• Work Permit Restrictions for Nationals of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone Due to Ebola Outbreak
  • September 29, 2014
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Saudi Arabia has imposed an indefinite ban on work permits for nationals of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone due to the Ebola outbreak, according to the Saudi Ministry of Labor. Those who are renewing a permit within Saudi Arabia may be required to undergo additional medical screening from an accredited clinic, and it is anticipated that those who are already authorized to work but are outside of Saudi Arabia may be required to undergo the additional medical exam upon their return to Saudi Arabia.

    Along with the current ban of Hajj visas, citizens of the affected countries may be unable to obtain other types of short-term visas, in the discretion of the Saudi government. If other types of short-term visas are available, applicants may need to undergo additional medical testing.

    Nationals of other countries with reported Ebola outbreaks may soon be subject to similar restrictions on travel to Saudi Arabia.

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    Due to the continued spread of the Ebola virus, employers with operations in Saudi Arabia should be aware that the ban on work permits for nationals of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone may be lengthy. Employees from these three countries who are already authorized to work but are outside of Saudi Arabia, and those filing work authorization renewals or shorter-term visa applications, should be prepared to undergo a possible additional medical exam, which may create an additional processing hurdle and a source of delay.