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Saudi Arabia sets rules for expat transfer of sponsorship

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Expatriate husbands of Saudi women and non-Saudi wives of Saudi men must transfer their sponsorship within two months after their separation from Saudi spouses due to death or divorce, local media reported.

According to a circular issued by the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, the sponsorship transfer must be carried out in coordination with the Ministry of Interior after expatriate husbands or wives found a job to allow them to stay in the Kingdom legally.

Abdul Majeed Al Rashoudi, deputy minister of Human Resources and Social Development, said expatriate husbands and wives must leave the Kingdom if they fail to find a job during the two-month period.

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He said the sponsorship of sons and daughters of Saudi women married to non-Saudis shall be transferred to another employer after the death of their mothers after they turn 18 years.

The circular addressed to the directors of the ministry’s branches in various regions of the Kingdom, clarified that it is necessary to prove that their marriages were solemnised with the approval of competent authorities before completing the sponsorship.

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A certified copy of the marriage contract shall be attached to the sponsorship transfer application. There should also be a valid passport that enables them to return at any time in their country.

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The consent of the employer either for the visa transfer or termination of the contractual relationship is a must. This is also applicable to the sons and daughters of Saudi women married to non-Saudis.

At present, the ministry allows both sons and daughters of Saudi women married to foreign nationals to work in professions that are restricted to Saudis, provided that their mothers are sponsors.

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Expatriate husbands of Saudi women are allowed to work in the private sector without transferring sponsorship.

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