Saudi: Domestic Worker Sponsorship Change Allowed

The Ministry of Labor and Social Development, Saudi Arabia
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The Ministry of Labor and Social Development has started allowing the transfer of domestic labour service from individual sponsors to establishments with a change of profession after a hiatus of seven years.

The sponsorship changes shall be made through the branches of the ministry and the service will not be available through the Ministry’s website for the current period.

The ministry has set some conditions for the sponsorship transfer of domestic workers with regards change of profession. According to the conditions, the domestic worker’s residency permit (iqama) should not be renewed for more than one year.

In the event of renewing iqama for more than a year, the transfer request will not be accepted as the domestic worker is exempted from the expatriate fee. It is also not allowed to transfer the service of the domestic worker from an establishment to an individual sponsor.

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The Ministry has published a model form for the domestic worker to transfer his services to establishments with a change in profession. The information that has to be furnished in the form include mentioning the name of the worker, iqama number, and his approval for the transfer and that he shall not start working under the new employer before the completion of the transfer process and change of profession.

The worker’s signature and thumb impression, translation of the declaration for non-Arabic speakers, along with writing the name of the establishment, the file number, the name and signature of the official, and the establishment’s seal are also needed in the form.

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The Ministry’s conditions also include that a letter from the current employer permitting the transfer of sponsorship duly attested by the chamber of commerce or the district chief or certified with the approval of the Labor Office.

There should be a letter from the establishment requesting the transfer of the service of the worker, duly attested by the chamber. There is also a condition that the transfer of the sponsorship does not cause to descend the status of the establishment from the medium green category.

The transfer of sponsorship of domestic workers from individual sponsors to establishments was previously allowed during the Nitaqat amnesty period to correct the status seven years ago and it was stopped after the expiry of the deadline.

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