Saudi residents to need registered rental contract for work permit renewal

The new requirement will come into force from later this year

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labour and Social Development and Ministry of Housing have announced plans to require foreign residents to have a registered rental contract before they can be issued a work permit.

The decision will mean only those with contracts registered on the kingdom’s recently launched Ejar rental network will be able to renew their residence visas.

The labour and housing ministries plan to implement the system from early September.

In the first phase, foreign residents will be required to link their rental documentation to the network to renew their permits.

The kingdom launched the Ejar platform in February under a strategy to better regulate the rental market and provide a more efficient means of settling disputes.

Earlier this month, it enabled online payments for tenants to pay their rent to landlords through the platform rather than traditional cheques.

Read: Saudi to cut out cheques through online rental payments

The new work permit requirement comes amid a wider crackdown on illegal workers in the kingdom that has netted more than 1.48 million violators of residence, labour and border security laws since last November.