A new fee for expats’ dependents in Saudi Arabia will be paid in advance at the time of residency visa issuance from July 1 this year.
According to the Saudi Gazette, the fee would be paid annually when a residence visa is sent for renewal, or a new visa issued. It will start at SAR100 ($26.66) for each individual per month before increasing to SAR200 ($53.32) for each dependent from July 2018, SAR300 ($79.98) in 2019 and SAR400 ($106.64) in 2020. The fees go to the State Treasury.
Private sector companies will also still have to pay the SAR200 a month levy for each foreign worker at the end of the current year. This will double to SAR400 a month per expat worker in January 2018 and then increase to SAR600 ($159.97) in 2019 and SAR800 ($213.29) in 2020.
The fee increases come as the Saudi Kingdom seeks to diversify their economy away from oil as a result of the hard hit received from price decreases that began in the summer of 2014. The Saudi Government has promised to provide SAR200bn ($53bn) of incentives to the private sector over the next four years to aid in this effort, however there are concerns that investments will be impacted by increasing costs for businesses.
Global Investment House cited the fees and decreases to subsidies on electricity, water and fuel would increase input costs for corporates.
Expats fear that the Saudi Government will tax remittances next.
Now to the 64 dollar question:
Will expats have to pay for the privilege of cleaning their bathrooms?