About 2 million expatriates in Saudi Arabia could lose their jobs if the government goes ahead with the move to penalise small and medium enterprises that have not employed even one Saudi as per a new law, a report said.
These employees would be treated as illegals and deported as per the law, it said.
About 250,000 small and medium enterprises could be listed in the Red category of the Labor Ministry’s Nitaqat system on Wednesday for having failed to meet a deadline to employ at least one Saudi, said the Arab News report.
These firms have been given warning that their work permits would not be renewed because they have so far failed to employ at least one Saudi, the report said, quoting a high-level Labor Ministry source as saying in an Al-Yaum report.
The source was quoted as saying that the ministry would not renew work permits of employees of firms in Red category and as a result their iqamas would not be renewed.
According to a new law passed by the Cabinet, such iqama violators will be arrested and deported by the Interior Ministry, it said.
About a month ago, there were 340,000 firms without even a single Saudi working there. These firms have been given a deadline to correct their situation by March 27.
Meanwhile, the kingdom has deported more than 200,000 foreigners staying illegally in the country in four months, Passport Department officials said.