If you are an expat living in Saudi Arabia and you would like to hire a housemaid, you can do so depending on your occupation as stated in your Iqama. Keep in mind that you will need to coordinate with a recruiting agency to facilitate the hiring of a housemaid.
There are many recruiting agencies in Saudi Arabia that specialize in hiring housemaids or domestics workers for Saudi nationals as well as expats. Housemaids usually come from Cambodia, Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
How to Hire a Maid if You’re an Expat in Saudi Arabia
Previously, only private recruiting offices could apply for housemaid visas through agencies abroad. In 2015, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labor announced that individual sponsors can apply for housemaid visas, though they would still need to coordinate with a recruiting office.
General Conditions and Requirements
Not everyone is qualified to apply for a housemaid visa, however. There are certain conditions and requirements to be considered, such as:
1. Suitability of Iqama
Expats who hold certain professions (e.g. businessman, investor, doctor, professor, etc.) as stated in their Iqama are eligible to apply for housemaid visas. In contrast, farmers, drivers, laborers, and watchmen are not eligible to apply.
2. Civil Status
If the applicant of the housemaid visa is a male, he must be married. This condition does not apply to female applicants; she may be single or married.
3. Salary Requirement
Expats are allowed to apply for up to 2 housemaid visas, depending on their salary. To obtain one housemaid visa, the applicant must have a minimum salary of SAR 10,000 per month. To obtain a second housemaid visa, the applicant must have a minimum salary of SAR 18,000 per month.
The Role of Recruiting Agencies
Aside from meeting the above conditions and requirements, expats need to coordinate with a recruiting agency to facilitate the hiring and application for housemaid visas. This involves stating their preferences for the housemaid, such as her age, nationality, language, and religion.
The agency will also be asking for the expat’s information, such as number of family members, children, pets, and other details. They will also discuss the housemaid’s working conditions — hours of work, salary, living conditions, and other concerns.
Salaries of housemaids typically range between SAR 550 and SAR 900 per month, depending on what is agreed upon. Meanwhile, recruiting agencies usually charge between SAR 8500 and SAR 9000 for their services, depending on where the housemaid will be coming from.
The recruiting agency will facilitate the visa application, airline ticket, and Iqama, but once the housemaid arrives in Saudi Arabia, it is the expat/sponsor who is responsible for her. The entire process of hiring, applying for a visa, and other steps could take around 3-6 months.
Steps to Hiring a Housemaid in Saudi Arabia
If you are planning to hire a maid in Saudi Arabia, here is a step-by-step guide:
1. Contact a recruiting agency.
As mentioned earlier, there are many agencies that can facilitate the hiring of a housemaid in a Saudi Arabia. You can ask your friends or colleagues for their recommended agencies.
2. Prepare and submit the requirements.
Go to the nearest Maktab Al-Istaqdam (Recruitment Office) and fill up the application form for a housemaid visa. You will also need to submit the following documents:
- Copy of your passport
- Copy of your Iqama
- 2 Photographs
- Introduction letter stating your profession, terms of employment, and salary
- Written statement indicating your need for a housemaid
- Bank statement for the last 6 months
3. Pay the costs and fees.
As soon as you receive permission from the Maktab Al-Istaqdam, you will need to pay SAR 2,300 for the housemaid visa, which will be issued after 1-2 weeks. Remember that payments are done in coordination with the recruiting agency, so be sure to communicate with them!
When the visa is released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it will be sent to the maid’s country, together with the Power of Attorney to the agent for getting her passport stamped.
Rights and Obligations of Employers of Housemaids
As a sponsor/employer of a housemaid, keep in mind that you have certain rights and obligations, such as the following:
- Signing a written contract. Both you and the housemaid must sign a written contract, which states the type of work to be done, salary amount, duration of the contract, plus the rights and obligations of both parties. There should be 3 copies of the contract: a copy for you, one for the housemaid, and another for the recruiting agency.
- Conduct of a probationary period. You and the housemaid may agree to a probationary period not exceeding 90 days, during which you can observe and determine if you would like to hire the housemaid for a longer period.
- Provision of suitable housing. As the employer, you are obligated to provide suitable accommodation for the housemaid.
- Honoring the contract. As the employer, you are not allowed to assign any work that is not agreed upon in the written contract. This includes work that is risky to the housemaid’s health and safety, or work that could negatively affect her dignity.
- Payment of housemaid’s salary. According to the Ministry of Labor, you are obligated to pay the agreed salary at the end of every Hijri month, unless both parties agree otherwise. Salaries should be paid in cash, check, or deposited to the housemaid’s bank account. The salary amount, schedule, and method of payment must be put into writing. In addition, no deductions should made from the housemaid’s salary, except in cases where the latter has obtained or damaged the employer’s property, or if there is a court case issued against her.
Of course, just as the employer has rights and obligations, so does the housemaid. Read this article to know more about the rights and obligations of domestic workers in Saudi Arabia.
DISCLAIMER: The above guide is presented for information-sharing purposes only. To learn more about how to hire a housemaid in Saudi Arabia, please visit the official website of Musaned, an electronic platform that facilitates the recruitment of domestic workers. It falls under the supervision of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development.