Expats Who can Live and Work in Saudi Arabia for Free- Visa and Iqama Fees Exemption-MOI Rules

Although it sounds unbelievable, there are actually several people who do not need to pay for Visa or Residence Permit Renewal in Saudi Arabia. There are others who, according to Saudi law, do not need a work permit to work. Also, many are exempt from the HR development fees.

So, are you one of those lucky few?

QSaudi discusses the different categories of people who have some relaxations in Saudi Arabia. Many of them they can stay in Saudi Arabia without paying usual fees.

This information is provided by MOI (Ministry of Interior) and can be very helpful for you and your close ones.

Expats Who do NOT need Work Permit

Firstly, Thank God Saudi Arabia is not one of the countries where one has to pay unemployment tax. So you are not charged for work-permit if you happen to lose a job or are currently un-employed while being a legal resident.

Moreover, the following expats do not need WORK PERMIT in Saudi Arabia:

  1. Expat workers employed in the government sector
  2. Expat students,
  3. Un-employed expats
  4. Un-employed dependents
  5. Wives of non-Saudis

Expats Who do NOT have to pay for Recruitment Permission

A sum of SAR 2000 is paid for securing recruitment permission in Saudi Arabia. However, the following are exempted from this fees:

  1. Families of resident expats who work for the government
  2. Families of expats who work in foreign embassies
  3. Holders of diplomatic passports 

Expats Who do NOT have to pay Dependent Fees

The following are exempted from dependent fees in Saudi Arabia:

  1. Resident expats who work for the government
  2. Expats who work in foreign embassies
  3. Holders of diplomatic passports 

Expats Who do NOT have to pay HR Development Fee

Normally Human Resources development charge is charged for expats living and working in KSA. Usually your employee is the one who has to pay this fee. In Saudi Arabia for the year 2019 companies will pay between 6000-7200 SAR per foreign worker. But if you are among one of the below-mentioned categories, you do NOT have to pay this fee:

  • A female expat who is the wife of a Saudi citizen.
  • Expat Contractors working for the government
  • Expats who work at Embassies
  • Expats who hold diplomatic passports
  • Household workers, farmers, and shepherds
  • Drivers who are sponsored by individuals
  • Dependent of a Resident (wives, sons, and daughters)
  • A male who accompanies a resident female expat (her husband, father, or brother).

Expats Who do NOT have to pay Iqama and Visa renewal Fee

Generally, every expat who turns 18 has to have their separate residence permit, whether male or female.

Although Saudi Arabia is very strict about Iqama and Visa renewal and Dependent Fee has been introduced recently, there are relaxations for some people. 

The following non-Saudi expats are exempted from paying their own Visa or Iqama fees:

  1. A Non-Saudi wife of a disabled Saudi citizen is exempted from Iqama fees given her husband’s condition that makes the routine procedure difficult.
  2. Non-Saudi students who are on scholarships do not have to pay any Visa/ Residence Fees
  3. Military students/ Trainees who come to the Kingdom for training also don’t have to pay Visa fee

Expats Who do Not have to pay Sponsorship Transfer Fee

We have discussed above some cases of non-Saudi wives of Saudi men. However, there are some relaxations also if the husband is Non-Saudi and wife is a Saudi citizen. 

In case of transferring sponsorship of children (sons and daughters) from expatriate Non-Saudi father to Saudi mother, they do not have to pay any transfer charge.

If you come under any of the above categories and have tried for a fees waiver, let us know about your experience. 

Also, if you are facing a situation in which you believe you deserve to be exempted from paying the Visa/ Iqama fees, feel free to share your views with us in the comments section.