Saudi Arabia will halt the recruitment of expatriate engineers with less than five years of professional experience from next year.
The decision was previously announced as part of measures to provide opportunities for Saudis in the sector but now an official cut off date has been confirmed.
National engineering companies working on urgent projects have been given three months – until January 1, 2018 – to terminate the entry procedures of engineers with less experience who applied for roles before the decision.
The kingdom’s engineering commission said there would be “no exceptions” to the cutoff from January, according to Saudi Press Agency.
In addition, applicants’ experience will be checked and documented with the engineer to “bear the consequences” of non-compliance.
Expatriate engineers with five years of experience must also pass a professional test and personal interview through the Saudi Engineers Authority before being granted a work permit.
In another recent decision, the kingdom’s Ministry of Labour said it would suspend the renewal of work permits for foreigners in 19 roles highlighted to be occupied by Saudis.