480,000 expats transferred sponsorship last year

480,000 expats transferred sponsorship last year


Saudi Gazette report

JEDDAH — The Ministry of Labor and Social Development transferred the sponsorships of 480,000 expat workers last year, local daily Al-Madina reported on Sunday quoting an official source in the ministry.

However, sponsorship transfers were 21 percent less in comparison to the ones in 2015., the source said.

A number of human resources specialists believe that the less number of sponsorship transfers and job title changes indicate that the private sector is reducing the number of expat workers substituting them with Saudis.

As per the ministry rules, any worker whose salary is delayed for three months or more has the right to transfer his iqama (residence ID) without the consent of his original sponsor.

Nidal Ridwan, head of the institutional committee of the federation of the labor committees, said the iqama transfer without the consent of the original sponsor is a punishment against the violating employers.

“The employer has no right to delay the workers’ salary because they have come here in the first place to earn good living,” he said.

Ridwan said this is an international procedure which is not aimed at making the private establishments incur any losses but only to penalize them for committing violations including salary delay.

According to official figures, there are about 8.2 million expat workers in the Kingdom.