Ever since the introduction of Dependent Fee, the matter has been a pressing concern for most expats living in Saudi Arabia. This is especially problematic for those with large families to support. Qsaudi explores the 2019 trends expected in the charging of this fees.
Are you looking for info on HOW to pay the dependent fee? For detailed instructions on how to calculate, refer to our Dependent Fee Calculator.
Dependent Fee in the News
News of a family tax for expats started making rounds since 2016 itself. In early 2017 the official announcements came in regarding the implementation of the fees for dependents and foreign employees. Later agencies reported that 60,000 or more foreign workers were leaving Saudi Arabia due to increased costs of living.
Unfortunately, many Asians, mostly from the Subcontinent,didn’t like the decision. Some went to the extent of labeling it as a way to force expats to leave. However such claims have been repeatedly ignored by governments world over. For instance, here is a snippet of Mr. M.J. Akbar’s reply to such a query posed to the Ministry of External Affairs, India.
In any case, despite the hardships for expats, KSA is firm on its decision of imposing the fee and will not step back. So, the best that expats can do is be prepared for the same and plan wisely. This is so that they pay their dues on time to avoid any penalties or problems for their families. In fact to know how to survive the fees read our article How to Overcome Dependent Fees.
Rates of Dependent Fee expected in 2019
As per the official statement from General Directorate of Passports, from July 1 2019 the fee payable per dependent would be 300 SAR and after July 1 2020 it would be SAR 400 per dependent. Kindly note that these are the official figures and beware of rumors circulating on social media. Earlier from July 1 2017 a fee of 100 SAR was charged which increased to SAR 200 in 2018.
Impact of the Fee
Surely, the dependent fee has impacted the expat population as well as companies with many foreign workers. We can see the effects on the influx of job-seekers and on sectors like real estate and education.
Impact On Foreign Workers in KSA
Many foreigners employed in the private sector have either left their jobs or have sent their families back home. In this children have been uprooted from their schools and families have been split. These traumatic experiences will have serious consequences for expat family life and also increase chances of depression and anxiety in workers who stay here alone.
Impact on Property Prices
When expats start fleeing KSA or shift to smaller bachelor accommodations, scores of properties become vacant. This forces landlords to give properties on rent for nearly half the price they would charge earlier. While the real estate business has been hit, this has been a blessing in disguise for expats who have saved some bucks.
Impact on Educational Institutions
It is estimated that almost 30% of private schools are at the brink of closure, the dependent fee being one reason. Expats now withdraw children and send them back home for studies. This, in turn, decreases the roll of the local school drastically, causing budget restraints.
Let us know what your ideas are to help fellow expats cope up with the tax.