Saudi eight year expat cap now under government review

Saudi eight year expat cap now under government review

Saudi eight year expat cap now under government review

Recently-released new regulations from the Saudi Ministry of Labour included the news that the draft law capping expat worker residence in the Kingdom to eight years is now under review.

Ahmed al-Humaidan, the Kingdom’s deputy labout policy minister, told local media that a working committee has been set up to study the unpopular law. He added that alternative strategies and solutions would be discussed, with findings hopefully completed by the Hiraji year’s first quarter.

Following its announcement last year, the draft law has resulted in strong objections from international companies based in Saudi. The clause discouraging expats from bringing their families with them, it was said, was sure to have a negative effect on businesses wishing to employ top talent for the benefit of the country.

The new Transfer of Service regulations announced by the minister include permission for expats wishing to transfer their sponsorship without their current employers’ agreement. Formerly, changing jobs was a difficult process made almost impossible without the permission of the current employer.

Transferring expat sponsorship will still need the endorsement of the Labour Ministry, but will be allowed in cases of dispute where the sponsor has failed to attend labour court sessions on two occasions. Should an expat have problems with his salary payments, a transfer of service without the employer’s consent will also be allowed.

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