Saudi Calls For Freeze On Expat Fees For 2020

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The Shoura Council in Saudi Arabia has requested a freeze on the expatriate fee on companies and dependents fee on expatriates for 2020.

The study will look into the expatriate fee charged on companies and as well as the dependents fee that foreign nationals pay, Saudi Gazette reported.

The fee on dependents was introduced in July 2017, and required expatriates to pay SAR100 per month for each of their dependents at visa renewal. The fee doubled to SAR200 a month in 2018, rising to SAR300 in 2019 and is slated to reach SAR400 in 2020.

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Meanwhile, in January 2018, the kingdom began charging companies a monthly fee of SAR400 for each foreign worker they hire. Firms that employ an equal or greater number of Saudis than expats paid SAR300.

The monthly fee increased to SAR500-600 per worker in 2019 and is slated to rise to SAR700-800 per worker in 2020. The government is expected to raise $11.73bn from the fee in 2019 and $17.33bn in 2020, according to local media reports.

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The introduction of the fees led to a mass exodus of foreign workers form the country, with several labour-intensive industries such as construction and SMEs hit hard.

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