Inception date: 15 Nov 2012 | Removal date: open ended

Labour market access

On Tuesday, May 22nd 2012 the Deputy Labor Minister of Saudi Arabia (Mufarrej al-Haqbani) announced that they would start licensing expat labor within a month.
Currently, certified companies are allowed to directly sponsor the work visas of foreign employees. The certification is released by the Saudi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with the seal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Government now wants to take control over this process and re-organize the way expat workers are brought to the Kingdom.
The Deputy Minister said that "the focus is on increasing jobs for nationals by substituting a part of eight million expatriate jobs in the Kingdom".
As of May 2012, foreign workers accounted for 9 out of 10 jobs in the State and the Government is now aiming at reducing this disparity.
On 15 November 2012, the government decided to introduce a fee of USD 640 per year for every expatriat worker in the case that less than 50 percent of the workers in a private company are Saudis.