami, another office owner, said the delay in resolving issues surrounding the recruitment of housemaids from Indonesia, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka had increased the demand for Ugandan maids, who are also unable to come now due to the decisions of the Ugandan government.

The Saudi recruitment offices started to bring housemaids from Uganda in January 2018. The monthly wage was fixed at SR850 and recruitment cost at SR7,500.

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