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.

Saudi Arabia: Applications to and approvals of changes of profession by MoL’s labour offices, by administrative region (2014)

Please log in to download the excel file

Applications to profession changes Approved profession changes
Males Females Total Males Females Total
Riyadh 158,782 2,798 161,580 130,892 2,271 133,163
Makkah 147,930 3,330 151,260 122,331 2,839 125,170
Madinah 23,077 323 23,400 19,221 294 19,515
Al-Qasseem 13,199 212 13,411 11,085 174 11,259
Eastern 85,601 577 86,178 73,743 488 74,231
Assir 15,815 96 15,911 12,914 74 12,988
Hail 5,039 86 5,125 4,079 69 4,148
Tabouk 6,465 35 6,500 5,420 27 5,447
Al-Baha 2,168 11 2,179 1,827 4 1,831
Northern Border 2,002 8 2,010 1,604 8 1,612
Al-Jouf 3,797 15 3,812 3,173 8 3,181
Jazan 7,783 51 7,834 6,319 23 6,342
Najran 6,135 25 6,160 4,955 15 4,970
Total 477,793 7,567 485,360 397,563 6,294 403,857

Source: Ministry of Labour

1. Definition

To the exception of certain categories of investors, all foreign residents in Saudi Arabia are under the responsibility of a local “sponsor”, usually the employer.
The sponsor receives the agreement to bring a foreign employee upon certification that he / she will employ the labourer in a specific profession. The “Iqama” (residency card”) mentions the profession of the worker, which also conditions certain rights (family reunion for instance).
The Saudi Labour Law has provisions allowing the worker to change profession/ sponsor. However, the procedure was conditionned to obtaining a Non-Objection Certificate from the first sponsor.
Since the onset of the Nitaqat (“ranges”, “zones”) campaign of Saudisation of the work force in September 2011, which classifies private sector companies by “range” based on the
Saudisation performance, changes of profession/ sponsor have been made easier for the workers in companies displaying the highest saudisation performance’ categories (“Green” and “Premium” or “Excellent”).
Those in companies with poorest rates of Saudisation (classified in “red” and “yellow” categories) cannot change profession.

2013′ figure is notably higher than previous ones as a result of the “correction campaign” or amnesty period run by the government from April 3 to November 3, 2013.
Ahead of a crackdown on irregular workers/ sojourners planned for November 4, 2013, the amnesty was meant to allow workers 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.

2. Institution which provides data

Ministry of Labour

3. Data availability

The figures are published in the Ministry of Labour’s website (open data section) (in Arabic).
http://portal.mol.gov.sa/ar/Statistics/Pages/opendata.aspx?m=8

Last date of access: 18 December 2015.

Tags: , , ,