New Saudization program

New Saudization program

RIYADH: The Ministry of Labor announced Saturday full details of its new Saudization program for private sector companies that classifies firms into one of four categories, each of which are subject to varying visa and appointment privileges or restrictions.

The “Nitaaqat” — “Scopes” – program comes into effect as of June 11, 2011, and classifies companies as Excellent, Green, Yellow and Red, according to their rates of Saudization – now known as “nationalization” in the ministry’s new terminology. Companies are requested to visit the government website: www.mol.gov.sa to verify their category status.

Companies deemed Excellent or Green would be granted the most privileges in visa requests and operations for non-Saudis. Yellow listed companies are given  a period of nine months as of June 11 to improve their rate of nationalization before restrictions come into effect, while Red firms are given six months.

In the restrictions, Yellow listed companies will find themselves barred from transferring visas of non-Saudi workers to their sponsorship, while Red companies will be barred from new visas, substitute visas and seasonal work visas, and from opening new branches or facilities with the Labor Office.

Following are the categories in the system and the dates for implementation for each category:

Excellent or Blue

Applications for visas will be received according to the rules of the new criteria for the recruitment of foreign workers provided the enterprises do not fall to a category lower than green after granting the visas. Also, an enterprise must not apply for visas more than once every two months. The date of implementation in Riyadh Office is June 18, 2011 (16th Rajab 1432H) and in all other offices across the Kingdom as of June 25, 2011 (23rd Rajab 1432H).

Granting of new visas with open profession through electronic (computer) service provided the enterprise maintains its position in the excellent zone after being granted the visas. (The number of visas issued must take into onsideration the visas issued earlier even in the case of the foreign workers ot having arrived in the Kingdom). The date of implementation is Sept. 11, 011 (12th Shawwal, 1432H).An enterprise will be allowed to change the profession of its expatriate workers to other professions including those restricted to Saudi nationals (except for professions exempted according to a dcision of the Council of Ministers and these include eployment in-charge, eceptionist, expediter, cashier and civil security guard). The date of implementation is Sept. 11, 2011 (12th Shawwal 1432H).

An enterprise will be allowed to transfer the services of expatriate workers to it together with change of profession simultaneously provided the enterprise does not fall below the excellent category, it does not submit applications for transfer of workers’ services more than once every two months. Te date of implementation is Sept. 11, 2011 (12th Shawwal 1432H).

An enterprise will be allowed to transfer the services of expatriate workers to it without the need to fulfill the condition that the worker should spend two years with his current employer. This is on condition that the enterprise maintains its position in the excellent category after transferring the services of expatriate workers to it. Also, it should not submit applications for transfer of workers’ services more than once every two months. The date of implementation is Sept. 11, 2011 (12th Shawwal 1432H).

The Ministry of Labor will give a grace period of one year during which it will provide its services to the excellent zone enterprise in case the validity of its licenses or certificates required by other government authorities expire. Examples are Zakat certificate, professional licenses, commercial register or municipal licenses. The date of implementation is Sept. 11, 2011 (12th Shawwal 1432H).

An enterprise falling in the excellent category will be able to renew work permits of expatriate workers irrespective of their period of stay (in the Kingdom) provided the remaining period before the expiry of the Iqama is at least three months on the day of renewal of the work permit. The date of implementation is June 11, 2011 (9th Rajab 1432H).

The enterprise will be able to sign contracts with expatriate workers from companies and establishments falling in the red category and transfer their services to it without the consent of the employer (provided these enterprises do not drop below the green category. The date of implementation is Nov. 27, 2011 (1st Muharram 1433H).

The enterprise will be able to sign contracts with expatriate workers from companies and establishments falling in the yellow category and transfer their services to it without the consent of the employer (provided these enterprises do not drop below the green category). The date of implementation is Feb. 23, 2012 (1st Rabi’ Al-Thani 1433H).

Green

Applications for visas will be received according to the rules of the new criteria for recruitment of foreign workers provided the enterprises do not fall to a category lower than the green after granting the visas. Also, the enterprise must not apply for visas more than once every two months. The date of implementation in Riyadh Office is June 18, 2011 (16th Rajab 1432H) and in all other offices across the Kingdom as of June 25, 2011 (23rd Rajab 1432H).

Enterprises in the green category will be granted the right to obtain one (replacement) visa for every two transactions for exit-only visas (i.e., one visa for every two workers departing from the Kingdom for good). The date of implementation is Sept. 11, 2011 (12th Shawwal 1432H).

These enterprises will be given the right to change the profession of their expatriate workers except for professions restricted for Saudi nationals. The date of implementation is Sept. 11, 2011 (12th Shawwal 1432H).

Enterprises will be granted a grace period of six months during which the Ministry of Labor will continue to provide it with its services in case the Zakat and Income Certificate only expires. The date of implementation is Sept. 11, 2011 (12th Shawwal 1432H).

Companies or establishments falling in this category will be able to renew work permits of its expatriate workers irrespective of their period of stay (in the Kingdom) provided the remaining period in the worker’s residence permit (Iqama) is more than three months on the day of renewal of the work permits. The date of implementation is June 11, 2011 (9th Rajab 1432H).

The enterprise will be able to sign contracts with expatriate workers from companies and establishments within the red zone and transfer their services to it without the consent of the employer (provided these enterprises do not drop below the green zone. The date of implementation is November 27, 2011 (1st Muharram 1433H).

The enterprise will be able to sign contracts with expatriate workers from companies and establishments coming within the yellow zone and transfer their services (to it) without the consent of the employer (provided these enterprises do not drop below the green zone). The date of implementation is Feb. 23, 2012 (1st of Rabi’ Al-Thani, 1433H)

Yellow

Applications for new or seasonal visas will not be accepted from an enterprise falling in the yellow category. The date of implementation is Sept. 11, 2011 (12th Shawwal 1432H).

It will be granted the right to obtain one (replacement) visa for every two transactions for exit only visas (i.e., one visa for every two workers departing from the Kingdom for good) provided the two workers have actually departed from the Kingdom and the application for (replacement) visa is submitted within one year from the date of departure of the first worker. The date of implementation is Sept. 11, 2011 (12th Shawwal 1432H).

The enterprise will deprived of transferring the services of expatriate workers to it. The date of implementation is Sept. 11, 2011 (12th Shawwal 1432H).

It will be deprived of changing the profession of its workers. The date of implementation is Sept. 11, 2011 (12th Shawwal 1432H).

The enterprise will lose control over its expatriate workers hence giving them the freedom to sign contracts with a new employer and transfer their services to enterprises within the green or excellent zone without the consent of the employer. The date of implantation is Feb. 23, 2012 (1st of Rabi’ Al-Thani 1433H).

Red

Enterprises falling in the red category will be deprived of changing workers’ professions. Date of implementation: Sept. 11, 2011 (12th Shawwal 1432H).

Such enterprises will be deprived of transferring expatriate workers’ services to it. Date of implementation: Sept. 11, 2011 (12th Shawwal 1432H).

These enterprises will be deprived of any new, replacement or seasonal visas. Date of implementation: Sept. 11, 2011 (12th Shawwal 1432H).

An enterprise that owns an entity falling in the red category will not be permitted to open files for new enterprises (whether they are entities or branches) at the labor offices. Date of implementation: Sept. 11, 2011 (12th Shawwal 1432H).

Enterprises will be deprived of renewing work permits. Date of implementation: Nov. 27, 2011 (1st Muharram 1433H)

Enterprises will lose control over its expatriate workers hence giving them the freedom to sign contracts with a new employer and transfer their services to enterprises coming within the green or excellent zone without taking the consent of the employer. Date of implementation: Nov. 27, 2011 (1st Muharram 1433H).

Taken from: Saudi Gazette/SPA

215 thoughts on “New Saudization program

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s