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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Saudi Arabia eases restrictions on Yemenis seeking permanent residency 

Yemenis in Saudi Arabia may convert their visit visa to permanent residencies, but must meet certain conditions

People walk outside the King Abdul Aziz airport upon their arrival to the Red Sea port city of Jeddah on November 27, 2008. Khaled Desouki / AFP
People walk outside the King Abdul Aziz airport upon their arrival to the Red Sea port city of Jeddah on November 27, 2008. Khaled Desouki / AFP

Saudi Arabia is easing restrictions on Yemenis who want permanent residency in the kingdom.

The immigration department said on Tuesday night that starting September 16, Yemenis in Saudi Arabia may convert their visit visas to permanent residencies, but must meet certain conditions.

The announcement comes after King Salman of Saudi Arabia in June issued a decree that gave Yemenis on a visit visa a six-month extension.

In order to obtain a permanent residency, Yemenis must present the government with an employment letter and a valid passport with a visitor’s visa. They must also undergo a medical test and other procedures outlined on the website of the Passport General Department.

The ministry of interior said that the steps taken by Saudi Arabia were to help Yemenis, whose country has been embroiled in a civil war since 2015.

A Saudi-led coalition — which includes the UAE — intervened in the war in an effort to restore the internationally-recognised government to power in the capital, Sanaa.

This occurred after Houthi rebels sacked the capital and entered into alliance with former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

According to the UN, more than 8,400 people have been killed in the civil war and more than 3 million are seeking asylum, pushing the country to the brink of famine.

The situation has led to the worst outbreak of cholera in recent history. The World Health Organisation says the epidemic has infected 612,703 people and killed 2,048 since it began in April.