7 Categories of Expatriates who are exempt from Work Permit Levy (Maktab-al-Amal Fee)

Ministry of Labor of Saudi Arabia increased the Work Permit Levy or Maktab-al-Amal Fee for the expatriates working in Saudi Arabia on 1st Muharram 1434 (November 14, 2012). The Work Permit Levy or Maktab-al-Amal Fee used to be SR 100 before November 14, 2012, per expatriate employee. An additional Work Permit Levy or Maktab-al-Amal Fee of SR 2,400 was imposed on expatriate employees for businesses who maintain less than 50% Saudi employees from November 14, 2012.[irp]

In December 2016, with the announcement of the Budget 2017, Saudi Government has introduced a plan to impose Work Permit Levy or Maktab-al-Amal Fee and increase the Work Permit Levy or Maktab-al-Amal Fee gradually. We have explained the calculation of Work Permit Levy or Maktab-al-Amal Fee earlier. We have already explained the calculation of Work Permit Levy or Maktab-al-Amal Fee to show how it will increase from SR 2,400 to SR 9,600 per expatriate worker per annum. However, what many people don’t know is that not all kind of employees come under the umbrella of this fee. Following categories of expatriates are exempt from Work Permit Levy or Maktab-al-Amal Fee.

1-Expatriate employees working in the government sector are not required to pay the Work Permit Levy or Maktab-al-Amal Fee to renew their Iqama. It would be a great comfort for the expatriates who are working in the government sector as they don’t have to pay this heavy chunk of money.

2-All domestic workers are not required to pay their Work Permit Levy or Maktab-al-Amal Fee provided that the profession on their iqama is also a domestic worker.

3-If your mother or father is a Saudi, you should be registered under his or her iqama. In this case, there is no need to pay Work Permit Levy or Maktab-al-Amal Fee.

4-A widow of a Saudi man does not have to pay Work Permit Levy or Maktab-al-Amal Fee as her status of living in Saudi Arabia is based on her deceased husband. The employer does not play any role in renewing her iqama.

5-Expatriate wife or husband of a Saudi Citizen is not required to pay the Work Permit Levy or Maktab-al-Amal Fee.

6-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. Source: Arab News

6-Firms employing not more than 5 people will be exempted from the work permit levy. Firms employing up to 9 foreigners will pay the levy for the number of workers exceeding five, provided that the Saudi owner is working for his SME Company for the full time. Source: Saudi Gazette

7-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 positively impact the large-sized companies of Saudi Arabia. Source: Arab News