New government visa fees raise costs for expatriate workers

10 Aug 16

SAUDI ARABIA

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The Saudi Cabinet has approved increases to government visa fees that will significantly raise costs for all visitors and  for foreign employees living and working in the kingdom.

What does the change mean? Beginning in October, the government will increase the single-entry visit visa fee to 2,000 Saudi riyals (about US$533) and impose new visa fees for multi-entry and exit re-entry visas based on duration of validity.

  • Implementation time frame: Oct. 2.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visit visas; exit and re-entry visas.
  • Who is affected: All visitors,foreign employees and their dependents.
  • Business impact: Saudi employers and expatriate employees should budget for the new government fees.

Starting in October, the new government visa fee schedule is as follows:

Visa type Government fee
Single-entry visit visa SR 2,000 (exempt for first-time Hajj or Umrah visit)
6-month multi-entry visit visa SR 3,000
1-year multi-entry visit visa SR 5,000
2-year multi-entry visit visa SR 8,000
Single 2-month exit re-entry visa SR 200 (SR 100 for each additional month)
3-month multiple exit re-entry visa SR 500 (SR 200 for each additional month)
Transit visa SR 300
Departure visa fee at seaports SR 50

The government has also amended the traffic regulations and increased the fines for driving violations.

Background: The government fees are consistent with Vision 2030, a 15-year economic plan to make the economy less oil-dependent and increase revenues in other areas, including through immigration fees. The new fees represent large hikes, as currently all visit visas are SR 500 (regardless of validity period), and exit re-entry visas are currently SR 200 for single re-entry or SR 500 for all multiple re-entry visas. Transit visas and departure visas are currently free.

BAL Analysis: The government visa fees raise the costs of sending expatriate workers to Saudi Arabia, and businesses should budget for the new costs.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Saudi Arabia. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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