Saudi Arabia: Job advertising now required for block visas

Saudi Arabia is now requiring that employers place jobs ads on the new national labor portal to make sure that they have attempted to hire local candidates before applying for visas for foreign workers.

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What does the change mean? Employers should be prepared for the additional time and effort required to place ads and complete labor-market testing procedures.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Block visas.
  • Who is affected: Employers in Saudi Arabia.
  • Impact on processing times: The job-advertising requirement will lengthen the overall time needed for fulfilling prerequisites to visa applications.
  • Business impact: The rules require additional steps, and companies will need to document that they have attempted without success to find a local candidate suitable for the job before applying for visas.

Background: Job openings must be advertised for local candidates, however the ads’ durations have not been set by authorities. If a position cannot be filled by a local applicant, the job ad will be converted to a block visa application to be filled by a foreign candidate.

BAL Analysis: The new job advertising requirements are part of Saudi Arabia’s move toward greater localization of its workforce and the launch of Taqat, a national labor database and central portal for all labor-related services, including connecting employers and job seekers. Employers should be prepared to keep records regarding their job advertisements and local candidates who are considered and rejected.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Saudi Arabia. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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