Bangladeshis allowed to change sponsors

Bangladeshis allowed to change sponsors
Updated 12 May 2013

Bangladeshis allowed to change sponsors

Bangladeshis allowed to change sponsors

Members of the Bangladeshi community in Jeddah were ecstatic yesterday after receiving news that they would be allowed to transfer their sponsorship like other expatriates under the Kingdom's new labor concessions announced Friday.
Bangladeshi workers were previously banned from transferring their residency and work permits. The government of the Asian country had petitioned the Saudi government over the years for this to happen.
Labor Ministry spokesman Hattab Al-Anazi told Arab News yesterday that the government has allowed “all nationalities including Bangladeshis" to transfer their sponsorship or depart from the Kingdom. He said the three-month grace period for workers to rectify their work status, which ends on July 3, also applies to all expatriate communities.
Bangladesh Consul General Mohammad Nazmul Islam confirmed that Bangladesh workers could now change their sponsorship. He thanked the Saudi authorities for agreeing to the request.
There were numerous inquiries yesterday at the Jeddah passport and labor offices about the information. There were also queues at the Bangladesh Consulate where workers were seen trying to verify the information.
Munir Abdul Rasheed who lost five job opportunities over the last four years was very happy.
Nizamuddin, a worker who used to run a grocery store in north Jeddah, said he could now make a move to get a new job.
There are 1.5 million Bangladesh nationals working in Saudi Arabia.
A request to lift the ban was made as recently as last week in a letter by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the Saudi government. The letter was handed over by visiting Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni to Crown Prince Salman. Copies of the letter were also given to Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal and Labor Minister Adel Fakeih during a meeting on the Kingdom's Nitaqat program.
Bangladesh has been trying to ensure that the Kingdom recruits more of its workers. Recently, a Saudi delegation comprising officials from Labor, Interior, Foreign Affairs and Justice ministries visited Bangladesh to to have a closer look at its hiring practices. The Bangladesh government has been at pains to emphasize that it has instituted major recruitment reforms.