Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports (GDP) has started implementing the new fee on the dependents of expatriate workers in the country since Saturday, July 1.
The fee is being undertaken by the GDP in collaboration with Saudi’s Ministry of Finance and the National Information Center. It is based on a decision taken by the Saudi Cabinet late last year aimed at boosting state revenues to offset the impact of the drop in oil prices.
It is applicable to all expatriates in the private sector, and requires them to pay a monthly fee of SAR100 per dependent from July 1 (which increases by SAR100 every year until 2020).
Dependents include wife or wives (from two to four), children, parents, in-laws, home workers and any person whose name is registered in the system as sponsored by the expatriate worker.
The fee is being implemented “gradually and annually, beginning from July 1, 2017, through government-run SADAD payment banking system”, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Wednesday.
At least four commercial banks in the kingdom have started collecting the fees while others are also updating the system, an official confirmed earlier this week.
The GDP confirmed that all necessary adjustments have been made on the automated Iqama (residence permit) system to cope with the new amendments.
In terms of paying the fees, the following points should be observed:
– The fee applies to dependents of all expatriates working in the private sector, and is applicable on all nationalities
– Those previously exempted from fees in the Iqama system, are to be exempted from the currently-imposed fees
– Payments should be made in advance through the SADAD bank system and are non-refundable
– The decision is also applicable on new-born babies with the fees to be levied retroactive from the date of registering a child. The infant will also not be exempted from the fee for the period during which his/her name was missed registering.
– The fees will be levied annually in advance against the dependent of an expatriate worker when issuing or renewing an Iqama identity or when issuing an exit and re-entry visa or when issuing a final exit visa. They will be applicable as follows (depending on the period of validity)
* SAR100 monthly, effective from the July 1, 2017
* SAR200 monthly, effective from the July 1, 2018
* SAR300 monthly, effective from the July 1, 2019
* SAR400 monthly, effective from the July 1, 2020
– For enquiries for the remaining period of an Iqama validity, residents have been advised to visit the Abshir portal, Ministry of Interior (MOI) website.
The GDP also highlighted the requirements for various passport services –
Issuing or renewing the residence identity (Iqama)
To apply for the issuance or renewal of a resident ID, an expatriate worker will need to complete the following-
a – Payment of fees as prescribed by the regulation through the SADAD payment system
b – Payment of fees for each dependent of an expatriate worker at SAR100 per month, starting from July 1, 2017 or SAR200 per month from July 1, 2018, depending on the validity of the resident ID
Issuance of exit and re-enty visa
To apply for an exit and re-entry visa, an expatriate worker will need to complete the following –
a – Payment of the prescribed visa fees for the service (according to the required visa period) through the regular system for government payments
b – Payment of fees for each dependent in accordance with the validity period of the resident ID
Issuance of a final exit visa
To apply for a final exit visa, an expatriate worker will need to complete the following –
a – Payment of the fees owed from July 1, 2017 until the date of application for the issuance of the final exit visa
b – In case the validity of the final exit visa exceeds the validity period of the resident ID, the validity of the visa shall be added to the period due for the payment of the fees