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11,500 Syrians issued work permits — ministry

By Laila Azzeh - Jun 18,2016 - Last updated at Jun 18,2016

AMMAN – A total of 11,500 work permits have been issued to Syrians since April, when the Cabinet agreed to give Syrian workers free permits, the Labour Ministry said on Saturday.  

Syrian workers and their employers were given a three-month grace period to obtain work permits in April, after Jordan pledged to integrate Syrians into the labour market at the London donor conference in February. 

“We estimate that there are 90,000 Syrians in the job market, and having 11,500 come to us for work permits means that things are moving to the right direction,” ministry spokesperson, Mohammad Khatib, told The Jordan Times.

He noted that the Cabinet’s decision to exempt Syrians and their employers from work-permit fee has encouraged more and more to seek to rectify their situation. 

“We will see more Syrians legalising their status in the coming months,” said the spokesperson, who added that the grace period will end on July 5.  

Khatib highlighted that licences to employ Syrians were mostly given in sectors related to agriculture, manufacturing and food production. 

“Syrian workers are complementary labour. They are very skilled in crafts and agriculture, which can be very beneficial to Jordanians who can learn from them,” the spokesperson said. 

In April, the UNHCR said that the government measures towards the employment of Syrian refugees would help them become more self-sufficient and would significantly ease the way for them to work legally in Jordan. 

There are some 1.3 million Syrians in Jordan, according to government figures.

Over 640,000 Syrian refugees are registered with UNHCR in Jordan, more than 85 per cent of whom are living outside  camps. A recent study found that nine out of ten Syrians living outside camps live below the Jordanian poverty line of JD68 ($87) per capita per month, according to UNHCR. 

The agency said since the beginning of March, Jordanian authorities have also allowed Syrian refugees to use UNHCR-issued asylum-seeker cards and Jordanian Ministry of Interior identity cards to obtain work permits. 

Previously, the only way to obtain work permits was by using a passport and proof of legal entry into the country. 

As most Syrian refugees lack passports and proof of legal entry status, many were precluded from working legally. 


Authorities have now removed that requirement, paving the way for thousands of Syrians to be legally employed.

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