What are the chances of removal of dependent fee from Expatriates? – Labor Minister

Dependent Fee: As all of us know that the dependent fee has been imposed on expatriates living in Saudi Arabia since July 2017. Expatriates have been paying the dependent fee in advance at the rate of SR 200 month for the year 2018 and SR 300 for the year 2019. It is expected to further increase to SR 400 from the year 2020.

Work Permit Levy or Maktab-e-Amal Fee: There is another fee which was approved by the Budget 2017 and implemented since the beginning of 2018 and it is called Work Permit Levy.

Every company has to pay SR 400 per month maktab-e-Amal fee for every expatriate employee for the year 2018, SR 600 per month per expat employee for the year 2019 and SR 800 per month per foreign worker for the year 2020.

The statement of Labor Minister: Both fees had a negative effect on the economy and landlords at large. The landlords who used to take a heavy amount of rent from the expatriates have to reduce it to ensure the increased occupancy.

In this regard, the Minister of Labor of Saudi Arabia Ahmed bin Suleiman Al-Rajhi made a statement yesterday that there is good news coming in a few days about dependents fee and work permit levy. His video clip went viral on social media and we are going to share it below.

What are the chances of its implementation? I am not a very optimistic man but still I can feel something good coming up. The impact of the dependent fee and the increase in maktab-e-Amal fee is way more devastating than the expectations and there is nothing wrong if the government revisits its decisions.

Would the government reduce Maktab-e-Amal Fee? I personally think that the government will make a move to stop the increase of work permit levy from the next year.

As we know that currently, every company has to pay SR 4800 per annum for the labor card. If the government fix the price at this level, it will be a great advantage for the corporate sector as well as small businessmen.

Would the government reduce the Dependent Fee? As far as the dependent fee is concerned, I don’t think the government would be able to reach and conclusive decision for the reduction in the dependent fee. It is not affecting the Saudi population directly and has a direct source of income for the government.

Is it in the hands of Labor Minister? All of us should know that the decision is not in the hands of the Ministry of Labor. MOL can just prepare a proposal and present it to Shoura Council for the discussion. If it is approved by the Shoura Council, it goes for the final approval of the King.

When is it going to be implemented? If approved by all the relevant authorities, I think the final decision will be announced with the Budget 2019. The budget is expected to be announced in the last 10 days of December 2018.

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