Gulf Labour Markets, Migration, and Population (GLMM) Programme

An international independent, non-partisan, non-profit joint programme of a major Gulf think tank and a globally renowned academic migration centre.
The programme provides data, analyses, and recommendations contributing to the improvement of understanding and management of
Gulf labour migration, population, and labour markets, engaging with and respecting the viewpoints of all stakeholder.
  • Home
  • Demographic and Economic Database
  • Amnesty of 2013 cumulated numbers of work status corrections by type since the beginning of the amnesty period (06_04_2013), at various dates (Saudi Arabia)

Amnesty of 2013 cumulated numbers of work status corrections by type since the beginning of the amnesty period (06_04_2013), at various dates (Saudi Arabia)

Please log in to download the excel file

date of record 23/06/2013 06/07/2013 01/09/2013
Transfer of sponsorship 329.468 1.183.022 1.500.000
Change of profession 141.000 1.122.125 1.300.000
Issuance or renewal of work permits 926.330 1.617.779 2.500.000
Total of corrections 1.396.798 3.922.926 5.300.000

Source: Ministry of Labour



1. Definition


Ahead of a crackdown on irregular workers/ sojourners, an amnesty period was decided, starting April 3rd, 2013 and due to expire on November 3rd, 2013. The amnesty allows workers to try to sort out their administrative situation (renew expired documents; register their current employer as their sponsor; register changes in profession and in activity sector, etc.), or leave without paying a penalty.

Foreigners who came for Haj, Umrah or visit before 3/7/2008 could also rectify their status at the passport department.

The regularization campaign was decided within the process of undertaking a massive program of saudization of the work force, called ‘Nitaqat’.

Nitaqat (“ranges” or “zones”) was formally launched by the Saudi Ministry of Labour in September 2011 (Ministerial Resolution n°4040, dated 12/10/1432 H.). The regulation establishes minimum shares reserved for Saudi citizens in a company’s labor force, depending on the size and on the activity sector of the business.

The companies with less than 10 employees are exempt from the program, but still need to employ at least one Saudi citizen.

Based on their level of compliance to Saudization quotas, the program classifies the private firms into four categories: Premium, Green, Yellow and Red. Premium and Green categories include the companies with highest Saudization rates, while Yellow and Red include the ones with low rates.

Color/ category of company is henceforth bound to the company’s ability to secure or renew its employees’ work permits, as well as registering any new branch of activity with the Labor ministry.

Nitaqat’ is ongoing and new measures are being added to the program’s tasks.


2. Institution which provides data


Ministry of Labour


3. Data availability


The figures are retrieved from press releases quoting officials of the Labor ministry, sometimes published on the Ministry of Labour’s website, “News” section.

23/06 figures:

03/07 figures:

01/09 figures:


Tags: , , ,