MLSD Changes Employment Visa Quota Metrics for New Companies

March 9, 2020 | Saudi Arabia

The Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD) has changed its visa quota metrics for newly-established companies. 

Entities that have obtained a commercial registration in Saudia Arabia within the past six months will be issued employment visa quotas based on their business activities and location. Entities no longer have to submit a visa quota request to the MLSD, as was previously required.

Employment quotas are granted in three levels based on certain factors, including a company’s location, commercial activities, and ability to recruit workers. Every company will receive a minimum quota upon application. The MLSD will issue a midsize quota after evaluating a company’s business activities and location. A maximum quota will only be granted if the MLSD evaluates the employer’s location, business activities, and performs a site inspection. 

Although the new requirement has been implemented, the MLSD has not yet provided information on the number of visas issued at each level or how it will determine the maximum number of quotas available. Additionally, employers may be exempt from select Saudization requirements for up to one year. The MLSD is expected to provide more information on those exemptions.