Expats must pay dependents’ fees before Iqama renewal or re-entry visa: Passports Department

exit/re-entry visas for expatriates and the renewal of residence permits will not be made unless fees levied on dependents of foreign workers are paid in advance. (AFP)
Updated 02 July 2017

Expats must pay dependents’ fees before Iqama renewal or re-entry visa: Passports Department

RIYADH: The General Directorate of Passports of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said that the issuance of exit/re-entry visas for expatriates and the renewal of residence permits will not be made unless fees levied on dependents of foreign workers are paid in advance.
Government agencies including banks have either updated or are updating their technical platforms for accepting these fees.
Responding to many inquires received on its Twitter account, the Passports Department said that fees levied on the head of the family “should be paid before issuance of exit/re-entry visa or renewal of residence permits.” The new fee for dependents of foreign workers in Saudi Arabia went into force July 1, which was announced by the Ministry of Finance last year in a step to balance in the budget.
In December 2016, the Saudi Council of Ministers passed a series of decisions aimed to increase state revenues to offset the impact of the fall in oil prices. According to the decision, the fees start at SR100 ($27) for each dependent per month and it will increase to SR200 after July 2018, and SR300 and SR400 in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
Based on government estimates, fees on expatriate’s dependents will yield some SR1 billion by the end the current year, while fees on dependents and levies on foreign workers at private sector companies will achieve SR24bn, SR44bn and SR65bn in 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively. The fees will be paid annually when a residence permit is sent for renewal or the expatriate worker seeks a re-entry visa.
According to the local media, dependents are categorized as follows: A wife (or wives), sons, daughters, parents, wife’s father or mother, house workers, and drivers who are registered under the name of a sponsor, namely expatriates working in commercial companies.
The Saudi government plans to achieve a balanced budget by 2020. In a briefing to reporters last December, Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan said the fees do not apply to domestic workers employed by Saudi citizens.
He also ruled out imposition of an income tax on Saudis, foreigners or company revenues. The Kingdom has not levied any fees on remittances sent by about 11 million expatriates currently living and working in the Kingdom.


Startup of the Week: A Saudi Eco-friendly food waste startup brings value-added benefits

KAUST has been highly supportive of Carbon CPU, both technically and financially. (Supplied)
Updated 21 January 2020

Startup of the Week: A Saudi Eco-friendly food waste startup brings value-added benefits

  • Aldrees: “Over 90 percent of food waste in Saudi Arabia is dumped into landfills”
  • Carbon CPU’s technology uses a specially developed, eco-friendly reactor to help convert food waste into fatty acids

Carbon CPU is a biotechnology startup specializing in turning food waste into fatty acids for use as livestock nutrients.

Launched through the post-graduate startup accelerator program (TAQADAM) of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the venture was co-founded by Bin Bian, Jiajie Xu, Yara Aldrees, Sara Al-Eid and Prof. Pascal Saikaly.

The idea behind the enterprise began to take shape in 2018. Al-Eid said: “Our aim was to recycle food waste into value-added products in a manner that matched the Saudi Vision 2030 strategy.”

Similar to most countries, Saudi Arabia has a food waste problem, but Carbon CPU thought of utilizing it in a way that caused less harm to the environment and also benefitted the animal feed industry.

“Over 90 percent of food waste in Saudi Arabia is dumped into landfills,” said Aldrees. “This produces a lot of gas, including methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and cycloaromatics, and contributes to global warming and air pollution.”

Water and soil were also being contaminated through leachate production, she added. “We’re trying to solve those issues, too.”

 

The team found that animal farms often struggled to provide enough feed nutrients for livestock such as cows and sheep. Al-Eid said there was a huge shortage of fatty acids, which are used as livestock nutrients and were in high demand from farmers.

“We’re trying to help animals live longer and be more nutritious,” she added.

Carbon CPU’s technology uses a specially developed, eco-friendly reactor to help convert food waste into fatty acids.

“We produce fatty acids from the food waste, extracting them through a liquid-liquid extraction system. The fatty acid oils are then used to help animal feed, as well as the feed and chemical industries,” said Xu.

KAUST has been highly supportive of Carbon CPU, both technically and financially, added Bian. “KAUST, especially the Environmental Biotechnology Lab led by Prof Pascal Saikaly, provided us with the facilities to set up our reactors. The KAUST Innovation and Economic Development department and the Entrepreneurship Center also gave us a lot of guidance on how to push our technology into the market.”

The startup initially faced many challenges that KAUST helped to resolve. As individuals coming from backgrounds mainly in engineering and science, the team lacked the know-how in business that its project needed.

“KAUST made up for our lack of business thinking through training on how to solve business issues and create business modules and find the right customers for our product,” said Bian.