Saudi women’s spouses not exempt

The Ministry of Labor and Social Development has said non-Saudi spouses of Saudi women are not exempted from the Saudization decision of the telecommunication sector.

Khalid Abalkhail, spokesman for the ministry, said non-Saudi husbands of Saudi women will be treated as foreigners for implementing Saudization in the sector.

“Even if a non-Saudi husband was employed at the telecommunication sector before the decision was issued, he still has to leave his job and open it up for a Saudi candidate. Non-Saudi candidates will not be accepted in the sector any more,” said Abalkhail.

He said expatriates who were recruited to work in the telecommunication sector may switch to other sectors or leave the country.

Lawyer and legal expert Fahad Barba said expatriates cannot leave the Kingdom without the permission of their employers.

“Expatriates are only obliged to stay in the Kingdom regardless of the sponsor’s decision if they are involved in a legal matter. If an expatriate wish to switch his job, he must obtain the sponsor’s permission, first” said Barba.

He added if an expatriate leaving the Kingdom wanted to return he would have to wait two years to apply for a new visa.

“These expatriate laws are applied in all sectors and on all expatriates and not just the telecommunication sector,” he added.

The sector was Saudized in two phases. The first phase began on March 10 and continued for three months while 100 percent Saudization became mandatory on Sept. 2.

Businesses in the sector were given a six-month notice of the decision to completely Saudize jobs in the sector.


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