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Iqama and sposnors

 
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SheikMilkShake



Joined: 02 Jul 2014
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 12:33 am    Post subject: Iqama and sposnors Reply with quote

Good news
Anyone arriving to the Kingdom will be, as long as there is a sponsor, will be given an iqama.

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20140820215353

"Firms get five days to appeal iqama transfer
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 - 24 Shawwal 1435 H
Fatima Muhammad
Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — The Ministry of Labor is now giving private sector companies five days to object to any proposed sponsorship transfer involving their employees before information is sent to the Ministry of Interior to finalize the process.

Spokesman for the Ministry of Labor Tayseer Al-Mufaraj said the government “is keen to protect the relationship between the employer and the employee and ensure the protection of the rights of both parties.”

The ministry has set criteria under which expatriate employees have the right to transfer sponsorship without getting the permission from their employer based on the Nitaqat system, which aims to improve job Saudization.

The new objection period has been implemented based on feedback the ministry received, said Al-Mufaraj.

“This will give more time to prevent any issues that result from the transfer of expatriates without the knowledge of the sponsor.”

If the worker is new and his company is in the yellow or red zone or if the employer delayed issuing a work license or iqama (work permit) within three months of his arrival to the Kingdom, then the employee has the right to look for another sponsor as long as it meets certain Nitaqat criteria, said the spokesman.

If the worker is able to find a sponsor then he can immediately transfer his sponsorship to the new employer.

The process starts by sending the file to the Ministry of Labor, which in turn refers it to the Passports Department (Jawazat).

In case the worker is not able to find a new sponsor during the first three months of his arrival to the Kingdom, she or he can transfer sponsorship to recruitment companies or offices. This, said Al-Mufarij, will help others to benefit from these workers.

A worker who is not able to get a new sponsor is considered by law to be carrying an illegal iqama and has the right to demand compensation and payment of salary from his sponsor.

Amal Al-Hamoud, owner of a beauty salon in Taif, said she is worried about her business.

“I was recruiting 10 women on a part-time basis, only one of which was Saudi. Many left their jobs after the amnesty period (for workers to correct their status if they needed to).

“Afterward, I was still struggling to provide iqamas for a few expatriates. “However, with the new system I am not sure if they will just leave or not.”

Al-Hamoud said five days are just not enough notice for her company, which is in the red zone. “This decision, like all those of the Ministry of Labor, has the aim of closing down all small businesses.”

She said even after meeting her Saudization quota she still cannot recruit non-Saudis except after three months of hiring the nationals.

“The moment we familiarize ourselves with a new system and adjust, a new regulation pops up.”

Haitham Al-Sulaim, a human resource manager at a contracting company, believes allowing employees to transfer from one company to another is harmful to the initial sponsor.

The employee, he said, will be able to reveal work secrets and not hesitate to leave the company any time she or he gets a better offer.

He added this decision allows workers to manipulate the system and avoid contractual obligations.

He wanted employers to get at least three months’ notice so they could adjust and negotiate with the employee before making a final decision.

“This is crucial for both parties, as companies can provide a better offer, fix their status or at least look for another employee.”
============= End of article==============
I like this phrase
"A worker who is not able to get a new sponsor is considered by law to be carrying an illegal iqama and has the right to demand compensation and payment of salary from his sponsor."

Illegal iqama could mean unofficial iqama under his sponsor who sent business/visit) visa for him, I believe.
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rollingk



Joined: 23 Jul 2006
Posts: 201

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

. . . or it may just be gobbledygook nonsense.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4324
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SheikMilkShake wrote:
Good news
Anyone arriving to the Kingdom will be, as long as there is a sponsor, will be given an iqama.

....

"A worker who is not able to get a new sponsor is considered by law to be carrying an illegal iqama and has the right to demand compensation and payment of salary from his sponsor."

Illegal iqama could mean unofficial iqama under his sponsor who sent business/visit) visa for him, I believe.

Not so. Foreigners arriving in the Kingdom for the purpose of employment are required to hold a proper work/employment visa to enter the country. By contrast, those on business/work visit visas are not "employees" per the Saudi labor law, and therefore, are not authorized to hold residency or employment in the Kingdom (via an iqama). Nitaqat doesn't impact this group.

Additionally, the statement you quoted refers to a worker transferring from one sponsor to a potential new sponsor within the criteria and guidelines prescribed by the Nitaqat system. In this scenario, the iqama is deemed illegal because it's not attached to a sponsor, specifically, a new one. Responsibility then falls back on the previous sponsor associated with the iqama since the expat worker left due to the business hitting the Nitaqat yellow or red zone for not meeting its quota of Saudi hires.

Keep in mind, Nitaqat focuses primarily on private sector businesses (e.g., the beauty salon the article mentions) and not so much on sectors such as hospital and education, in which a shortage of qualified Saudis dictates a high need for foreign workers. That said, given the constant recruiting efforts for qualified, expat English language teachers---native speakers, in particular---no one in this profession needs to be concerned about their employer falling into the yellow or red zone.
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SheikMilkShake



Joined: 02 Jul 2014
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Under labor law, there are only 2 parties.
Employer ( owner of the business) and worker ( employee).

Labor law protects both parties, and workers from any creed, nationality or skills.
You are under labor law, will be treated and given rights as someone who cleans the streets, as long as there is a contract, under any type of visa.
In the past, many posters used to say that " if you are under business visa, you have no rights, you are illegal", etc. and that is not true.

The employment contract you signed before arriving Saudi Arabia, is the ticket for you to work in Saudi Arabia. Most of us do not know under which type of visa we entered the country nor if the sponsor would change it into iqama or not.
I know of some Americans who were within probationary period, sent back to where they came from, even they entered KSA with work visa.

Some employers recently sent out their teachers back to their home countries with full expenses paid, to apply for work visa, it is the proof that employers are responsible for your visa and obtaining iqama.
If not, Saudi employers will lose their workers and it will be a minus point for them to compete with other Saudi employers.
No workers, no business, even they have the highest wasta or power.

Under any circumstances, as long as there is a contract signed by both parties, employers need to start paying you and providing you housing, med care, from the first day of your arrival in KSA, till the day you leave, whether or not you attend to work or not ( some employers kicking teachers for hotels, keeping them in limbo for months refusing to pay salary, housing, and even fines of any expired visa, to leave the country).
or they must let you transfer to a new employer if you wish.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16066
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SheikMilkShake wrote:
In the past, many posters used to say that " if you are under business visa, you have no rights, you are illegal", etc. and that is not true.

If by "in the past" you mean earlier this morning. And it is still true. It still isn't a legal work visa... and you still have no rights.

VS
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4324
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SheikMilkShake wrote:
You are under labor law, will be treated and given rights as someone who cleans the streets, as long as there is a contract, under any type of visa.
In the past, many posters used to say that " if you are under business visa, you have no rights, you are illegal", etc. and that is not true.

From the Saudi Embassy in the US: "Business visas do not grant the applicant the right to work or to reside in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."
Source: http://www.saudiembassy.net/services/business_visit.aspx

and wrote:
The employment contract you signed before arriving Saudi Arabia, is the ticket for you to work in Saudi Arabia. Most of us do not know under which type of visa we entered the country nor if the sponsor would change it into iqama or not.

From the Saudi Labor Law (English version):
    PART III: EMPLOYMENT OF NON-SAUDIS
    Article (33):
    A non-Saudi may not engage in or be allowed to engage in any work except after obtaining a work permit from the Ministry, according to the form prepared by it for this purpose.

    The conditions for granting the permit are as follows:

    (1) The worker has lawfully entered the country and is authorized to work.

    (2) He possesses the professional and academic qualifications which the country needs and which are not possessed by citizens or the available number of such citizens is insufficient to meet the needs, or that he belongs to the class of ordinary workers that the country needs.

    (3) He has a contract with the employer and is under his responsibility.
As for not knowing which type of visa you've been issued, it's quite obvious. In addition to providing documentation, if you were required to complete a battery of lab tests and physical exam (while in your home country) for the Saudi medical report; provide a notarized criminal background report; and have your qualifying academic credential authenticated/attested, then you've gone through the proper work/employment visa application process.
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SheikMilkShake



Joined: 02 Jul 2014
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tell your sponsor, "If I go down, I'll take you with me", but say it in a poetic way.

You might be wasting your time, quoting this and that, because most Saudi sponsors or point persons do not care what your say. So, you must speak the language they understand.
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babur



Joined: 10 Aug 2010
Posts: 117
Location: Herat

PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:13 pm    Post subject: iqama transfer Reply with quote

Received this.
Quote:
Teachers can transfer their iqama to another sponsor. But this is a VERY new system. If the min. of labor / min. of education powers-that-be later decide you don't "fit the bill" (age, qualifications, experience .......) you may be on the plane.
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SheikMilkShake



Joined: 02 Jul 2014
Posts: 84

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am targeting genuine EFL teachers who have had years ( 2-3-5 yrs of ) relevant non-online qualifications and experience, not teaching American slangs to their Saudi BFs in USA.

Many so-called unskilled TEFLers come from acting background ( wonder what type of movies they made in their home countries) ( if it was "Coronation street", I would be a fan of them), nursing, lawyers, ex- US navy staff discharged under medical ground ( they were not combats, just working in the canteen or truck drivers), etc.

If you check their history, once they left KSA, they all end up in hotel work, jobless, volunteering at dog kennels, and I have never met anyone who went back to start her/his nursing career, or a legal profession career or Hollywood career, Naval /military career and most of them are under 40 age group.
By looking at these teachers, students feel that they would never work in this Uni teaching job as Saudi students know that this job is for unskilled and career-less people.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4324
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SheikMilkShake wrote:
You might be wasting your time, quoting this and that, because most Saudi sponsors or point persons do not care what your say.

You introduced the subject of the Saudi labor law in your post; my use of direct quotes of "this and that" from the law was to provide accurate information.
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