No Iqama Renewal for Employees of with Yellow Category Employers

Last week I shared news about the changes in the transfer of sponsorship rules in Saudi Arabia. I mentioned in that article that every week we get some updates regarding changes in the rules to tighten the control over expatriates and this week was also not an exception. This week, Saudi authorities have made some changes in the Nitaqat Rules.  In fact, the changes have been made especially for the “Yellow Category Employers”. We have explained in detail the Nitaqat Rules in this article. “Saudization or Nitaqat in Saudi Arabia”. If you want to check the Nitaqat Category of your Kafeel, you can check it from this link. “Check Nitaqat Category of Kafeel”.

Right now, an employer with the yellow category cannot renew the Iqama of the employee who has completed six years with him. Time starts from the date of joining to the company. However, according to the new changes which will be are imposed from 25th October 2014, an employer with the Yellow category of Nitaqat would not be able to renew the Iqama of the employees who have completed even 4 years in the company. It means if your company is a yellow category and you have completed 4 years in that company, your job is in danger. The story does not end with this; from May 2015 employers with the yellow category of Nitaqat would not be able to renew the Iqama of the employees who have completed even 2 years in the company.

It is very important to mention here that they have the authority to transfer the sponsorship without permission of their Kafeel. I have explained the procedure of transferring the sponsorship without the consent of Kafeel in this link “Transferring Sponsorship if Kafeel is Yellow“.

Several businessmen on the board of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), however, have said the decision is very difficult to implement in the industrial, construction and service sectors, which depend mainly on trained and experienced workers from abroad. Saudi Government should relax the required percentage of Saudis in the above-mentioned sector so that they can easily move into the Green category.

The construction sector is the backbone of Saudi Arabia, especially in this era. There are so many projects on the way including Kingdom Tower, Jeddah Airport, Makkah Madina Train, Riyadh-Dammam Train and other small projects. Creating this kind of rules will not be beneficial for the economy of Saudi Arabia at large.