Saudi: expat fees and tough personal decision

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Expatriates now have to pay SR100 from this July per dependent per month. In addition, there is another fee to be instituted in January 2018, when companies in which expats outnumber Saudis will have to pay SR400 every month for each expat worker, pay SR300 for each expat worker when the numbers of expats employed by them equal the number of nationals in the firm. The fees will then exponentially increase annually with the monthly fees on expats for each of their dependents rising to SR200.

Some Saudis are seeing that the levying of expat fees as a perfect opportunity to put an end to unemployment problems, especially with expats leaving their jobs and the Kingdom. They expect Saudis to fill the positions that the expats vacate. Those who are in favor of the fees are betting on Saudis filling these jobs as the market would open up with opportunities and become lucrative for nationals once many of the low-paid expats leave.

On the other hand, businesses owned by Saudis that depend on expat labor will cry first when expats decide to leave. To overcome this, they will increase their prices and force the consumer to pay the fees indirectly. Expats have also been contributing to the local economy directly as they are a buying power. This power will drop sharply and the only ones to suffer are businesses in all sectors. Prices of rent will go down sharply because supply is more than demand, yet the Saudi owners would be the ones to cry first, when this happens, or is bound to happen.

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