Saudi Arabia Announces Labor Reforms for Foreign Employees
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) has launched its “Labor Reform Initiative,” which aims to ease foreign workers’ contractual restrictions. Coming into effect on March 14, 2021, the series of labor reforms aim to enhance the flexibility, effectiveness, and competitiveness of the Kingdom’s labor market by regulating exit and re-entry visa issuance and easing job mobility.
Foreign employees will now be able to transfer between employers upon the expiration of their contract without employers’ permission. Contracted foreign employees may also transfer jobs given that a notice period is provided to the employer and specific measures are adhered to.
Exit and re-entry visa reforms will also allow foreign employees to travel outside the Kingdom without employers’ consent upon their submission of a request. Meanwhile, final exit visa reforms will allow foreign employees to leave the Kingdom without employers’ consent.
These services will be made available to the public through the smartphone application (Absher) and (Qiwa) portal of the ministry.