OFWs Have the Right to Keep
Their Own Passports
(Riyadh, 21 May 2015) – The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh reiterates to all Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia that, under Saudi and Philippine law, they have the right to keep and hold on to their Philippine passports while working in Saudi Arabia.
The Philippine passport is considered to be the property of the Republic of the Philippines and only the bearer has the right to keep it in his custody.
The Embassy firmly reminds companies and employers in Saudi Arabia who continue to keep their foreign workers’ passports, as a matter of practice and against the workers’ will, that they are violating Saudi law, specifically Council of Ministers Resolution No. 166 dated 12/04/1421H (14 July 2000) which clearly states that “every employee has the right to keep his passport in his custody.”
The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated to the Embassy this week that this rule remains in effect and that any OFW whose passport has been kept by their employer has a right to complain to the Ministry of Labor or the police. (END)