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.

11 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.

  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 ..?

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