Saudi Arabia: Family tax on expats imposed finally!

Riyadh: During the annual Budget meet, Saudi Arabia finally announced the implementation of dependents’ fees for foreign families.

The Kingdom added that the proposed fee will be implemented from July 1. Lakhs of Indians and other foreign workers living in the Kingdom were anxiously awaiting the details, which were made available on Sunday.

‘The monthly fee will be Sr 100 per each family member in the first year and it will be gradually raised every year until 2020. The fee will be doubled to Sr 200 after a year, and it will further increase to Sr 300 in July 2019 and Sr 400 in 2020.’

The payment of fee is not only directly linked with renewal of iqama but also exit-re-entry. The exit-re-entry process can be done against single individual dependent by paying the fee till the date of validity of the iqama.

An average Indian family of four members – wife and three children – will be required to pay Sr 4,800 (approximately Rs 8,300) for the first year and it would later be doubled with each passing year until 2020.

The dependent fee will have direct impact on thousands of Telangana NRI families living in the oil-rich Kingdom. Many NRIs, especially from Hyderabad, who are in the lower income group, have their families with them in Saudi Arabia, and the new tax is bound to erode their savings.

Saudi Arabia is struggling, as major portion of their market is dependent on foreign workers, thereby increasing unemployment among their youth.