Publication Date: 
Fri, 2010-08-06 01:00

Taif passport police were alleged to have told the Asian maid to transfer sponsorship to her employer’s son before she could leave the Kingdom.
Lawyers have slammed the decision and said housemaids should be granted a final exit visa if their sponsor dies.
Jeddah Law Center Chairman Awad Al-Hibaili is among those calling for changes to sponsorship rules. “Authorities should give the employee the option to go home on a final exit visa or to transfer sponsorship,” he said.
Al-Hibaili said in the past, only three companies in the Kingdom handled the recruitment of foreign housemaids. He added that there was one in Riyadh, one in Jeddah and another in the Eastern Province.
Al-Hibaili claimed that under this system it was easy to resolve many foreign labor problems.
He said the housemaid in Taif would have been allowed to go home had this old framework still been in place.
A source at the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) said the organization had submitted a study to the government with recommendations on reforming the sponsorship system. “If adopted, the recommendations contained in the study will end many of the problems resulting from the current system,” he said.
Websites covering the housemaid’s story reported that she had become hysterical when she was refused the final exit visa.
It was further revealed that any transfer of the iqama to the late sponsor’s son would only be completed when he brings two witnesses to testify that his father had agreed to the switch before his death.
The son also confirmed that passport police in Taif had refused to give the maid a final exit visa unless she transferred her sponsorship. “I tried my best to end her predicament but the passport authorities refuse to allow her back home unless her iqama is transferred to my name,” he said.

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