New rules for foreign workers in Saudi starting March 14, 2021

Henceforth, foreign workers will not need their employer’s permission to leave the country, change jobs or transfer sponsorship

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All major restrictions that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia used to impose on foreign workers have been lifted, as modified labor policies come into effect from March 14. Workers from outside Saudi Arabia can now change jobs, travel or even leave the country without the permission of their employers. Earlier, an attempt at any such action would have resulted in the concerned employees being declared fugitives. Now, if the employees decide to exist the country without permission, the action will lead to a process for terminating the contract.

The labour policies have undergone an overhaul with the objective of attracting good quality talent, ensuring more inclusiveness for Saudis and also improving the working conditions.

The current system requires foreign workers to work under a sort of bond with their Saudi employer, without whose permission they cannot leave the country, travel for a vacation, replace lost identity cards or even change jobs.

With the modified rules, they will be able to leave the country against payment for an ‘exit visa’, for which they will not require the permission or help of their employer.

They can approach the Saudi government for transfer of sponsorship, even if their present employer does not approve of the same.

However, these changes will not be applicable to the over three million domestic workers in the country, most of whom are foreigners and amongst those who suffer maximum abuse.

40 COMMENTS

  1. I had signed my first employment contract for two years, there after it continues to extend yearly without any signature on new contract papers.
    Am i eligible to quit company on completion of five years or there could be any obligatory behaviour from employer. I m working in Restaurant in riyadh..

  2. Housemaids are so ill treated like slaves and prisoners,I wish Saudi government officials should continue to strengthen the laws because many countries are tired of receiving bad reports from their children who went to work in their country, if not so,I think not many years to come Saudi families will be not receiving foreign workers to work as housemaids because of torture or poor treatment.

  3. Yes I too have same question that I have already signed a contract for 3 years. But I have been got cheated here.
    Is that new rules apply for already signed workers.
    Please please answer this question.

  4. May I know what are those condition to transfer new employer from my current employer due to the exploitation I have been experienced since I arrive in Riyadh. I started my job since Feb 2020 until present. By march 14, 2021 my 12 months will be completed.

    Please advise if you ideas on the process.

    Thanks.

    • It very simple, you just need to wait unless your current work permit duration is end. After that you can contact your new employer to send request for transfer and pay the fee before you make transfer, so in that case even though if the current employer don’t want to let you accept you transfer so it could happen automatically.

      One thing, make sure your old contract you have been signed is only for current year, if you have already signed for the future so in that case you could face a problem.

  5. May I know what are those condition to transfer new employer from my current employer due to the exploitation I have been experienced since I arrive in Riyadh. I started my job since Feb 2020 until present. By march 14, 2021 my 12 months will be completed.

    Please advise if you ideas on the process.

    Thanks.

  6. Yes I too have same question that I have already signed a contract for 3 years. But I have been got cheated here.
    Is that new rules apply for already signed workers.
    Please please answer this question.

  7. I had signed my first employment contract for two years, there after it continues to extend yearly without any signature on new contract papers.
    Am i eligible to quit company on completion of five years or there could be any obligatory behaviour from employer. I m working in Restaurant in riyadh..

  8. Housemaids are so ill treated like slaves and prisoners,I wish Saudi government officials should continue to strengthen the laws because many countries are tired of receiving bad reports from their children who went to work in their country, if not so,I think not many years to come Saudi families will be not receiving foreign workers to work as housemaids because of torture or poor treatment.

  9. Iam working as a salesman i hav lost some money in market due to corona pandemic if Iam not paying tha amount company can take any legal action against me ..?

  10. I have given the paper to the company before my contract get finish 16 November while my contract getting finish at 18th January ..but from company I don’t know but my store manager and operation manager has told me that your demand has been approved ..and I start to work as per my s-managet information …today it’s february end my demand was type in resignation latter as demand ….today I received less salary and how they can cheat like that if I provided paper as per the rules ..what should I do now ?

  11. I didn’t understand the rules of saudi Arabia what is happening here now new rules are not affect until March 14 but my employer force me to sign in new 2 years contract papers otherwise leave the kingdom. So, What i do now ?I ‘am in trouble. So my request to Saudi government please help us because there is to many people facing same problems .

  12. My contact start from 1/1/2020 for three year if I will not interested so I will go to exit . After 14March these all contact for 1 year or more . After 14march my last contact cancel or not

  13. Thanks for info , please i need below info
    Do we need to pay exit reentry visa fee for dependent(Wife Child) while goin on vacation ?
    Do Employee have to pay exit reentry visa fee while going on vacation multiple time out of country ?
    Do we need to pay dependent fee for iqama renewal ?

  14. I had signed my first employment contract for two years, there after it continues to extend yearly without any signature on new contract papers.
    Am i eligible to quit company on completion of five years or there could be any obligatory behaviour from employer. I m working in Construction Company.

  15. Dear respected sir,
    I want some advise. Please you share me. My contact two year but now 5th year finished. My contact 15 march 2021 is complited but my iqama will be finish 20 july 2021.. I want change the jobs. If i will change the jobs any faces problem?

  16. i almost 15 years in my company..if possible to get my esb benifits while working in company i will not take exit…thank you

  17. Dear sir my sponsor give me final exit with out informing me. now I want to cancel with out sponsor my id is valid for 22 days and I want to transfer my job

  18. Hi, I joined the company 5 years before (2015), and my 2 years contract finished on 2017. But as per new rule my company ask me to sign 2 year new contract upto 2022. It means I cannot switch my job upto 2022?
    And my colleagues worked 10 years in this company, for them also company asking to sign 2 year contract. so in my company no body cannot switch the job upto 2022?
    Can anyone please tell us what’s the exact rule for old employees. We all have wait 2 years more for switching jobs?

  19. I refused new contract of company and resign with 90 days’ notice my current company have any authorities to final exit me?

  20. What is the procedure for business because I’m doing business in KSA . So in my business I have to keep sponsor or my sponsor will be government

  21. As salam alikum,

    I want to change sponsor, as per new labour law 2021 What is the notice period if I want to terminate the contract.
    And as per my existing sponsor contract which I did in 2015, says notify period is 30 days and the company may extend it to 90 days.
    My issue is, my new company wants me to join in 30days. How can I make it possible? Please Help

  22. If I have complete 1 year 4 month but my contract 2 years but unfortunately without reason I want to go exit in India what I do now plz give suggest

  23. Need Guidance.

    Is there still rule active which is, you have to stay one year with your first Employer after entering Ksa? actually I’m coming to Saudi Arabia purely for looking Job under a saudi friend small company sponsership and after coming there I will search job, Let say, I get the Job within first Month of coming ksa, Now my friend saudi man will be able to give me transfer and also it will be Ok/acceptable for new Employer to accept my transfer and change the sponsership.

    Thank you

  24. Iam new in saudi arabia just complete 3 months but still my ikama is not issue.and also he dont give me my own work now i want to change my company so i can or not plz advise me

  25. My contract period is 2 years I came to saudi 2019 July. Now I have only 3 months balance to finish my 2 year contract. So I am eligible for the new law ?can I change my company via qiwa portal? Plz let me know ?

  26. Dear sir,
    I want some advise. Please you share me. My contact two year but now 3th year finished. My contact 12 February 2020 is complited but my iqama will be finish 28/11/1443.. I want change the company. If i will change the company any faces problem?

  27. i need Help please. i was working in my current company Last four years. before my contract finishing i inform them don’t renew my contract i need Transfer but at time when i stop job within 10 days they put me final exit.. yesterday i received message From Jawajat final exit anyone can give me advice what should i do now.

  28. Please I would like to know I signed my contract 1/23/2021 with the company is it possible to change now and I get another sponsorship because the company am working with is not paying salary in time it can take almost 3weeks to pay the last month help me to answer my question

  29. Hi kindly question about if I can ask a release visa in my currently employer after my contract end with them… An also if Its allowed to release visa without a new employer to transfer just I want to release visa an stays without any employer to work with its this impossible? Pls I need a clear answer an kindly advise

  30. An my nxt question is if allowed to release visa an cross country to united Arab emirates from here ksa after my contract end in my currently employer thank u for advance

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