On 21st Rajab 1401 AH corresponding to 25th May 1981, Their Majesties and Highnesses, the leaders of the United Arab Emirates, State of Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sultanate of Oman, State of Qatar and State of Kuwait met in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, where they reached a cooperative framework joining the six states to effect coordination, integration and inter-connection among the Member States in all fields in order to achieve unity, according to article 4 of the Gulf Cooperation Council charter. Article 4 also emphasized the deepening and strengthening of relations, links and areas of cooperation among their citizens.

    The underpinnings which are clearly provided for in the preamble of the GCC Charter, confirm special relations, common qualities and similar systems founded on the creed of Islam, faith in a common destiny and sharing one goal, and that the cooperation among these states would serve the sublime objectives of the Arab nation.

    The decision was not a product of the moment but an institutional embodiment of a historical, social and cultural reality. Deep religious and cultural ties link the six states and strong kin relations prevail among their citizens. All these factors, enhanced by one geographical entity extending from sea to desert, have facilitated contacts and interaction among them, and created homogenous values and characteristics.

    Therefore, while, on one hand, the GCC is a continuation, evolution and institutionalization of old prevailing realities, it is, on the other, a practical answer to the challenges of security and economic development in the area. It is also a fulfillment of the aspirations of its citizens towards some sort of Arab regional unity.

    The GCC Charter states that the basic objectives are to effect coordination, integration and inter-connection between the Member States in all fields, strengthening ties among their peoples, formulating similar regulations in various fields such as economy, finance, trade, customs, tourism, legislation, administration, as well as fostering scientific and technical progress in industry, mining, agriculture, water and animal resources, establishing scientific research centers, setting up joint ventures and encouraging cooperation of the private sector.

    The structure of the GCC consists of the Supreme Council, the Ministerial Council and the Secretariat General:
The Supreme Council (the highest authority of the GCC) comprises the Heads of State of the six member countries. The Supreme Council meets once a year in ordinary session. Emergency sessions can be convened at any time by the heads of any two Member States. The chairmanship of the Supreme Council is held by each Member State in turn. Resolutions are carried by majority vote. The Supreme Council is responsible for determining the overall policy of the GCC and for ratifying recommendations presented to it by the Ministerial Council or the Secretariat General.
The Ministerial Council comprises the Foreign Ministers of the six member countries. The Ministerial Council meets once every three months in ordinary session. Emergency sessions can be convened at any time by the Foreign Ministers of any two Member States. The Ministerial Council draws up policies and makes recommendations on means of developing cooperation and coordination amongst Member States in the economic, social and cultural spheres.
The Secretariat General prepares reports, studies, accounts and budgets for the GCC. It drafts rules and regulations and is charged with the responsibility of assisting Member States in the implementation of decisions taken by the Supreme and Ministerial Councils. The Secretary General is appointed for a three-year period (renewable) by the Supreme Council on the recommendation of the Ministerial Council.

The Secretariat is based in the city of Riyadh. The GCC headquarters are located in the Diplomatic Quarter, where a substantial complex, financed by a gift from King Fahd, has been built to meet the Secretariat’s present and future needs.

The constitution of the GCC precisely reflected King Fahd’s own view of the importance of seeking ways to make the unity of Arab States a reality. The constitution required the organization to provide “the means for realizing coordination, integration and cooperation” in economic, social and cultural affairs. Specifically, the GCC aimed:

  • to achieve coordination, integration and close ties leading to unity between the Member States;
  • to deepen the ties, relations and all aspects of cooperation between the peoples of the region;
  • to adopt similar systems and laws in: economics and financial affairs; commercial, customs and transportation affairs; education and cultural affairs; social and health affairs; communication, informational, political, legislative and administrative affairs;
  • to encourage progress in the sciences and technologies involved in industry, mining, agriculture, water and animal resources, and to establish scientific research centers and to undertake joint projects. 

Source: http://www.gcc-envoy.gov.ph/aboutgcc.asp


 Note:  Below the Flag, please click corresponding caption for the full text of their respective














Employment and Salary Trends in the Gulf


323 thoughts on “GCC LABOR LAWS

  1. Dear Sir,
    Good Day!
    I’m working in Saudi Arabia for last 6 months in one company, contractual period is 2 years, in the mean time I applied another company they offered me just double salary with all allowance and facilities. No way to get exit visa from my current company even after my contract expires so I’m now planning to file an emergency leave to go to Philippines and come back to new company with another visa which I may get by hand before I leave KSA therefore can you please kindly suggest me to the following;
     Can I come back with another passport changing my name even though my fingerprint is already taken upon my arrival in airport?
     Can I come back after expiration of my current Exit / Re-entry visa with the same passport with new visa to another sponsor?
     What is the main reason of fingerprinting? Is this for security reason or to control sponsor changing as I’m planning to?
     I’m receiving form different person different advice on the same issue & I assume if I have not committed any illegal activities in my previous employment and so far as my reentry visa & Iqama are expired I must be welcomed to KSA, please advise me, I don’t know how reliable I’m guessing?
     Or what is the best idea you can provide me to grasp this golden opportunity offered by another sponsor “as it has limited time” without any problems?
    And my other nationality colleagues like Indian, Nepali, Pakistani & Shree Lankan also asking my favor to help them whether your suggestion applicable to them and covers all nationalities or different rules for these country’s?
    I would be very obliged if I have a possible prompt reply on this matter in detail which would be the decisive turning point of my happy life.
    God Bless You!
    Thanking you

    • Lan,

      How can you be so sure that your company will not allow you to leave ksa for good after you finish your contract?

      I understand, each and every one of us is dreaming for a better job, good salary with all those glittering benefits. But, please be reminded that you are under contract with your present employer and for doing what you have in mind is a clear breach of contract. Anyway, let’s talk about your inquiry.

      1) Changing your name is a clear manifestation of your intent to come back KSA through illegal means and we all knew that doing illegal move is punishable by law. So, I am sorry to discourage you from doing it.

      2) Old passport bears the Visa Stamp (Saudi Royal Embassy) of your present employment status.

      3) Remember “No secret can be kept forever”. In a span of time, your employer will know the real score why you avail for an emergency leave and besides after your visa expires they will report to the passport department along with your iqama (as required) informing them that you did not come back from vacation. Then the so called “red tag” will be visible in your files or records in the immigration.

      4) The best idea is to finish your contract and file for an exit 30 days prior expiration of your employment agreement with your employer.

      Lan, I’m sorry If my reply is not what you expect, as I mentioned above, I discouraged you from doing move that might put you into trouble.

      Below excerpt taken from my previous entry about fingerprinting:

      The order from the Passport Department is to strengthen its internal security measures against terrorist activities and infiltration; crimes such as drug smuggling, manufacturing and alcohol use, visa forgery, immoral act and back door activities where undocumented expatriates were able to flee the country despite of police and court pending cases.

      Mandatory fingerprinting will help solve crimes and prevent those expats or foreigners with criminal backgrounds to return the country with false names or new identity. The system will uncover their presence upon entering the country’s air and sea ports. According to an Immigration official, “this could also prevent expatriates to leave the country using backdoor facilities”.




  2. Dear Mr. Bong,

    Thanks a lot for the quick response. It made my hanged questions before answered right after reading it, however, I have some follow-up questions regarding your 2nd paragraph answer.. That it will be a problem and hard for an expats with exit and re-entry visa in the immigration office at the airport obviously having an active record such as his Iqama and fingerprint in the kingdom with the previous employment. Is it a violation? Kindly give the specific line of the policy violated. How about when the re-entry visa and Iqama expired, Is there hope for an expats to come back to Saudi Arabia with a different employer? Is there a specific time when an expats allowed to come back (no violations) like after expiration of the re-entry visa / Iqama? How about in the case where after re-entry visa / Iqama expiry date an expats will be using a new passport to come back in the kingdom with a new employer, will it violate some specific labor / immigration policy, risky and un recommendable?

    We OFW’s are very much thankful to have YOU – the resource person and organizer of this very nice and reliable moderm medium to communicate and have immediate solutions to our hanged questions that are clarified after your share of brilliant ideas and wide sources of legal knowledge with supports. We wish you more good luck and may the God Almighty bless you in manifolds through your family, good health, opportunities and success in life. More Power! Thanks :-)


    • Aries,

      My sincere apology for my late reply.

      First, thank you so much for the kind words.

      Regarding your follow up question, Yes, it is a simple violation of the other party’s failure to perform in accordance with a promise made (to come back) or a failure to complete an agreed task. In KSA scene, it is a contract violation since the other party agreed to come back and the action itself that the party produce exit re-entry visa and with no objection from the other party (worker), it is therefore clear manifestation that an agreement was reach or a renewal of contract has been drawn between the two parties prior departure of the other party.

      In your second inquiry, based on my experienced as part of my line of work with my previous employer – our personnel department assigned a Saudi liaison officer just for the immigration office or passport department. His specific work – to facilitate the issuance exit re-entry visa and iqama’s of the company’s factory workers. And everytime we have a case like: a worker did not return from vacation despite of having exit re-entry visa, the personnnel department will wait till the visa of the worker expires, only then that our PD or HR department will instruct our liasison officer to inform the Immigration or the Passport department with a letter (with attached expired visa and iqama) from the management informing or requesting passport department to put the name of the worker in “red tag” (Saudi term) for those worker who have a re-entry visa who failed to come back without any valid reason.

      That is why I adviced my readers that if they are planning to come back to KSA with a new employer despite of having a previous re entry visa from his original employer, i always inform them that what they’re going to do is very risky.

      With regards to new passport, all i can say is that with the new fingerprinting system in KSA, i don’t think so. For me there’s still a risk as we all know that even identical twins don’t have the same fingerprints.

      Thank you so much Mr. Aries for coming and hope to hear you very soon. You are always welcome.

      Warm regards.


  3. Sir,

    Good Day! I have a question regarding the implementation of new GCC Labor Law. Your answers will be my basis of my future decision and for those ofw’s having the same case with mine. I have finished my recent 2 yrs. employment contract with my current employer in KSA and even have extended for 6 months due to no immediate replacement on the time my contract expiry date coupled with my acceptance and personal decision to extend too to avail additional amount of vacation Leave & ESB Benefits which according to the saudi labor law be doubled after 5 yrs of service. My question is… If I have an exit / re-entry visa and had been fingerprint from this current company, can I still transfer to other Gulf companies assuming I am not banned / my current employer didn’t file any legal complaint against me? If so, how soon (Time: 6 mos. / 2 yrs.?) can I go with and be employed with other Gulf countries? Since when the new GCC labor law in line with this case implemented? If it’s not based on the specific period like after 6 mos / 2 yrs. period, Is it based on the validity of the re-entry visa like for 6 mos vacation visa and or the validity of Iqama too?

    I wish to have your immediate answers based and according the new GCC labor law at the earliest opportunity prior to processing my vacation / exit. Kindly send me also the whole article stipulating this matter or even the whole pdf file via email. Thank your very much. God Bless.


    • Mr. Aries,

      I just want to make a small clarification of the so called GCC Labor Law before we go further. Although there is a term called GCC Labor laws, it is not mean that the Gulf Cooperation Countries (member countries) have 1 instrumental labor law to follow. No – there is no one GCC law. GCC countries have many things in common in terms of their labor policies, but each member country has its own specific labor and immigration laws.

      About your question, one thing for sure there will be a problem if an expat have exit re-entry visa and come back to Saudi Arabia with another employer. Assuming, the worker have his passport stamped in his country of origin (Saudi Royal Embassy) and allowed to work in the Kingdom – surely he will be questioned in the Immigration office at the airport. This is because his name, fingerprint and iqama are still on their record.

      As for having exit and re-entry visa in the Kingdom but instead work in other Gulf countries – I can’t find any law that bans expats from entering to other gulf countries. Though, GCC have labor cooperation agreement among themselves but introducing a GCC – one labor policy such as to ban expats for violating laws in their friends (GCC member) countries they still need to meet international labor criteria. Even most of the GCC member countries are now in the process of overhauling their respective labor system, they still need to ensure that they comply the International Labor Organization (ILO) requirements.

      However, there are rumors and even our blog readers wrote that one of their friends was forced to go back to Philippines from Dubai airport because his name was one in the list of Filipinos banned from entering the country due to the former labor rifts with KSA.

      With my warm regards.


  4. good day!ask ko lng po kce mag 1 year npo ako ng wowork d2 sa bahrain..gusto ko po malaman ung karapatan ko as OFW..kpag ba ng resign ng hindi natatapos ang 2years contract ay mgbabayad sa employer??kce ung other jobmates ko..pinagbayad po sila??!!which is some hearsay hindi nman dapat pang mgbayad?tama po ba??pls answer me back po..nguguluhan npo kce ako..salamat ng marami!!!

    • Maureen,

      As per Bahrain Labour Law in Chapter 14: Termination of a Contract of Employment and Leaving Indemnity

      Article 109: If either of the parties to a contract of employment made for a period of definite duration unreasonably frustrates its execution prior to its completion, he shall pay to the other party compensation in respect of damages incurred as a result thereof.

      When the employer is the offending party, for cause other than those prescribed by Article 113 of this Law, he shall be liable to pay to the worker concerned compensation in respect of the damages incurred by him having due regard to custom, the nature of the work, the period of the contract and, generally, all the circumstances in which damages might occur for certain.

      When the worker is the offending party, for cause other than those prescribed by Article 115 of this Law, he shall be liable to pay to the employer concerned compensation for the loss incurred as a result of such termination of the contract..

      Malinaw po na pag hindi natapos ng worker ang kontrata, siya ay maaring pagbayarin ng halaga katumbas sa natamong pinsala resulta sa pagwawakas ng worker sa kontrata na hindi pa napapanahon ayon sa nilagdaang period or term of agreement.

      Sana po malinaw sa inyo ang kasagotan.


  5. sir,
    my idea po ba kyo kung ilan taon bago maka balik sa saudi? kc hinde na nga ako bumalik sa dati kung employer my exit re entry me.

    • Mac,

      Kung kasama ka sa mga naka pag comply ng fingerprinting dito sa KSA, medyo may problema dahil maaring pina-ban na kayo ng dati ninyong employer. Kung ako sa iyo huwag na lang sa Saudi, marami namang ibang middle east countries na nangangailangan ng mga Pinoy.

      Kung hindi kaman nakasama doon sa mga naka pag comply ng fingerprinting, may risk parin kung malaman ng dati mong employer na bumalik ka sa KSA.



  6. Sir,

    Isa po ako ofw na nag work sa jeddah saudi, nag bakasyon last july 2009 tapos po hinde napo ako bumalik sa dati kong employer, and now halos 1year and 4 months na po nakakalipas nagtangap po ako sa isang kumpanya sa jeddah ngayon lang november maganda offer sakin.
    Wala po magiging problema eto sakin o kya pwedi pa po ba ako bumalik sa saudi na walang hadlang, paki reply po.
    bago po ako umalis ng saudi noon na finger print at scanning po ako.

    • Darwin,

      Medyo mahirap ang situwasyon mo dahil may record ka ng finger printing. Pero ikaw parin ang maka pag desisyon nyan and if ever you want to take the risk then you must be open in any consequences that may arise or happen.



  7. sir isa po akong ofw dito sa riyadh,ksa..na terminate po ako sa trabaho ang dahilan po daw kung bakit ako na terminate ay sinisiraan ko raw po ang kompanya namin dun sa aming project (contractor po kami a isang malaking kompanya d2 sa ksa)….babayaran naman daw po nila ako…maitanong ko lang po….bago po ako na terminate meron na po akong job offer d2 rin po sa ksa ndi na po d2 sa riyadh…totoo po bang 2 taon ang ban kapag nag exit po sa isang ofw d2 sa ksa…sinabi ko na po dun sa bago kong employer na mag eexit ako hindi ko po sinabi na na terminate ako at on process na daw po papers ko…hindi po ba maging apektado ang pagbalik ko d2 sa ksa kahit kukuha ako ng panibagong passport sa atin?..ung finger print po d2 sa ksa hindi po kaya nila ako ma te trace kahit may bagong passport na ako?….salamat

    • Kid,

      Kung sakaling matuloy ka, dapat transparent ka sa bago mong employer. Para wala kang dala dalahin pag balik dito. Siguro naman tatanggapin ka nila kung talagang gusto ka nilang kuhanin.

      Yong 2 years na sinasabi mo, para iyon sa transfer ng iqama. Dapat mag silbi ka muna ng 2 taon sa iyong pinaglilingkuran bago ka mabigyan ng release. Iyan kung payag ang iyong employer na i-release ang worker. Pangalawa, malalaman mo naman kung ban ka dahil sa Pinas palang alam na nila dahil hindi nila idikit/stampa ang iyong visa. Kung makalusot ka doon, sa kaso mo na terminated ka, naka record na rin ito kasama sa fingerprint record file mo. ganon na kasi sila ka hi-tech ngayon dahil may pera sila. Madagdag lang, ang Saudi Arabia ang may pinaka magaling na intellegence network sa buong middle east.

      Uulitin ko, sabihin mo na lang ang totoo para maging malinaw ang lahat.


  8. Dear Sir,

    Ako po nabigyan ng pagkakataon na makapagtrabaho sa Qatar ang pinagtataka ko lamang nung una ay kung bakit visit visa lang ang binigay ng aking employer at ang ticket ko ay roundtrip papuntang Hong Kong kung saan dun ako sasakay ng papuntang Qatar. Tinanong ko ang representative ng aking employer kung bakit ganun, ang kanilang lamang sinabi ay dun na lang daw nila aayusin ang papel at matatagalan pa raw ako sa pag-alis kung magaayos pa ko ng mga papeles ko dito sa pinas. Nung araw ng aking alis ay ako napigilan sa Philippine Immigration at tinanong kung bakit ako pupunta ng Hong Kong ng mag-isa lamang at walang tiyak na pupuntahan. Itinawag ko ang pangyayari sa aking employer at nagdesisyon ako na wag na lang tumuloy kahit na ipinarebook nila ang aking ticket. Sa ngayon ay nagbanta ang aking employer na ipapaban daw ako sa GCC countries dahil sa aking pag-ayaw. Sila po ba ay may karapatan na gawin ito kahit na ako ay hindi pormal na nakarating sa qatar? Salamat po

    • Ed,

      Una, kung sakaling tinuloy mo at makarating ka sa qatar, hindi ka legal na OFW. Ibig sabihin wala kang record sa OWWA at POEA. Kung sabihin naman natin na doon na lang aayosin ang dokumento, kung ako ang nasa katayoan mo, hindi ako papayag. BAkit? Puwede namang gawin sa Pinas muna.

      Tama ang desisyon mo na hindi kana tumoloy. Dahil baka sa Hongkong palang may problema kana.

      Tungkol sa sinabi na ban, huwag kang maniwala dahil hindi kapa nakarating doon at wala silang mga legal na dokumento na ikaw ay kanilang empleyado. Huwag matakot. Maghanap ng ibang kompanya sa Qatar, napakarami doon na maging legal ang iyong employment record bilang OFW.

      Salamat sa iyong pagbisita.


  9. Greetings! I think we have the same question. I’ll just make it clearer. Here’s the situation: I want to transfer from KSA to another GCC country (i.e. Dubai). The employer will not give exit or release, so instead of exit I go vacation. but instead of going back to KSA, I applied for employment in Dubai. So the question is, can Il go to Dubai or any GCC countries? Let’s say I will renew my passport so it will come out clean again and remedy the situation. .so what’s the possibility? Please advise. Thank you very much. .

    • Robert,

      Tayong mga pinoy mahilig sa risk at sabi pa nga ng iba “masarap ang bawal“, he he!

      So, i will also make my reply clear. Nasa employer mo pa rin ang desisyon, kung sakaling gusto nilang ma ban ka from coming back to KSA and other GCC countries. All they have to do is to submit a letter asking MOI, Jawasat and even GCC Secretariat on Labor Affairs to ban you and prevent you from coming back because of the blah blah blah reason. Pag wala naman, SALAMAT.

      Gaya ng sabi ko, Sa Pilipinas pa lang naman malaman mo na kung may problema. So kung wala, SALAMAT. Kaya lang we know na medyo risky ang ating gawin, hindi maiwasan na mag isip ka na naman pagsakay ng eroplano.

      Kung ano man ang desisyon mo – All i can say for now is Good Luck!

  10. Dear Sir,

    Please advise regarding if there is an exit re-entry in Saudi Arabia you will transfer to other GCC country is it possible to move? Where in the first place that the employer in Saudi Arabia wont allow you to give an exit?

    • Dave,

      Hindi malinaw ang tanong mo. Kung tama ang pagkakaintindi ko ito ang sagot – hindi po magbigay ang Saudi employer mo ng Exit-Re entry at instead uuwi ka ng Pilipinas sa Dubai ka pupunta. Not unless, they give you permission to have your vacation spend in Dubai which is also malabo.

      Paki ulit lang ang sunod na tanong.



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