Jordan extends waiver period for Syrian refugee work permits

Jordan has given employers hiring Syrian refugees an additional three months to get work permits for them without paying fees.

The Labor Ministry said Monday that 13,000 Syrians received work permits during an initial three-month waiver period ending last week, and that the program has been extended.

Close to 5 million Syrians fled civil war in their homeland since 2011, including more than 650,000 who moved to Jordan.

Jordan has promised donor countries to put tens of thousands of Syrians to work legally, in an attempt to deter them from moving on, including to Europe. In exchange, Jordan has been promised international grants and low-interest loans.

Since the beginning of the year, Jordan has issued close to 18,000 work permits for Syrians, more than triple the permits issued last year.