How can expats change jobs in Saudi Arabia after Kafala ends?

As we all know that the Ministry of Labor has announced to cancel Kafala system in Saudi Arabia starting from March 2021. Everyone is keen to know how are we going to change jobs after the Kafala system (sponsorship system) ends.

The permission to change jobs for the expatriate workers in the private sector would be granted after taking into account the terms of the contract and Saudi Labor Law.

6 conditions for an expat to change job in Saudi Arabia

An expatriate worker in Saudi Arabia would be allowed to change his job only after he complies with all the 6 conditions.

  1. The worker must be registered with the labor system.
  2. The worker must complete his contract with the current employer.
  3. The worker must complete the first year with his current employer after entering Saudi Arabia.
  4. The worker must have a notarized work contract.
  5. A job offer is submitted by the new employer via the Qiwi platform.
  6. Submit a resignation to the current employer with the notice period.

5 conditions for the new employer to request a transfer

The new employer will have to comply with the following 5 conditions to request the transfer of an expatriate employee in Saudi Arabia. The new employer must be;

  1. Eligible to obtain a new visa as per the regulations.
  2. The new employer applies for the service via the Qiwa platform.
  3. Compliant with the Wage Protection System.
  4. Compliant with the contracts documenting and digitizing program.
  5. Compliant with the controls of the Self-Assessment program.

8 cases in which expatriate can transfer without conditions

The Ministry of Labor has elaborated 8 cases under which a foreign worker is eligible to change his job in Saudi Arabia even before completing his contract.

  1. Absence of Notarized Work Contract within 3 months of entering Saudi Arabia.
  2. No Salary for 3 consecutive months.
  3. If the employer is absent, either by travel, registration, death, or any other reason.
  4. If the expatriate work permit or Iqama expires.
  5. If an employee reports a commercial coverup to the authorities (A business is run by an expatriate in the name of a Saudi)
  6. The expatriate worker is brought with human trafficking. 
  7. If he does not appear in the labor court hearings.
  8. If the current employer agrees to release him.

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.