Connecticut, US

Nov 19 2019

List of Professions for Skilled Work Permit Published

Jordan

At a Glance

  • The Ministry of Labour in Jordan has published the list of professions for highly-skilled foreign nationals, who as of September 2019, must apply for a new work authorization route that is subject to a higher government fee and other more restrictive criteria.
  • Key professions on the list include engineers, medical professionals, telecommunication and information-technology professionals and technical and specialized jobs in the banking and financial sector, among others.

The situation

The Ministry of Labour (MOL) in Jordan has published the list of professions for highly-skilled foreign nationals, who as of September 2019, must apply for a new work authorization route.

A closer look

The following are the professions for which foreign nationals must obtain a skilled work permit, and the government body that must issue a recommendation letter for each permit application:

Profession Government body that must issue recommendation letter 

All engineering professions

Jordanian Engineers’ Association

All medical professions

Ministry of Health

Vocational and technical education and training professions

National Employment-Technical and Vocational Education and Training Council

Telecommunication and information-technology professions

Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship

Teaching professions in public and private universities and colleges

Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research

Technical and specialized jobs in the banking and financial sector

Central Bank of Jordan

Insurance sector professions

Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply

Professions in the tourism sector

Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities

Professions in youth and sports clubs, including coaches and players

Relevant sports association

Aviation sector jobs

Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission

Professions in other economic activities and sectors, including administrative, accounting, financial, consulting, training and cooking professions, as well as any other professions determined by the Ministry of Labour.

Depends on sector/activities

 

Impact

  • Inability to renew regular permit. Foreign nationals in professions that the MOL considers skilled will not be allowed to renew their regular work permits. Instead, their employers will have to apply for a new work permit under the new category and will be subject to the higher fee.
  • Delays ahead. Application processing delays can be expected for those who qualify under the new skilled work permit category, since many related rules have not yet been finalized.

 

Background

  • Purpose of new permit. The new skilled work permit has likely been introduced to counterbalance the growing unemployment rate among Jordanians, especially in highly-skilled professions. By creating a higher government fee and restricting eligibility for such professions, the government seeks to increase the local labour force in certain skilled occupations.
  • Who must apply for the skilled work permit. Foreign nationals must apply for the skilled work permit when there is no qualified Jordanian job seeker available on the labour market, particularly when:
    • there is a shortage of local workers with in-demand skills;
    • the applicant possesses rare expertise and knowledge that can be transferred to the Jordanian labour market; or
    • the employment of foreign skilled workers will contribute to the economy by generating job opportunities for Jordanians.
  • Government fee. The government fee for new category of work permit for skilled workers is JOD 2,500 (USD 3,526), significantly higher than the recently-standardized fee of JOD 500 (USD 705) for most other work permits, and much higher than the fee now applicable in free zones (JOD 275 per permit - approximately USD 388).

 

Looking ahead

Jordan is one of the countries in the Middle East most affected by the regional conflicts, hosting the second highest number of refugees per capita in the world, according to the UN Refugee Agency. The economy has also been negatively affected by regional instability, a reliance on oil imports for energy and a high unemployment rate of 19.2 percent.

To counterbalance these economic conditions, Fragomen expects that Jordan will continue to attempt to promote the employment of its citizens through restrictive policies such as the one above.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to mideast@fragomen.com.