Sunday, November 2, 2014

Two Years Ban on Expatriates leaving on Final Exit in Saudi Arabia

The Government of Oman has imposed a ban of Two Years to the expatriates leaving the country on Final Exit Visa. Keeping in view the newly imposed rules in the neighboring GCC country, Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) labor market committee has recommended the government and proposed that the expatriates leaving Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Final Exit should be banned for at least two years following the footsteps of Oman Government. According to the presenter of this proposed change in the Law, it will increase the Saudization in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They also proposed that the employees who don’t agree to renew the contract with the employer due to any reason should be banned from entering back to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for one year.

The recommendation is a follow-up on a previous Cabinet resolution issued in 1975 and updated in 1977, which imposes a three-year ban on expat workers who left the Kingdom in violation of their contracts. It should be kept in mind that currently expatriates are allowed to leave the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on final exit visa and enter back to the Kingdom on new visa immediately. If proposed recommendations are accepted, it will reduce the mobility of the expatriates into different jobs. Moreover, it will also give the employer un-precedent power to blackmail the employees. With the implementation of this law, the switching of jobs will become second to impossible for expatriates living in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Employer may ask an employee to continue working for same salary for the X number of years as employee will be in very weak negotiation power.

The same rule has already been approved in Oman and will be implemented from July 01, 2015. Article 11 in the Passport and Residency Act in Oman states that the employment visa will not be issued to any foreigner who has previously worked in Oman and has not completed 2 years after departure from Oman. After implementation of this law, the only way to switch the job for an employee will be getting Transfer of Sponsorship. They have also imposed restrictions on the transfer of sponsorship by passing a rule that the company who will issue NOC to an employee to transfer the sponsorship will be having one less visa to issue to recruit an expatriate. In other words, they will not be able to recruit an employee in favor of departed employee.
Source: Arab News


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