Saudi denies increase to work permit fee for foreigners

Reports last year suggested the kingdom could double the existing fee by 2018



Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labour and Social Development has denied rumours that it has increased the work permit fee for foreigners, according to reports.

Arabic publication Okaz cited a ministry spokesperson as saying any decision to increase fees would be officially announced.

Since November 2012 the kingdom has charged SAR200 ($53) a month for each foreign worker in private sector companies where the number of expatriates exceeds Saudis, according to the publication.

Reports last year suggested the fee would increase to SAR300-400 ($80-$107) per foreign worker by 2018 and SAR700-800 ($187-$213) by 2020.

Read: Saudi budget likely to raise labour costs for corporates

The ministry also denied increasing fees for domestic worker visas.

The kingdom introduced a SAR100 ($27) monthly fee for each dependent of a foreign worker last month, which is payable when resident permits are issued or renewed.

Read: Over 2.2 million expat dependents registered in Saudi as new fee takes effect

It is also moving ahead with plans to bar some roles to foreign workers and in September is expected to introduce stricter requirements under the Nitaqat system, which categorises companies based on the percentage of Saudis in the workforce.

Read: Saudi pushes ahead with plans to prevent foreigners from working in women’s shops

Read: Saudi halts operations of one million firms for breaching Saudisation laws

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