It's now official. There's finally some good news for Indian expatriates working in Saudi Arabia who are planning to switch jobs. I had mentioned earlier the difficulties faced by expatriates planning to change jobs, due to the draconian No Objection Certificate requirement. This has now been done away with, but only for Indian expatriates, at the moment. For other nationalities, it is best to consult the Saudi Embassies in your own countries.
More than 2 years after it was made a law, Saudi embassies around the world are slowly starting to implement the same. The consulate in Mumbai, India, has now declared that if any Indian national, currently working in Saudi Arabia , wishes to change his job within the kingdom, he can re-enter the kingdom without the requirement of a No Objection Certificate from his current employer, provided he has left the kingdom on an Exit visa. In other words, if he has gone on Exit/Re-entry, it is still necessary to obtain an NOC from the current employer.
A major hurdle has thus been removed for Indian expatriates planning to switch jobs. Let us hope that it would be equally applied to all other countries too. The winds of change, it appears, is slowly blowing in favour of expatriates.
Update on the above post (November, 2008):
The winds of change, it appears, has stopped! Within 6 months after relaxing the NOC rule, the Saudi Consulate in Mumbai has once again reintroduced the requirement of a No Objection Certificate. What is really annoying is that it was done without the slightest notice, leaving hundreds of expatriates high and dry. Many people had gone back to India in the hope of coming back to a better job and now find that their hopes have dashed. Let us hope that this rule is relaxed at the earliest!