Saudi Cabinet passes regulations simplifying iqama transfer


The Labor Ministry will transfer the sponsorship of such workers from previous government contractors to new ones. The state will bear their iqama and sponsorship transfer fees. If a new contractor does not require the workers then it is at liberty to terminate and return them to their home countries.

“The transfer of workers from the previous contractor to the new one should be based on their desire and on agreements between them,” Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja said while explaining the Cabinet decisions.

The new contractor is also required to present an application to the Labor Office mentioning the workers it requires. However, all of the new contractor’s financial and administrative jobs should be restricted to Saudis in accordance with the Kingdom’s Saudization laws.

The regulations also state that the benefits and salaries of Saudi employees should be no less than what they were given under the previous contractor, the Saudi Press Agency quoted the minister as saying.

The Cabinet also agreed to a resolution taken by GCC leaders on continuing work with the current mechanisms of the Customs Union until its remaining requirements are completed.

The restrictions on GCC citizens in practicing economic and independent professions in member countries shall be lifted and they will be treated equally. GCC citizens will be allowed to carry out social services.

King Abdullah earlier briefed the ministers on his talks with Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete and US envoy George Mitchell. The Cabinet hoped that Mitchell’s efforts would contribute to reaching a just and comprehensive peace settlement in the Middle East.

The Cabinet heard a report from Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf on the meetings of Arab joint financial organizations where Saudi Arabia called for greater coordination among Arab countries to confront the global financial crisis.

The Cabinet referred to the first meeting of the board of trustees of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and said the research university would boost knowledge economy and act as a bridge between cultures.

The Cabinet appointed Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid, Mohammed bin Obaid Binzagr and Abdul Aziz Al-Adel as new members of the Saudi Arabian Airlines’ board of directors, and renewed the tenure of Yousuf Al-Maimani and Abdullah Abumilha on the board for another three years.

Saeed bin Jibran Al-Qahtani has been appointed as a new member of the Saudi Geological Survey’s board of directors.

The Cabinet also renewed the membership of Talal bin Mustafa Qadi and Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed Al-Bassam to the Saudi Geological Survey board. It also appointed Mohammed bin Mansour Al-Omran, education adviser at the Education Ministry’s girls section, Ibrahim bin Mohammed Ammar and Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Abdan as ministers plenipotentiary at the Foreign Ministry, and Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al-Kharashi as deputy director general of programs and policies at the Zakat and Revenue Department.


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