Saudi Arabia: Applications to and approvals of changes of profession by MoL’s labour offices, by administrative region (2014)
|Applications to profession changes||Approved profession changes|
Source: Ministry of Labour
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).
Last date of access: 18 December 2015.