KSA’s green card plan for expats welcomed

Updated 24 April 2016

KSA’s green card plan for expats welcomed

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s plan to issue permanent residence or “green cards” to foreign workers has been warmly welcomed by the expatriate community.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman disclosed plans for issuing such cards similar to the US green card system that allows hiring more foreign workers for a fee.
The plan will abolish the existing sponsorship system for holders, who will be required to pay zakat and value-added taxes, if any, besides premiums on insurance, etc. They can own property and undertake commercial, industrial and related activities.
“The plan is very welcome for those living here for over 40 years. I would also suggest that naturalization be given to those who have at least one child willing to serve in the armed forces in any capacity,” said Amir Qayyum, a business development executive from India.
“This is actually in recognition of the universal human rights of residency. We are glad to see the host government extending such a privilege to deserving expats,” said John Monterona, convener of the new OFW Forces Worldwide.
A senior systems engineer at Tawuniya, Saleh Ampaso Bucay, who has been working here since 1992, described the move as a dream come true.
“I am just like many other expatriates who have spent more than half of their lives in this country. All my children were born here. So it is really a great honor if this privilege of either permanent residence or a green card is granted to us,” Bucay observed.
He added that as a Muslim, it will also be a great opportunity to work hand in hand with the citizens in developing the country and protecting it from the enemies of Islam. “I love this country and would like to die and be buried here,” he said.
Gilbert G. Alarcon, senior ISO system auditor at Dar Arriyadh Consultants, said it is a good development as expats already consider Saudi Arabia their second home. “The feeling of acceptance in retrospect gives more meaning to an already fruitful partnership and cooperation between the citizens and expats.”
Rey Eduard Quiblat Umel, an architect and a project engineer, termed King Salman’s wisdom and vision “very exemplary.” The Saudi-Philippine partnership will increase by leaps and bounds, boosting the development of their peoples, he said.
“This will also help the Kingdom’s economy and increase its revenues. It will bolster their manpower without relying on oil,” said Jehad Zacaria Pangcoga, from the Philippines.


Saudis enjoy pandemic jobs boost after public and private sector efforts

Ammar Al-Sabban, a creative director and puppeteer, benefited from the ministry’s platform. (Supplied)
Updated 19 October 2020

Saudis enjoy pandemic jobs boost after public and private sector efforts

  • The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development launched a platform for freelance work in February which aims to diversify work opportunities and increase job security and credibility

JEDDAH: Philanthropic bodies from the public and private sectors have helped Saudis affected by the coronavirus lockdown with part-time and freelance job opportunities.
Initiatives were launched in a nationwide effort to provide economic relief to those who lost their jobs or suffered a salary drop.
Bab Rizq Jameel, part of Community Jameel, has helped more than 15,000 people in the Kingdom find employment this year.
The male employment rate reached 96 percent. The results showed that most new jobs were created in deliveries through electronic platforms during the lockdown.
Tahseen, a program at Community Jameel, supports young people through seasonal and temporary employment opportunities. It has succeeded in achieving the largest number of jobs, helping to create 12,730 opportunities in the past nine months.
Rola Basamad, senior general manager of Bab Rizq Jameel, said: “2020 is undoubtedly an exceptional year, but the global health crisis has confirmed our ability to adapt to the current situation and address many operational challenges and obstacles.”
Naif Al-Rabee, marketing general manager at Bab Rizq Jameel, told Arab News that they carried out a campaign called “fazza.tech” during the lockdown. “Fazza” is Arabic slang for support.
The campaign provided support for two parties: The private sector — which includes delivery and maintenance applications — and people who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic or who were relying on part-time work.
“We searched for Saudi drivers to meet the needs of people who were requesting these services in large numbers,” he said.
“We connected the two parties as quickly as possible with additional working hours to fulfill the requests of the two parties all over the Kingdom.”
The “Fazza Tech” initiative brought together 27 private sector companies.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development launched a platform for freelance work in February which aims to diversify work opportunities and increase job security and credibility.
Arab News spoke to Ammar Al-Sabban, a creative director, screenplay writer, voice actor, puppeteer and freelancer since 2008 who benefited from the ministry’s platform.
“The issue was we never had any entity or legal representation or status in the Kingdom. So we either worked without any legal structure, and when I got that legal structure I had to actually apply to have my own establishment,” he said.
He said you need to pay certain fees when creating a company, and provide a location and complete specific registrations. Freelancing does not require these procedures.
“Since the ministry started this initiative, I immediately applied. When it first began, it had a limited number of professions but soon they added more and once I found my professions I registered.
“The process was fairly easy and I received my permits within a day or two. You can submit up to five different services to registered as a freelancer. It made my life so much easier.”