Many foreign workers surprised when received SMS on change of profession

RIYADH – Many foreign workers in the private sector were surprised when they received recently text messages stating that their professions have been changed. This prompted the workers and their employers to contact the labor offices to inquire about the state of affairs with the receipt of the text messages related to the new professions.

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The change in some professions comes after the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development updated the regulations with regard to some professions of foreign workers in the private sector, in line with the professions approved by the Saudi Standard Classification of Occupations (SSCO).

This in cooperation with the Qiwa platform under the ministry, the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT), and the General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat).

The Qiwa platform obligated the establishments to correct the profession of some of their employees, by posting a notice on its platform to the owners of companies and establishments, stating that there are a number of employees whose professions must be corrected according to the manual of SSCO.

The correction covers mainly eight professions such as doctor, expert, specialist, engineer, specialized expert, control technician, worker, and ordinary worker.

It is noteworthy that the Qiwa platform had recently canceled the condition of obtaining foreign worker’s consent for changing some professions in their iqama (residency permit). This is applicable to the aforesaid eight professions that were recently included in the platform.

Qiwa instructed that these jobs must be placed in specialized professions as per the directive of SSCO. The amendment will be applicable to the Qiwa platform for the workers of establishments only, and not to the platform for individuals.

The worker’s approval is usually required when changing his profession in exchange for an amount of SR2000, with the exception of eight professions of which the change is considered as a ‘correction’ of professions. These professions will be allowed to be corrected only once without fees.

The platform stated that an accurate description of the professions to be recruited is required for any future recruitment. It will not be allowed to recruit any worker in the professions mentioned previously.

Saudi Gazette