Demand for Expat fees to be made as per the Income

A member of the Shoura Council in Saudi Arabia has expressed his demand over the expatriate fees. He has asked the Shoura Council to make the Expat Fees proportionate to what he receives as income in a month.

Shoura member demands Expat fee to be made proportionate to income

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While attending the council session, he demanded that the expat fee has become an obstacle for the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Al-Qahtani underlined that there is a need to review the fee for expatriate workers in Small & Medium Enterprises in a way which will reduce Small & Medium Enterprises operational costs and ensuring their growth and sustainability in the kingdom.

Lots of SMEs (Small & Medium Enterprise) operating in the kingdom are struggling for survival due to the imposition of heavy burden of financial liabilities, including the expatriate fee, coupled with administrative challenges.

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The Economic and Energy Committee at the Shoura Council had called on the competent authorities earlier to work on developing an effective methodology to calculate the cost of fee for expatriate workers in SMEs.

On her part, Raeda Abunayan, another member, suggested that the government fee recovery initiative should cover all small and micro enterprises for a period of five years until they overcome the effects of coronavirus pandemic.

It is noteworthy that Saudi started charging companies a monthly fee of SR400 for each expatriate worker they hire, effective from January 2018. Firms that employ an equal or greater number of Saudis than expatriates need to pay SR300.

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The monthly fee increased to SR500 to 600 per worker in 2019 and to SR700-800 per worker in 2020. The fee needs to be paid at the time of extending the work permit.