We have already explained in several articles about the right of expatriate employees to keep their passport. According to the Council of Ministers Resolution No. 166, employer does not have any right to keep the passport of the employer. However, generally many private and public companies keep the passport of employees with them. Hence, they are violating this resolution and employee whose passport is withheld can register a complaint against sponsor in the labor office. I have explained in detail the legal right of employee to keep his own passport in this link. However, if employee is holding your passport and not giving it back to you, what can you do to recover your passport?
What to do if Sponsor does not give Passport back to Employee?
Normally employees need to hold passport only when they actually want to transfer their sponsorship. You should know that if your employer is in red or yellow category of Nitaqat, you can change your sponsorship without even his permission. The procedure to transfer sponsorship if sponsor is yellow or green is given in this link. But you cannot transfer your sponsorship to another sponsor if you don’t have your passport in your hand. Passport is required in Jawazat to complete the process of transfer of sponsorship. In this scenario, you have three choices.
- You can request your sponsor by giving some excuses that you need your passport back. You can tell him that you need to renew your passport if it is near to expire. If you get it from your employer, this is the easiest way.
- If he does not give you back your passport, you have every right to complaint against your employer to the labor office. Don’t expect a quick response from them. It can easily take around 3,4 months to take decision in your favor.
- Third way is to treat as if you have lost your passport and adopt the procedure of getting a passport in replacement. The procedure to get new passport if you have already lost it is explained in the below link “What to do if passport is lost in Saudi Arabia”. One part of the procedure is to report to police about the lost passport. Keep in mind, if you will tell him truth that your passport is with your sponsor, he will not register your report. He will ask you to go to Labor office against your sponsor. If you will tell him something else, you are actually giving wrong information to a police officer. You can be detained and deported from Saudi Arabia with GCC wide ban if police comes to know about it. Your every move should be sensible and based upon your risk. I don’t take any responsibility for that.
Other Procedures related to Jawazat & MOI
- Procedure to Apply SWORN Affidavit for the Issue of Child’s Passport in India
- Entering to Saudi Arabia on New Passport
- What to do if Passport is Lost in Third Country during Travel?
- What to do if Passport is Lost in Saudi Arabia?
- Procedure to Update the Missing Passport Entry/Exit Details at Saudi Border