New Saudi Labor’s Regulations (Domains)

Ministry of Labor has introduced a new regulation to “optimize” the foreign labors in Saudi markets. MoL indicates in their official website that the unemployment rate in Saudi has reached up to %15.

Meanwhile, ministry has issued more than 2 million visas during the past two years as indication of unbalance issue in the private sector workforce.

There are about 700K Saudi citizens working in the private sector comparing by 6.5 million foreigners.

The regulation will divide the companies into domains

  • Premium

Organizations which fall under the premium will be awarded with open number of visas as long as they managed being within that domain. Also, ability to contract labors from yellow & red domains without their permission (bypass sponsors “Kafeel”).

  • Green

Ability to contract labors from yellow & red domains without their permission (bypass sponsors “Kafeel”).

  • Yellow

Minimal privileges with 9 months period to adjust their situation to upper domains. Also, organization in this domain will not be able to renew any governmental paperwork for their labors after passing 6 years.

  • Red

No privileges (bankruptcy) with 6 months period to adjust their situation to upper domains.


Average Saudi Force (ASF)= average registered Saudis in GOSI for past 3 months

Average Foreigners Force (AFF)= average registered foreigners in MoI.

Domains Formula = ASF/ ASF + AFF

Basically, the regulation will give the labors of yellow & red domains to their current employer without any permissions to any organization within green & premium.

the initiative seems to be effective but without forcibly applying it. Moreover, the periods which had been announced are short and could cause chaos on the workforce market.

I had a discussion with a friend the other day who has his own business, he wasn’t happy at all with the regulation claiming that it will lead him to close down his own business. Ironically, he never read the details of the regulations J

Last week, I had a ride Taxi and interestingly asked Taxi driver about his opinion concerning the new regulations, “This country isn’t a safe place for foreigners”  he said & sadly continued, “A friend of mine sold his house which he just bought expressing his anger toward these initiatives such Saudization, Domains etc..”

The misconception of understanding the flow of the new program was due to MoL failure to announce an awareness program to educate all concerned with it whether including labors and firms.

It is a serious matter which might potentially harm futures of lots of family and businesses due to failure of passing the right message to the right destinations!

  • How many individuals will misunderstand and leave without getting to know?
  • Would these regulations be applied and forced on all firms & companies even these which are owned by “….”?
  • “Apply these regulations on me & my sons as well” King Abdullah told Adel Faqeeh as he indicated on one of his televised comments!

Are all GCC countries proceeding to apply these regulation?

Because if not, then it means that Dubai and Qatar will happily enjoy the great amount of businesses and professional resources pouring into their countries!

The initiative has smart sides of it if was joined by awareness campaign to its audience.

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