29 August 2017
RIYADH: The number of work permits issued to private sector employees in Saudi Arabia reached about 24.3 million in the last three years.
Professional services and engineering accounted for about 45 percent of the issued licenses.
According to statistics issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, 2016 witnessed a decline in the number of licenses issued by 3 percent, with 8.25 million licenses issued, compared with 8.52 million work permits issued in 2015. In 2014, 7.52 million work permits were issued and renewed, Al-Eqtisadiah reported.
Foreign workers in Riyadh, Makkah and the Eastern Province registered the highest number of work permits, up by 65 percent over the past three years.
The ministry announced the prohibition of issuing permanent, temporary or seasonal work visas for a number of professions in the Saudi market, as well as preventing new licenses from being issued to a number of other professions, which are now prohibited for expatriate workers in the Kingdom.
The ministry halted renewing licenses of registered expatriates to jobs restricted to Saudis, and obliged the enterprises not to transfer labor services to them.
Nineteen professions have been dedicated to Saudi-only employees. These professions include senior human resources managers in government and private establishments; director of personnel; director of labor and workers affairs in enterprises; director of personnel relations; as well as personnel specialist.
The list of prohibited professions also included personnel clerk; employment clerk; attendance time clerk; general receptionist; hotel receptionist; patient receptionist; complaint clerk; treasurer; private security guard; interpreter; transcriber or key repairman; clearing agent; as well as female workers in the shops selling women’s supplies.
The ministry explained that “this comes in light of the government’s orientation by the leadership to place Saudis in the jobs in which expatriates work, in order to Saudize jobs with national competencies.”