Saudi may limit expats’ stay to eight years

 08 Jan 2014 - 5:01


Riyadh: The Saudi Arabian government is mulling over proposals to expand the Nitaqat system, a labour policy to create jobs for its nationals, in its bid to reduce the number of foreign workers and create more jobs with higher salaries for its citizens in the country.
Under the proposed law, expatriates in the country would be able to stay a maximum of eight years and would be discouraged from bringing their families, Arab News reported on Monday.
Expatriate workers living in the country with their wives and two children will be considered as two foreign workers under the proposed system.
The couple will accumulate 1.5 points and will incur a quarter of a point per child.
An expatriate receiving a salary of 6,000 Saudi riyals (about $1600) and more per month will be equivalent to 1.5 points in the new system.
However, expatriate professionals whose degrees have been attested by Saudi authorities will be exempted from the salary rule.
According to the draft law, a Saudi worker who earns a salary of 4,000 Saudi riyals per month will account for a full national employee, while those who receive 2,000 Saudi riyals a month will be treated as half a national employee in the Nitaqat system.
The ministry said an expatriate who has completed four years in the lunar calendar will count for 1.5 points in the Nitaqat system.
Those who have completed five years will earn two points, while those working for six years will earn 2.5 points, and those who have completed seven years will earn three points at the start of eighth year since receiving their work permits.
According to the new proposed law, three points are the maximum a foreign worker can earn.