Dependents of expats barred from joining engineering jobs

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By Abdul Rahman Al-Misbahi

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — The Ministry of Labor has stopped the transfer of services for engineering graduates who are dependents of expatriate workers to employers who want to hire them for engineering jobs.

"The transfer of services of a dependent expatriate engineer to establishments in the job title of 'engineer' is currently not available," the ministry has said on its Twitter account.

The step follows the ministry's agreement with the Saudi Council of Engineers to stop recruitment of expatriate engineers from outside whose practical experience is less than five years.

The two sides also agreed that expatriate engineers should sit a professional test and attend a personal interview with the council to make sure that he or she has mastered the profession.

According to the latest statistics, the council has a membership of 198,000 engineers consisting of Saudis (16 percent) and non-Saudis (84 percent). There are 166,535 non-Saudi engineers enrolled in the council against 31,466 Saudi engineers.

The ministry said the job title change for expatriates are not available currently.

"This includes the transfer of services of an expatriate from an individual Saudi sponsor to an establishment and vice versa," it added.

The ministry also said the condition that expatriate workers should stay for a period of two years at least with their original sponsors before they are allowed to transfer their iqamas no longer exists.

"The expatriate workers can transfer their iqamas to new sponsors no matter how long they have stayed with their original sponsors," the ministry added.


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