The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh reiterates to all Filipino workers that, under Saudi and Philippine law, Filipino workers have the right to keep in their custody their Philippine passports while working in Saudi Arabia.
The Philippine passport is considered to be the property of the Republic of the Philippines and only the bearer has the right to keep it in his custody.
Companies and employers in Saudi Arabia who continue to keep their foreign workers’ passports, as a matter of practice and against the workers’ will, that they are violating Saudi law, specifically Council of Ministers Resolution No. 166 dated 12/04/1421H (14 July 2000) which clearly states that “every employee has the right to keep his passport in his custody.” A company or an employer who keeps the passports of his workers will be fined SR 2,000.00.
Filipino workers in the Kingdom may wish to share to their employers the attached copy of the official notice from the Saudi government on this matter.
All Filipino workers are also reminded to renew their passports as early as nine (9) months before its expiry.
A passport is valid for five years (5), but a validity of six (6) months prior to the expiry date is required for airlines and destination countries as well as for the renewal of the Saudi Residence Permit (Iqama) and the application for an Exit/Re-Entry or Final Exit Visa. The additional three (3) months should cover the time to book an appointment, the printing of the passport which is done in the Philippines and the delivery of the new passport to the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh.