Indians wishing to work in Saudi Arabia will henceforth required to produce Police Clearance Certificates (PCC) before being granted an employment visa.
Saudi missions in India have been instructed to direct all work visa seekers to get police clearance before their applications are considered, media report has said.
The Saudi Embassy in New Delhi and its consulate in Mumbai have told all passport offices and foreign recruitment companies in India to comply with the new rules, which come into force from Monday, Arab News said.
The passport offices will issue PCCs on the request of the nearest police stations.
The Saudi Consulate in Mumbai issues around 4,000 entry visas daily, while the embassy in New Delhi grants around 800.
According to the report, these certificates have to be certified by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and countersigned by the Saudi Foreign Ministry.
An official from the Indian Embassy said the new PCC rule is being implemented with the consent of both countries. "This will ensure only law-abiding people to come to the Kingdom, which would help the country maintain an Indian community free of offenders," he was quoted as saying.
Last week, India and Saudi Arabia gave final touches to a draft statute for the extradition of prisoners and criminals. Such a treaty would help at least 1,300 Indians who are languishing in Saudi jails for minor offences as they can now be deported home on completion of their jail terms.
Saudi Arabia has the highest number of Indians in prison in the Gulf region, followed by the UAE, which has 1,221, the report said.
Managing director of recruitment company Charisma Travels For Recruitment, Ibrahim Kutty, told Arab News that the new rule would bar any Indian recruit with a criminal record from coming to Saudi Arabia.