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‘More professions to be closed to foreigners’

By Rana Husseini - Oct 08,2019 - Last updated at Oct 08,2019

AMMAN — The Ministry of Labour is expected to announce the addition of new professions to the list of those strictly reserved for Jordanians.

There are currently 19 professions closed for guest labour. Additionally, there are set quotas for foreign labour in open professions, including 40 per cent in gas stations.

"The Ministry of Labour will announce the professions in the coming days," Labour Ministry Spokesperson Mohammed Khatib said.

The ministry official said the aim of this decision is to boost Jordanian's enrolment in the labour market.

"Many Jordanians have complained in the past that foreign labourers are taking many jobs, depriving them of their right to work and earn a living," Khatib told The Jordan Times.

"We are constantly inspecting establishments and businesses to ensure that the foreign workers are abiding by their work permits and recently we caught 120 who were in violation of the 2019 Work Permits for Non-Jordanians Regulations," Khatib explained.

The ministry spokesperson said the violators have to pay JD3,000 each in fines and "depending on the case, they can either rectify their situation or get deported from the country".

Last month, Labour Minister Nidal Bataineh announced that the new regulations aim to rectify the status of illegal labourers in the Kingdom.

The minister said new regulations stop the issuance of work permits for guest workers in professions that only accept Jordanians.

Bataineh said labourers found in violation of the new law will "only be given two months to rectify their situation", stressing that "no grace period will be given beyond that deadline".

The minister warned that illegal labourers who do not rectify their situation will be deported immediately and fined.

The minister added that those who do not wish to rectify their situation "are welcome to leave the Kingdom during the two-month period without paying fines or additional fees".

Officials have estimated that approximately 600,000 of the 900,000 foreign labourers in the Kingdom do not have valid working permits.

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