New Law to Curb Visa Trading

2015-0220 New Law to Curb Visa Trading

The Labor Ministry plans to introduce new legislation overseeing transfers of sponsorship in a bid to crack down on individuals and companies involved in illegal visa trading.

The ministry recently published a draft of the new law for public comment. “We have placed the draft law on our website ‘Together We Improve’ and invited experts to comment on it before promulgation,” said Tayseer Al-Mufrej, spokesman of the ministry.

“The ministry has noticed that some firms have been transferring their workers to [other companies] within a few months of their arrival in the Kingdom,” Al-Mufrej said.

The ministry believes that this has occurred either because they did not make a proper assessment of their labor needs, or they are involved in the illegal visa trade.

The new law proposes to limit such transfers. “We understand that in certain cases the transfer of services is required either because workers do not have the required skills or on humanitarian grounds,” he said.

According to the draft law, company owners would be allowed to transfer the services of their workers within 12 months based on certain conditions, including the size of the firm and within a certain limit to be defined. Failure to abide by the limit would see them banned from doing so for 12 months.

The new law would not apply to transfers of workers between contractors involved in government projects. “We will be very happy to have the valuable opinion of experts on the draft law,” Al-Mufrej said. Interested persons can log onto to post their opinions.


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