Saudi Arabia clarifies new rules over expat jobs

Labour Ministry says new regulations limiting work permits would not apply to 'house servants'

Unemployment among nationals in the kingdom is currently 10.5 percent

Unemployment among nationals in the kingdom is currently 10.5 percent

Saudi Arabia's labour ministry on Tuesday moved to clarify its position on expat workers amid confusion over new Saudization rules and regulations.

Media reports quoted Labour Minister Adel Fakieh as saying all foreign workers who have spent six years in the kingdom would not have work permits renewed as part of its plan to create jobs for nationals.

But a ministry spokesman told state news agency Saudi Press Agency that the rule only applied to expats working for companies who do not meet new Saudization criteria.

He also said the new measure would not apply on house servants as their permits would be renewed without considering how many years they stayed in the country.

Under the new Nitaqat system, companies are split into red, yellow and green categories depending on their level of employment of nationals.

The ministry said the measure would be applied on those foreigners who work for companies in the yellow and red category.

The spokesman added that permits of foreign workers in red category companies would not be renewed at all, irrespective of the years they have spent in the kingdom.

Companies in Saudi Arabia will have a three-month period to September 7 to achieve a prescribed quota of Saudi employees.

Unemployment among nationals in the kingdom, which sits on more than a fifth of global oil reserves and is the world's biggest oil exporter, is currently 10.5 percent, he said, adding that 28 percent of the unemployed were women and 40 percent high school graduates.

Despite its wealth, unemployment in the Gulf Arab state has risen as an outdated school system focused on religion and the Arabic language produces graduates who have difficulty finding jobs with private firms.

Companies favour workers from Asia, prepared to work long hours for low salaries, or well-paid foreign experts.

Many Saudis work in the public sector but, in contrast to other Gulf oil producers such as Kuwait, citizens do not automatically get a job because of the rapidly rising population, which now stands at almost 19 million.

In 1994 the government began a "Saudisation" plan, setting quotas for the number of nationals private firms must hire. The programme failed to achieve a significant increase in the participation of nationals in the private sector, where Saudis still account for only 10 percent of employees.

Almost 70 percent of Saudis are under the age of 30, and the population is increasing by around 2.4 percent annually.

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Posted by: Ahmed

My name is Ahmed ,
it will be very bad to deny foriegners in KSA because international relations and international trade said no man or country can be an island of its own.

Posted by: kamranayyub

That's really great information for people who are looking for jobs in Saudi Arabia and knowing these rules will be handy in searching for perfect jobs.

Posted by: Ali

Its totally new game for poor foreigners and nothing else.KSA Govt. knows very well about their unemployed people and they know how to manage them but they want to get more revenue to send back all foreigners.Its our humble request to Govt. of KSA please treat in good manners with foreigners

Posted by: Mushi

Mr Saudi please tel me that if your government not wants foreign workers any more than why the government is issuing thousands of new visas every day, your government knows every every thing that saudi locals open company offices only to show and get issued visas and than after sells 1 visa in 20000 riyals, means millions,trllions of riyals saudi locals are getting from selling visas, why total anger to foreigners,why you are not taking action against your locals, and if you have unemployment problems why your government issue thousands of visas every day,
This is only a way to get more money from foreign workers, send back 2 or 3 million and than issue new 2 million visas to locals which they sell and get money, what the hell is this..............
saudi government knows all about selling visas.

Posted by: Sam

Thamir wont be answering this, nor my I guess he has no answer to give - not a rational one at least. :)

Good riddance!

Posted by: Tabish

assalamualikum thamir ghaslan... hope ur fine. nd i would like to post here my views regarding the new rules introduced daily in ksa... i find it quite a bad idea to discriminate the expats residing in saudi especially the indians and pakistanis bcoz if they all leave the kingdom then the kingdom would have to face a lot of problem.. firstly, the name and fame of ksa would all be ruined as everybody will start thinking evil and curse ksa for the problems they suffered due to the laws introduced.. i dont think that the kingdom has too much well experienced workers to take the place of those expats. an example of this can be seen in the qassim region where the female doctors were replaced by the saudis and the result was quite disgusting... hundreds of newly born were dead due to the unexperienced female doctors performing the pregnancy operation.... so i would suggest u to please look over this once again.....

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