Saudi Arabia resumes issuance of visas to Ugandan maids

Thursday May 13 2021
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Some youth prepare to leave Entebbe airport for employment in Dubai, UAE on October 22, 2019. Photo/Abubaker Lubowa

By Andrew Bagala

The Royal Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Kampala City has resumed issuance of visas to Ugandans that want to travel to their country to work as maids.

The embassy had halted the issuance of Visas to maids on April 19,2021, attributing it to a technical glitch at their foreign ministry impacting the travel of over 20,000 Ugandans.

Mr Ronnie Mukundane, the spokesman of Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA), confirmed Saudi Arabia resuming issuance of visa to Ugandan maids.

“The Visa services at The Royal Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia resumed on May 11,” Mr Mukundane said.

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Saudi families that had already paid for maid services also complained to labour companies about the delay of the arrival of their domestic workers.

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Mr Mukundane said members of their association are to put in extra time to ensure that the domestic workers report to their workplaces as soon as possible.

In April this year, Saudi Arabia government banned travel or transit from 20 countries including the United Arab Emirates for fear of the spread of the Coronavirus strain that has killed more than 226,000 people in India. The flights are to be allowed to Saudi Arabia next week.

Some cases of the deadly Coronavirus strain that was identified in India was detected among patients in Uganda.   

The halt of the issuance of Visa will have a negative effect on Uganda's forex exchange earnings since around 165,000 Ugandans working in the Middle East, and they contribute Shs$650m (Shs3.7t) to the economy, according to statistics from UAERA.  

Most of them work in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Last month alone, Saudi Arabia granted Visas to 8,666 Ugandan housemaids.

abagala@ug.nationmedia.com

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