Expatriate Healthcare

All Expats to Be Fired from Jobs in Saudi Arabia

Last month we reported that Saudi Arabia’s new green card policy was going to be for ‘investors and the scientifically skilled’ only. Just a matter of weeks later and the country’s Ministry of Civil Service has announced that all government departments must terminate contracts of expat employees within three years. This means foreigners working in public sectors such as education, police, public transit and health care will all find themselves unemployed.

Civil Services Minister Abdullah Al-Melfi announced the news during a meeting in early May. The meeting discussed plans to implement the ‘job nationalisation plan’ by 2020. Considering the large numbers of English teachers, technical defence specialists, doctors and engineers hailing from far flung countries, ‘Saudisation’ of public jobs could be detrimental.

According to the ministry there are approximately 70,000 expats work in Saudi’s public sector. “There will be no expatriate working in the government after 2020,” stated Al-Melfi. He continued, “The complete nationalisation of government jobs is an important objective of the National Transformation Programme 2020 and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.”

What is the National Transformation Programme 2020?

To ensure the Kingdom achieves the goals set out in Vision 2030, the National Transformation Programme 2020 outlines a number of initiatives to be put in place by different ministries. It is a way of preparing the Kingdom for the post-oil era it now faces. Here has what has been revealed so far:


Public Finances


Investment, Jobs and Exports