Female foreign teachers have until Jan. 6 to transfer visas

Female foreign teachers have until Jan. 6 to transfer visas
Updated 09 November 2013

Female foreign teachers have until Jan. 6 to transfer visas

Female foreign teachers have until Jan. 6 to transfer visas

Expat female teachers say they have come under new pressure from the Labor Ministry to transfer their iqamas to their schools by Jan. 6 or lose their jobs.
However, many are reluctant to transfer their sponsorships because they claim the schools employing them are financially unstable and will not give them proper salary packages. In addition, many schools are unwilling to pay iqama transfer and renewal fees.
Several teachers said the ministry ordered them to transfer their sponsorship in a letter recently sent to schools.
Aasia Kamyab, a teacher at an international school, said: “We received this form to fill out from the ministry to transfer our sponsorship to our schools. However, many teachers have already said that they don’t want to do so.”
Kamyab said their refusal would affect their schools and students. “The ministry gave teachers one semester to transfer their iqamas or lose their jobs. They have no other choice.”
Warda Naeem, a teacher, said that such a decision was unfair because many schools are not financially stable and cannot provide satisfactory salary packages.
“Schools are asking us to transfer our iqamas even though they are not ready to pay for renewal fees and provide other incentives. Many teachers returned to their schools after the summer and Haj breaks on the condition that they did not have to transfer their iqamas,” she said.
“The teachers were told by owners and administrators that they would be given work permits instead of transferring their iqamas. At our school, the principal told us that the teachers would only get paid for 10 months and would have to pay half the iqama transfer and renewal fees,” she said.
Padma Hariharan, head of Novel International Group of Institutions, confirmed that the school’s owner, Salim Al-Hind, received a letter ordering teachers to transfer their sponsorships.
“Teachers who have passed the tests conducted by the Ministry of Education and have received an eligibility certificate to work should transfer their sponsorship to their schools. The deadline for this is at the end of this semester according to the Saudi calendar, which falls on Jan. 6, 2014.”
She said teachers who are unwilling to transfer sponsorships would not be able to work at schools. “Beyond all this, the impact on schools will be a cost-per-teacher of SR8,000 to SR10,000 a year, apart from salaries and allowances. Fees cannot be increased immediately. How can school managements bear these costs when most of us are halfway through the academic year?”