What is Nitaqat?. How to check your Nitaqat status

You can check your Nitaqat status by Clicking Here



What is Nitaqat?


Nitaqat is a a new Saudization program, introduced by the Saudi Ministry of Labour.


Under the program, private firms are classified into Premium, Green, Yellow and Red categories based on their percentage of Saudization. The program sets penalties and incentives for companies based on which category they fall under.


Companies with high Saudization rates will fall under the Premium or Green categories, while those who fail to achieve the required rates will be included in the Yellow and Red categories. Nitaqat ensures that Saudization rates are based on the actual performance of private businesses, and takes into consideration the sector as well as the size of work force for each company.
How many employees does my company have to have to fall under the Nitaqat program?


Companies with less than 10 employees will not fall under the Nitaqat program.
Which category does my company fall under?


The criteria used for classification depends on your company's sector and size. In the Nitaqat program, the labour market is segmented into 41 commercial activities, and companies are categorizes into five sizes based on the number of people employed.


Please visit the website of the Saudi Ministry of Labour to verify your company's category status.
What happens if my company falls under Red or Yellow categories?


Companies that fall under the Red category will not be allowed to renew work visas for their foreign employees. They will be barred from opening new branches or facilities.


Companies that fall under the Yellow category can renew work visas for each foreign employee on the condition that the employee has not spent more than six years in the kingdom. Yet, they cannot transfer visas of non-Saudi workers to fall under their own sponsorship.


If your company falls under the Yellow category, you will face the following penalties:
Will only be allowed to get one visa upon the departure of two foreign employees.
Will not be allowed to get new visas.
Will not be allowed to transfer visas.
Will not have control over employees as the employees would be able to to move to companies under Green or Premium categories.


If your company falls under the Red category, you will face the following penalties:
Will not be allowed to get new visas.
Will not be allowed to transfer visas.
Will not have control over employees as the employees would be able to to move to companies under Green or Premium categories.
Will be deprived from basic ministry services such as renewal of employees' working permits, change of profession, transfer of visas, issuance of new visas and opening files for new business branches.
What happens if my company falls under Premium or Green categories?


Companies that fall under the Premium or Green categories will be able to benefit from an easier visa-approval process for their employees. They will also be able to recruit workers from the other categories without having to obtain consent from the other employer.


If your company falls under the Premium category, you will be entitled to:
Recruit foreign workers without needing to apply for a visa once every two months.
Transfer the visas of potential employees from other companies, without having them fulfil the condition of completing two years with the first employee.
Recruit employees from companies within the Red or Yellow categories and transfer their visas without permission of their employer.
Get a one-year respite if your municipal and professional licenses or commercial registrations are expired.


If your company falls under the Green category, you will be able to:
Apply for new visas once every two months.
Change the professions of your foreign workers, with the exception of positons restricted to Saudis.
Get a six-month grace period after the expiry of your zakat and revenue certificates.
Renew work permits of current foreign employees given that their residency visas are valid for at least three months.
Recruit employees from companies within the Red or Yellow categories and transfer their visas without permission of their employer.
How does the Ministry of Labour ensure that the Nitaqat program is being applied across all companies?


The ministry has pledged to take harsh action against general service offices allegedly involved in helping some companies dodge Saudization targets. Aside from closely monitoring the market, the ministry has recently appointed as many as 1,000 inspectors to ensure effective implementation of the Nitaqat program.