THE Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has advised Filipinos intending to work in Saudi Arabia that its government now requires expatriate workers to pay for each family member or dependent holding a resident permit or iqama.
The POEA said starting last July 1, foreign workers in Saudi have to pay to the General Directorate of Passport the amount of 100 Saudi riyals or approximately P1,350 per dependent per month.
Dependents include wife or wives, children, parents, in-laws, house workers, drivers, and any person whose name is registered in the system as sponsored by the expatriate worker.
The fee applies to dependents of all expatriates working in the private sector.
The fee will be paid in advance up to the date of validity of iqama and is non-refundable.
The POEA stressed that the Saudi government will not issue exit and re-entry visas or renew residence permits without payment of dependent’s fee.
It added that the dependent’s fee is being implemented gradually and annually through the government-run SADAD payment banking system.
It will be increased to SR200 per dependent per month on July 1, 2018, SR300 per month on July 1, 2019, and SR400 on July 1, 2020.
The Saudi cabinet approved the collection of dependent’s fee from foreign workers reportedly to boost state revenues to offset the impact of the drop in oil prices.