Saudi move to limit expats' period of stay
Riyadh, January 6, 2014
Saudi Arabia's Labor Ministry is studying a proposal to restrict expatriate workers' period of stay in the kingdom to a maximum of eight years, a report said.
The move also aims to discourage them from bringing their families to the kingdom, said the Arab News report.
The proposal is to expand the Nitaqat system in a bid to cut the number of foreign workers and their dependents and create more jobs for citizens with higher salaries, it said.
An expat worker living in the kingdom with his wife and two children will be considered as two foreign workers under the proposed system.
An expat worker living with his wife will accumulate 1.5 points and will incur a quarter of a point per child, it said.
However, many Saudis and expats have expressed opposition to the proposals, saying they would discourage foreign professionals from working in the kingdom and leave a negative impact on businesses, the Arab News report said.
A draft law published on the ministry’s portal said a Saudi worker who earns SR4,000 will account for a full national employee, while those who receive SR2,000 will be treated as half a national employee in the Nitaqat system. A Saudi who receives SR8,000 or more will be counted as two national workers in the system.