Dad’s iqama must be valid for expat child to continue studies

Dad’s iqama must be valid for expat child to continue studies
Updated 07 September 2013

Dad’s iqama must be valid for expat child to continue studies

Dad’s iqama must be valid for expat child to continue studies

Expatriates are burdened with both school fees and legalization procedures this year.
Private schools accept expatriate students only if their parents’ iqamas are valid and are not close to expiry date.
Many government schools do not accept expatriate students since the Ministry of Education had issued a circular that foreign students above eight should not be admitted to government schools.
“Ensuring a seat at a local school is becoming progressively difficult, particularly for expatriate parents. Private schools are raising their fees beyond affordable levels,” says Abdullah Al-Naeem, a Syrian expatriate.
“A major problem faced by non-Saudi students is linking the validity period of a parent’s iqama to the school term of his son or daughter. If the validity date expires, the student will not be allowed to attend classes until it's renewed.”
Iqama renewal takes a long time in some cases, he said, adding that a parent may have to sometimes seek the help of an influential person for the continuation of his son’s or daughter’s studies.
Ahmed Bakhodr, a Yemeni resident in Jeddah, said he received a letter from his son’s school that he should renew his iqama or his son will not be allowed to continue at the school. “Luckily, I got my identity papers renewed in a week and avoided my son being thrown out of school,” he said.
Arab News could not get clarification on whether the interruption of studies in case of iqama expiry is sanctioned by authorities. Schools do allow for down time required for the completion of renewal procedures. Parents whose iqamas are under the renewal process during school registration time face the same problem.
The other worrying problem is the trend of private schools hiking registration and tuition fees to exorbitant levels. Foreign parents have no other recourse but to send their children to private schools, as many government schools do not accept them.
“School fees are a nightmare for every expatriate parent, especially when most foreigners have no other choice but to depend on private schools. They demand higher rates in various pretexts,” said Mustafa Al-Banawi, a Syrian worker. He has three children at different school levels, paying SR13,000 for his eldest son, SR9,000 for his second and SR7,500 for his youngest son annually.