Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Labor and Development is intensifying its crackdown on expats working in jobs limited to Saudi nationals.
"The Ministry will not tolerate expats illegally working in the telecom sector or any other industry which has been nationalized. We are currently arresting violators and referring them to authorities, who will later deport them," the statement read.
It also comes less than a month after authorities announced the country would be reducing the validity of expat work visas for private sector employees from two years to one.
The ministry also called on people to report violators
"The ministry will ensure that there are inspectors across all telecom malls and companies. We also call on citizens to report violators by phone or through our mobile app: #Together_tomonitor."
Many are hailing the announcement
"An excellent decision, especially when it comes to shopping outlets in Jeddah."
Others are planning on reporting violators
"How do I report someone?"
A few aren't so sure of the crackdown's effectiveness though
"Whether you allow it or not, the reality is they're working and violating [leaders] words and order."
Many are completely against it
"Expats are vital to some sectors, at least until our youth are trained to take on such jobs."
Nationalizing industries as part of the kingdom's Vision 2030
Official figures reveal that close to 9 million foreigners are employed in the kingdom.
However, these numbers were released before the country intensified efforts to reduce its reliance on foreign labor and boost employment opportunities for Saudi nationals under the kingdom's Vision 2030.
The ambitious blueprint aims to fight unemployment, which continues to rise at alarming rates among Saudi nationals.
The kingdom has passed several orders under the plan, including one that terminates all contracts pertaining to expatriate workers in governments and ministries within three years and another that nationalizes jobs in shopping malls.
The ever-transforming Vision 2030 also aims to develop non-oil industries, support small and medium enterprises, increase the participation of Saudi women in the workforce and create a broader investment base in the country.