On December 2012, decision of imposing SR 2,400/- on Iqama Fee was imposed upon expatriates living in Saudi Arabia. This labor fee was payable by the sponsor of every employee to the Labor Office. Government expected to raise at least SR 10 billion each year from this amount. This fee was a major problem for the expatriates who are working in Saudi Arabia on free visa (illegally). It should be kept in mind that all the expatriates who are doing business in Saudi Arabia are actually working on free visa which is illegal. However, a fresh breeze touched the ears of expatriates in the morning when it was aired that King has lifted the charge of SR 2,400/- labor office fee of expatriates based upon following criteria.
Conditions for Exemption of Labor Office Fee
- There will be no more Iqama Fee of SR 2,400/- for the Small and Medium Sized Businesses of Saudi Arabia.
- In this way, businesses employing less than 10 employees will be exempt from paying SR 2,400/- Iqama fee on the renewal of Iqama of their 4 employees.
- However, it is only applicable if Saudi owner is working for his SME Company for the full time.
Moreover, all the companies who have signed the contracts with the government before Nov 15, 2012 will be reimbursed for the Iqama Fee for the two preceding years as well. This decision will be positively impact the large sized companies of Saudi Arabia.
What to do if you are on free visa?
Living in Saudi Arabia on free visa means that you have to pay SR 2,400/- every year for the renewal of Iqama from your pocket. As you can read above, the decision of lifting up SR 2,400/- has been imposed now. You can force your Kafeel not to take SR 2,400/- from you on the next Iqama renewal if your employer meets the above criteria. It is very important to point out again that decision of lifting off the Iqama fee of SR 2,400/- is only applicable to the businesses with less than 10 employees and only for 4 expatriate employees working in the business.
Source: Arab News
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