Riyadh — The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) has stated that it will not issue work permits for the newly hired foreign workers of companies and establishments that fall within the yellow category of the Updated Nitaqat Saudization program.
The ministry issued this clarification in reply to multiple queries. Questions were about the possibility of issuing a work permit for the newly hired foreign workers in the establishments that fall within the yellow category of the Updated Nitaqat program.
MHRSD explained that work permits for foreign workers in the yellow category establishment would not be renewed if the worker had spent over six years in Saudi Arabia.
A few years ago, the ministry decided to eliminate the yellow band of the Nitaqat program effective from January 26, 2020. The decision was to transform yellow-rated companies into the red band.
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And consider them non-compliant with Saudization levels until their rating improves. Such downgraded companies would not be able to apply for new visas for foreign nationals.
Nor would such companies change foreign workers’ professions or renew work permits until ratings are improved.
The ministry began implementing the Updated Nitaqat program for all private-sector companies and establishments from Dec.1, 2021.
This implementation was in line with the ministry’s labor market strategy. It enhances market efficiency and provides new attractive jobs for young Saudi men and women.
It is worth mentioning that the Updated Nitaqat program aims to increase and expand the job opportunities for Saudi citizens. The program will expand and improve the participation of both male and female Saudi citizens in the labor market.
Thus the program will positively impact the Kingdom’s GDP. The program, which aligns with the other localization programs launched by the ministry. Its targets to create more than 340,000 jobs within three years.
The first version of the Nitaqat program began in 2011 to kickstart job localization. And set minimum wage standards for Saudis in the private sector.