On 28 February 2021, Saudi Arabia announced new measures for the further Saudization of IT and Communications with a specific quota that applies for each of the following sub-categories:
If companies do not meet the set percentages for Saudization, there will be consequences that affect the business severely such as:
Saudi Arabia's new business visa, called the Temporary Work Visit Visa, which is valid for one year, allows foreign nationals to conduct work in Saudi Arabia for up to 90 days per visit, and permits multiple entries, provided they work for a visa-sponsoring entity.
Employers must meet certain eligibility criteria to qualify for the new visa quota such as:
Eligible employers can obtain a visa quota through the Qiwa portal where they are able to receive up to 50 visas. The Temporary Work Visit Visa cannot be transferred to other employers and it must be obtained from a Saudi consular post or visa agent abroad.
On 14 March 2021, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development launched the new Labor Reform Initiative (LRI) to improve the contractual relationship for workers in the Kingdom’s private sector.
Following the implementation of the LRI, foreign workers will be able to change employer without their current employer’s consent subject to certain qualifying conditions. These stipulate that a worker must:
The eligibility conditions for new employers to request the transfer of expatriate workers are:
The automatic exit re-entry and final visa service enables expatriate workers to exit and re-enter the Kingdom during the contract`s validity period by submitting an e-application through the «Absher» platform. The conditions for obtaining the service are the following:
Saudi Arabia is a fast-paced and constantly evolving immigration jurisdiction. We expect further changes on visa categories and procedural guidelines moving forward.
We shall keep you up to date on any further developments. In the meantime, our Employment and Mobility Services teams are available to discuss the regulations and assess their impact on your business