Passport Department agents make hay

Updated 31 May 2013
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Passport Department agents make hay

Many expatriates here are complaining that Saudi agents have raised their fees from SR 500 to SR 2,000 in some cases to renew their residency permits.
The agents say they are charging the higher amount because they are in demand from illegal workers trying to correct their status by July 3, the end of the three-month grace period announced by the government. Mostafa Shaaban, a Syrian resident working in the private sector, said: "I have to pay SR 2,000 to an agent to renew my son's iqama (residency permit). I have been paying SR 750 to renew my iqama over the past few years. All agents are pretending that they have received many requests to renew iqamas and transfer sponsorships."
Expatriates often use agents to deal with the Passport Department to save time and effort, even though it costs them more money. Private sector companies also depend on agents to expedite procedures for their expatriate employees.
Mohammed Nawaf, who has been working as an agent for five years, told Arab News: "There are many factors determining the fees of agents. Agents are under extreme pressure to sort out many iqama renewals before the end of the three-month grace period."
"Agents' fees are not fixed but change according to the circumstances. But these fees can exceed SR 1,000 in many cases," he added.
Mustafa Aziz, an Egyptian resident who works for a construction company in Jeddah, said: "In spite of the high fees of agents, their role is essential in facilitating iqama services in Saudi Arabia. They can provide all necessary services related to the Passport Department quickly."
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of expatriates have been flocking to the Passport Department in Jeddah to sort out their papers. Passport Department offices have been working extra hours, with more staff, to help expatriates, according to a local newspaper.


Saudi Arabia's KSRelief distributes assistance to Syrian refugees in Lebanon

KSRelief distributed assistance to Syrian refugees. (SPA/file)
Updated 21 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia's KSRelief distributes assistance to Syrian refugees in Lebanon

  • KSRelief seeks to ensure that the living conditions of Syrian refugees are in accordance with international specifications
  • The center also distributed 3,500 cartons of dates in the villages of Izzala Al-Jumah in Yemen

JEDDAH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) distributed humanitarian aid including birth kits, personal bags and baby blankets to Syrian female refugees staying in Osman Hospital and Central Hospital in Kattermaya, Kharoub province of Lebanon on Friday.

This distribution is within the framework of the assistance provided by the center for displaced Syrians and refugees in neighboring countries. 

KSRelief seeks to ensure that the living conditions of Syrian refugees are in accordance with international specifications through various relief programs. 

Earlier, winter blankets, jackets, jumpers, hats and other items were distributed to meet the basic needs of refugee families.

The center also distributed 3,500 cartons of dates in the villages of Izzala Al-Jumah in Al-Mukha directorate in Taiz governorate, benefiting 21,000 people.

In addition, 36 trucks with 469,483 kg of relief, shelter and medicines crossed Al-Wadiaa border on Thursday evening as part of the KSRelief plan to help Yemenis.

Of this total, 26 trucks with 500 food baskets, weighing 375 tons, in addition to 43,173 kg of shelter items, will be heading to Maareb province, and ten trucks carrying 42,221 kg of shelter items and 9.89 tons of medications will go to Aden.

On Thursday, the Bahraini Royal Charity Foundation and the Khalifa bin Zayed Foundation for Humanitarian Affairs signed an MoU for the establishment of the Bahrain Health Center in Aden, Yemen, at a cost of $2 million, in the presence of Ahmed bin Ali Al-Bayez, assistant general supervisor of operations and programs at KSRelief, and a number of officials. SPA, Jeddah