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

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

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Applications Approved transfers
Males Females Total Males Females Total
Riyadh 462,030 12,581 474,611 283,376 4,963 288,339
Makkah 356,276 9,427 365,703 206,848 2,819 209,667
Madinah 65,062 1,009 66,071 37,485 484 37,969
Al-Qasseem 58,962 798 59,760 38,350 406 38,756
Eastern 217,162 3,235 220,397 134,800 1,371 136,171
Assir 48,187 855 49,042 26,161 515 26,676
Hail 17,973 277 18,250 11,092 159 11,251
Tabouk 15,599 258 15,857 8,121 66 8,187
Al-Baha 7,114 66 7,180 4,138 32 4,170
Northern Border 6,927 54 6,981 3,862 20 3,882
Al-Jouf 13,733 160 13,893 8,673 86 8,759
Jazan 20,743 193 20,936 11,500 70 11,570
Najran 21,218 147 21,365 13,436 78 13,514
Total 1,310,986 29,060 1,340,046 787,842 11,069 798,911

Source: Ministry of Labour

1. Definition

All foreign residents in Saudi Arabia are under the responsibility of a local “sponsor”, usually the employer. Only certain categories of investors are spared the obligation.
The Saudi Labour Law has provisions allowing the worker to change 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 sponsor have been made easier for the workers in companies displaying the poorest rates of Saudisation (classified in “red” and “yellow” categories).
Workers in these categories can now freely join sponsors whose companies are in highest saudisation performance’ categories (“Green” and “Premium” or “Excellent”), without NOC from previous sponsor.
Since September 2014, the obligation for a worker to stay a minimum of two years with a sponsor before applying for sponsorship’ change was repealed.

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.

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