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MOL classifies cities based on population
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 29 - 12 - 2013

Saudi Gazette report

TAIF — The Ministry of Labor has classified the Kingdom's cities into three categories to streamline recruitment, Al-Madinah newspaper reported on Saturday.
The ministry classified all provincial capitals and cities with a population of more than 100,000 according to 2009 statistics into Category A.
Cities that fall into this category include Riyadh, Buraidah, Al-Seih, Dhahran, Jeddah, Qurayat, Madinah, Hail, Arar, Baha, Dammam, Najran, Onaizah, Tabuk, Hufouf, Mubarraz, Hafr Al-Batin, Sakaka, Abha, Taif, Al-Thuqbah, Al-Hawyah and Jazan.
Cities with a population of between 30,000 and 100,000 are grouped in Category B. Wadi Al-Dawaser, Al-Ras, Bishah, Tarut, Seihat, Al-Zulfi, Ahad Rafidah, Mahayil, Rabigh, Sharourah, Bahra, Al-Khafji, Sabya, Al-Dawadmi, Abu Aresh, Rahima, Rafha, Safwa, Tabarjal, Turaif, Al-Majma'a, Al-Badaye, Afif, Baljurashi, Al-Diriyah, Al-Dulum, Umluj, Abqaiq, Domat Al-Jandal, Samtah, Al-Ula, Beesh, Al-Wajh, Taima and Al-Mezahmyah fall in this group. All other cities with less than 30,000 people fall in Category C.
European embassies link expat visas to Nitaqat
A number of European embassies have confirmed that the process of issuing European visas to expatriates living in the Kingdom is linked to the Nitaqat status of the companies they work for, Al-Hayat daily reported.
A source in one of the embassies said European visas are issued to expatriates living in the Kingdom depending on the status of his residency, job security, the reason for the visit and financial situation. He added that if a company is in the yellow or red category of Nitaqat Saudization program, it indicates job insecurity and an inability to renew the residency permit.
The source said exceptions are made for expatriates who have previously obtained visas to European countries but this is left to the discretion of the visa officer. He also noted that Saudis have an excellent track record as far as illegal immigration to Europe is concerned and that there is a negligible number of Saudis who overstay their visas.

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