Bangladeshi workers in Saudi Arabia would be able to change their iqama (work permit) for switching professions from February 16 after more than six years of the postponement of the opportunity since 2008.
Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain informed the media about the Saudi government’s decision in a press statement this evening.
He sees it as a green signal for hiring workers from Bangladesh on a regular basis.
Since 2008, they could not change their work permit as the authorities in Saudi Arabia had imposed a restriction on Bangladeshis for a temporary period, said Mokammel Hossain, labour counsellor at the Bangladesh consulate in Jeddah.
“The opportunity has come as a blessing for Bangladeshi workers as they have been waiting to get back their rights to change iqama and profession,” he told The Daily Star.
Indeed, it is a great opportunity for Bangladeshis after the end of a seven-month general amnesty ended on November 4 last year because around 8,00,000 lakh workers took advantages during that period, he added.
Currently, around 12 lakh Bangladeshis are working in various sectors in Saudi Arabia.
Although the male workers are getting less work opportunity in Saudi, the Arabian country is interested to hire Bangladeshi maids soon, said Nazmul Islam, consul general.