RIYADH – The Labor Ministry has made it mandatory for expatriates living in the Kingdom - seeking transfer of their Iqamas (residence permits) to other sponsors – to complete two years in the service of their current employers.
The new rule effective May 15, approved by Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Khwaiter, acting Labor Minister, has already been circulated to labor offices across the Kingdom.
Abdul Rahman Bin Sa’ad Al-Bawardi, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Labor for Labor Affairs, said that the decision was based on a study conducted by the ministry, which monitored the movement of expatriate workers from one employer to another.
He said the study concluded that the practice of transferring Iqamas has led to an increase in the recruitment of foreign workers as some establishments recruit them with the aim of transferring their services after a short time.
Al-Bawardi said that this practice increases the number of expatriates in the country and affects the employment prospects of Saudi nationals.
He said the new labor law governs the transfer of sponsorship of expatriate workers and specifies those cases exempted from the new regulation, adding that he hoped that the new decision would stabilize the relationship between employers and employees and will curtail the negative impact of the current practices on the labor market. – SPA