Women Workshop Owners charging SR 20,000 for transfer of sponsorship

The process of sponsorship is vital and necessary for all those expatriates or foreign nationals who wish to seek employment opportunities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This is not a new system or a new introduction and the sponsorship system has witnessed generations of expatriates working in the Kingdom and helping build the modern metropolis that the Kingdom has become. The sponsorship system has been set in order to control the inflow of foreign workers in the Kingdom and to keep a complete record and check all the current and any future workers in the Kingdom. This process helps in maintaining law and order in the Kingdom and also ensuring that the workers do not cheat, steal or indulge in any other activities of this nature.[irp]

Naturally as is with all types of laws and regulations, people have found a way to go around these stipulations or as it is more commonly known and said “finding a loophole in the system”.  People in the Kingdom have also seemingly found a way around the rules set by the government. At such a time when the recruitment of female workers from abroad has become more difficult than it ever was, several owners of women’s workshops have reportedly begun exploiting the system of Tanazul or the transferring of sponsorship system. These female business owners have been reported to sell these sponsorships for the female expatriate workers for a total sum of SAR 20,000 per person in order to escape financial crisis. This report was originally made by a local online newspaper.

In accordance to this newspaper, this unlawful and unethical practice does not stop here, the Filipino female workers have begun advertising or marketing their services as housemaids, in the waiting rooms of hospitals in the Kingdom. The director of inspections at the Ministry of Labor in the Eastern Region, Sultan Al Matheeri has stated that the Ministry of Labor is not accepting any transfer of sponsorship from a business or institution on to an individual.

This practice, as well as the practice of Filipinos portraying themselves as housemaids, is completely illegal, Al Matheeri stated. The rules set by the Ministry of Labor stated that if any person wants to give the Tanazul or transfer of sponsorship, it must be with the complete consent of the worker, adding that the listed profession on the sponsorship cannot be changed whether it is with or without the will of the professional in question.[irp]

Al Matheeri has stated that the facilities or workshops which are nearly on the verge of bankruptcy and/or closure cannot give out Tanazul. It has been allowed only if there is a drive in order to correct the status of professions. However, this has completely stopped. Currently, there is no transference of sponsorships from commercial institutions to housemaids. The owners of these workshops have currently two options. The first option is they can either give them Tanazul or can give them a final exit visa.

Source: Arab News

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