What is the change? Under a new policy scheduled to begin in September, foreign nationals will be required to register their rental housing agreement in the government’s Ejar network before they are able to obtain a work permit. The Ejar system standardizes rental agreements and procedures and allows tenants to pay rent electronically.

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals applying for new and renewal work permits will need to use the standardized rental form available through Ejar and then register the agreement in the system before applying for their work permit.

  • Implementation time frame: September.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals applying for initial or renewal work permits.
  • Business impact: The registration requirement adds another step to the work permit process.
  • Next steps: Further details on the process are expected following the Eid al-Adha holiday at the end of August.

Background: The Ejar system recently introduced a standardized rental agreement form to be used for residential and commercial property leases. The form is intended to reduce the number of landlord-tenant disputes and create uniform procedures.

BAL Analysis: Employers should anticipate the introduction of the new requirement next month and factor in additional time to register their expatriate employees’ rental agreements as part of the work-permit application process. Authorities have not clarified details, such as whether leases naming the employer as the tenant will be accepted, but further announcements are expected in coming weeks.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider Tools & Solutions located in Saudi Arabia. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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