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Saudi housing workers banned from visa transfers

KSA

The Labor Ministry has banned workers transferring their sponsorship after completing housing projects in the country, with contractors ordered to send them back to their home countries.

Labor Minister Mofarrej Al-Haqbani has signed an agreement with Housing Minister Majed Al-Hoqail on the level of Saudization required in a new activity named “housing projects.”

The two ministries are also cooperating on a project for contractors to provide mandatory training on various aspects of the industry for students at universities, and technical and professional institutions.

In a joint statement, the ministers said that the agreement would help reduce the costs of housing projects so that more citizens can own houses. It would also ensure contractors’ requests for visas are approved quicker.

Al-Huqail said any worker with a visa issued for these types of projects would be deported if found working for another company.

Meanwhile, Al-Haqbani has warned owners of companies that they face heavy penalties for creating bogus contracts with Saudi scholarship students to increase their Saudization quotas.

“There are fines of SR25,000 for companies that exploit scholarship students to increase their Saudization (quotas). This is considered forgery of work contracts,” he reportedly said.

The minister did not say whether such practices had been uncovered and what action had been taken, if any. He urged companies to advertise all positions on the ministry’s national employment website.

He said that the ministry wanted to reserve certain jobs for young people. This was vital in a market where wage levels were falling. This was the responsibility of the ministry, he said.

Al-Haqbani said that over the past four years the Nitaqat program had seen the employment of 70,000 young men and 50,000 young women. He said there were now 450,000 women in the labor market.

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