SAUDI ARABIA – Recent Changes for Foreign Workers

The Ministry of Labour and Social Development (MLSD) has recently made several significant changes to its rules for issuing block visas and work visas, to the “Nitaqat” Saudization system and to the expat levy.

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SAUDI ARABIA – Labour Market Testing Requirement Suspended

Effective immediately, the Saudi Ministry of Labor has suspended the requirement for companies intending to hire foreign nationals to first advertise jobs on the Taqat jobs portal before applying for block visas (expatriate quota).

At the same time, the Ministry has announced a fast track visa service for companies who have a high Saudization rate to be able to obtain visas immediately, and has allowed companies in the medium green saudization category to apply for block visas provided that it does not lower the company’s Saudization category. This was previously restricted to the high green and platinum categories only.

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SAUDI ARABIA – Labour Market Testing Requirement Suspended

This news alert was prepared with information provided by Innovation SA and Proven.

SAUDI ARABIA – Employers Can Pay to Attain Required Saudization Category

Following the implementation on 3 September 2017 of stricter Saudization requirements for businesses, the Ministry of Labour (MOL) and the Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) have introduced the “Parallel Nitaqat” system, to allow employers to buy into the required saudization category instead of hiring Saudi nationals.

“Parallel Nitaqat” aims to help employers who are struggling to hire enough Saudi nationals with the required skills or experience to reach their preferred Nitaqat category. Employers can pay a monthly fee (or six months in advance) for each Saudi employee they would otherwise have to hire to reach their preferred Nitaqat category.

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SAUDI ARABIA – Employers Can Pay to Attain Required Saudization Category

This news alert was prepared using information provided by Proven.

SAUDI ARABIA – Foreign Engineers Now Required to Have Five Years of Experience

The Saudi Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD) and the Saudi Council of Engineers (SCE) have announced an agreement to require foreign engineers to demonstrate at least five years of professional engineering experience to be eligible for work permits.

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SAUDI ARABIA – Foreign Engineers Now Required to Have Five Years of Experience

This news alert was prepared using information provided by Proven.

SAUDI ARABIA – Stricter Saudization Targets

Effective 3 September 2017, the Ministry of Labour and Social Development will implement a new version of its Nitaqat grading programme for companies, meaning stricter Saudization requirements for businesses.

The Ministry has also announced that it only approved 37% of work visa applications in 2016 (316,212 out of 849,228).

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SAUDI ARABIA – Stricter Saudization Targets Scheduled

This news alert was prepared using information provided by Proven.

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