Saudi Arabia: Employers who allow expats to work for ‘personal benefit’ now face jail time

Riyadh: The Directorate General of Passports (Jawazat) has warned that employers who allow expatriates to do other work of their own free will face imprisonment and fines, as opposed to working on a visa, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The imprisonment for up to three months and a fine of 50,000 Saudi Riyals (SR) will be imposed for breaking the rules.

However, for the first time, employers face a one-month jail term and 5,000 SR fine. The second time they will be fined 10,000 SR and imprisoned for one month, and the third time the fine will be 20,000 SR and imprisonment three months. But if the same thing happens again, employers face up to three months in prison and a fine of 50,000 Saudi Riyals.

The penalty will be doubled accordingly, if more than one worker is allowed to work in this manner in violation of the country’s labor law. In addition, Jawazat said employers who allow workers to engage in other jobs will be barred from recruiting workers for a year. The year of recruitment ban will also increase as the mistake is repeated.

The Jawazat has warned of imposing a maximum prison sentence of six months and fines of up to 50,000 SR on expatriates who work for their personal benefits. The self-employed expatriate will be deported after serving the prison sentence and paying the fines.

The expatriate who works for anyone other than the original employer or works for his personal interest will be deported to their country as well. If an expatriate employs another expatriate for his benefit as well, the employer in that scenario will be punished with a fine of 5,000 Saudi riyals or will face imprisonment for a month or both in addition to cancellation of the residence permit (iqama) and deportation from the Kingdom.