No change in dependent fee structure in Saudi Arabia

The fees should be paid in advance and on a yearly basis along with the issuing or renewal of the worker’s residency permit, when issuing exit-re-entry visa or even final exit visas. (SPA)
Updated 02 January 2018
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No change in dependent fee structure in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The General Directorate of Passports (GDP) has announced that foreign workers in the private sector will have to pay fees for every dependent or companion.
The directorate, known as Jawazat among expats, has posted a tweet on its official Twitter account stating that it was implementing a decision previously issued by the Council of Ministers.
It added that the fees for every dependent or companion must be paid through the SADAD payment system, which was established by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) as the national electronic payment service in Saudi Arabia.
In a clarification note received by Arab News via the directorate’s Lt. Col. Talal Al-Shalhoub, the Jawazat said the targeted dependents include the first wife, male children under 18, and all female children. It also clarified that the term “companions” entails the second wife, the third and the fourth, in addition to parents, relatives-in-law, domestic laborers and every expat sponsored by the worker.
As for the fees every expat worker has to pay, the directorate said these are applicable for every dependent and companion of all officially permitted workers in the private sector. “The fees should be paid in advance and on a yearly basis along with the issuing or renewal of the worker’s residency permit, when issuing exit-re-entry visa or even final exit visas.”
The authority made it clear that the worker should pay SR100 ($26.7) for every dependent or companion starting from July 1, 2017. It also gave notice that the fees would be doubled from July 1, 2018, and would reach SR300 by July 1, 2019. According to the same announcement, a single dependent’s or companion’s fees will hit SR400 in 2020.
The announcement also stated that no nationality would be excluded from the decision, and the fees are not refundable. It concluded that a worker could check the validity of his/her passport through the Interior Ministry’s “Absher” online services.


Saudi aviation academy to train first women pilots

Updated 48 min 52 sec ago
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Saudi aviation academy to train first women pilots

DAMMAM: A flight school in Saudi Arabia is opening its doors for women, following the end of a decades-long driving ban in the deeply conservative Muslim country where many social restrictions are easing.
Oxford Aviation Academy, a leading trainer and crew recruiter, has already received applications from hundreds of women hoping to start lessons in September at a new branch in the eastern city of Dammam.
“People used to travel abroad (to study aviation), which was difficult for women more than men,” said applicant Dalal Yashar, who aspires to work as a civil pilot.
“We are no longer living in the era were women were allowed (to work) in limited arenas. All avenues are now opened for women. If you have the appetite, you have the ability,” she said.
The academy is part of a $300 million project that includes a school for aircraft maintenance and an international center for flight simulators at the airport.
Students receive three years of academic and practical training, said executive director Othman Al-Moutairy.
A decades-long ban on women driving was lifted last month, as part of sweeping reforms pushed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman aimed at transforming the economy and opening up its cloistered society.
The lifting of the prohibition was welcomed by Western allies as proof of a new progressive trend in Saudi Arabia, but it has been accompanied by a crackdown on dissent, including against some of the very activists who previously campaigned against the ban.