If you are a first time traveler to Saudi Arabia, then this post is rightfully for you as you will be able to know what your rights and duties are while you are temporarily working and living in the Kingdom.
Times have now changed for expatriates – both old and new – since there rights are already protected by the Ministry of Labor.
Before, workers were left on the hands of their Kafeels and these Kafeels can do whatever they want to do with their workers. But in recent time, the Ministry of Labor has already issued new rules to make sure that expatriates are not oppressed and exploited by their respective Kafeels.
It is important that you need to take note of these key points below:
1. Mental Adjustment
Since you are no longer in your birth country, it is important that you should be able to adjust your mental state properly. You cannot do whatever you want to do since there are rules and regulations that you need to follow in the Kingdom. Practically, do not be too sure that basic rights are available for you and you need to adjust as a second level resident here.
2. Probationary period on entry visa
Your primary objective is to work under your Kafeel/sponsor to complete the probation period on your entry visa. The VISA on your passport shows 90 days, and this is the period you need to complete. But your Kafeel may be able to issue a residence permit or Iqama/Muqeem for you even if the probation period is not yet completed.
3. Conditions on Residence Permit (Iqama / Muqeem)
The Iqama/Muqeem issued is your everything here. You have to undergo certain procedures for it to be issued. You need to have this document since you need this to stay legally in the Kingdom.
Before you sign any contract with your Kafeel, you need to know what your rights are under the Saudi Labor Law such as working for only 48 hours a week. It is also important for you to check the general trend of wages in Saudi Arabia.
Every worker living in Saudi Arabia must have a contract between him and his employer. You can ask your employer for a contract if he did not provide it beforehand. You must always remember that this contract is one of your basic legitimate documents while you are staying in their country. Keep in mind; in case of any dispute this contract is the basic legitimate document.
Furthermore, you should not sign a contract blindly. You should be very keen about many points stipulated. It is also possible that you may have been given an Arabic version of the contract. If you are a newcomer and you are not satisfied with the employer, you can resign within the probation period and you company is obligated to issue a final exit for you.
A newcomer in Saudi Arabia can transfer his sponsorship to another Kafeel without permission of the current one if one of the conditions is met. However, newcomers must have to contact labor office in this regard. Labor office will issue a paper to him authorizing him to search for job outside and get the sponsorship transferred. The conditions described from the above link are also applicable to newcomers.
I would request everyone reading this post to share it with others so that new expatriates coming to Saudi Arabia are not exploited by their Kafeels or Sponsors.