1. WORK VISAS VALIDITY REDUCED TO ONE YEAR FOR EXPATS
Ministry of Labour Saudi Arabia has announced reduction in the validity of work visa to one year for expatriate workers. It would be applicable to private sector and domestic workers but the government sector employees will not be affected due to this move.
2. EXPAT IQAMA FEE ON COMPANIES IN 2018, 2019 & 2020
The government of Saudi Arabia has revised the expat Iqama fee for next three years. At present, companies who have more foreign employees than Saudis are paying expat levy fee of 200 SR/month that is 2400 SR/Year. Now from next year, companies who have larger number of foreign workers will pay expat levy fee of 400SR/month that is 4800 SR/year. It would further increase as of 600 SR/month (7200SR/annum) and 800 SR/month (9600SR/annum) in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
3. NO IQAMA RENEWALS FOR EXPATS ON THESE PROFESSIONS
Ministry of Labor and Social Development, Saudi Arabia has suspended renewing the iqama permits of expatriate workers who are working in categories like human resource managers, personal section heads, heads of labor and workers affairs, heads of personnel affairs, specialists, clerks in personnel affairs, clerks in receptions, hotels, hospitals, government relations, grievance departments, security guard, treasures, typewriter, key repair staff, female workers in women requirement stores. Moreover, other professions such as tourism and shopping malls etc. are going to replace 28000 expatriate jobs with local Saudi staff.
4. NEW NITAQAT SYSTEM IN SAUDI ARABIA
A new Nitaqat System in Saudi Arabia has come into effect from September 2017. It will give mandate to the companies to hire some percentage of Saudis in the local market. The ranking of the companies will be determined on the basis of percentage of Saudi nationals with high salaries. The companies will get the status of Platinum, High Green, Average or medium green, low green, yellow and red. Companies with Platinum Status and High Green Status can be allowed to apply for new visas to hire expatriate workers. While other companies under Nitaqat Status can only transfer sponsorships but will not be able to get new visas to hire foreign workers.