Saudi executives and employers welcome expat concessions

Published:  8 Jul at 6 PM
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The new rules allowing dependents of expats working in the country to take employment have been welcomed by both employers and top-level executives.

The concessions recently announced by the Kingdom’s Ministry of Labour state that expat dependants can work legally in the country, provided their employer sends a letter of confirmation to the ministry and they have the agreement of their sponsors. The majority of dependent expats previously affected by a ban on working were spouses of foreign residents employed in private companies.

The new rules also take away the residential permission previously up to employers, meaning that if a person leaves a job where they have been sponsored, they can immediately transfer their sponsorship back to their original sponsor, usually a working foreign husband. Private schools in the kingdom were potentially the worst affected as many English language teachers were wives of legally employed expats.

Saleha Abedin, advisor to the dean of Dar al-Hekma College, said that she is satisfied and pleased at the new regulations. She told reporters that womens’ institutions traditionally had problems finding suitably qualified foreign women to ensure the level of education was high enough.

She added that even if eligible female candidates were found, relocating without their husbands was an obvious deterrent, and finding a job in the Kingdom for dependent husbands was even more of a problem. Under the new rules, she said, it’s now possible to hire qualified and experienced women already living in Saudi with their husbands as sponsors, and to transfer the sponsorship easily to the college without the hassle of getting new work permits for those arriving from overseas.
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