Saudi: Expat Sponsorship System May Be Abolished

Abolition of sponsorship system is imminent
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The much-anticipated decision to abolish the sponsorship (kafala) system is very imminent, according to sources.

This historic move comes in light of a series of economic reforms the country is witnessing after the launch of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. Under the plan, the abolition of the sponsorship system will give expatriate workers freedom to secure their exit and re-entry visas while also getting their final exit stamped on their own as well as taking up employment without any restriction or approval of the employer.

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The final abolition of the sponsorship system in the Kingdom comes as the next step after the introduction of the Premier Residency since last May following the necessary approval by the Shoura Council and the Council of Ministers.

The abolition of the sponsorship system is expected to bring about many advantages to the Saudi labour market while supporting the competitiveness of citizens to that of expatriate workers. Another advantage is would be to attract highly competent and specialized expatriates from different countries, as well as to improve the work environment for a talented workforce.

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