Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Do the expatriates have to pay dependent fee for the kids under 18?

Achieving long-term fiscal balance is every country’s main goal. Saudi Arabia is no different and has put together tough measures to achieve the same. One of the approaches that Saudi government took for economic growth is to impose the dependent fee on expatriates living in Saudi Arabia.
Now a lot of expatriates are in confusion as to whether they have to pay dependent fee who are younger than 18 years of age.
First off, as you might already know that dependents include the wife and kids of an expatriate. To make it easier to understand “a dependent is anyone who is recognized as a dependent by the Ministry of Interior”. You can check your MOI account to look at the list of your dependents. Parents if living in Saudi Arabia, however, are considered expatriates sponsored if they come under your sponsorship.
It is to take note that regardless of whether the dependents are 18 years or younger, you have to pay the dependent fee for them.
Every year dependents fee will increase by SR 1200 per dependent per annum i.e: it will be SR 2,400 per dependents from July 2018, SR 3,600 per dependent from July 2019 and SR 4,800 per dependent from July 2020.

This policy has made a lot of expatriates to send their families back to their homeland. It also increases the foreign remittance from Saudi Arabia.

Step by step procedure to get Birth Certificate in Saudi Arabia

It is better to know all the relevant information well ahead of childbirth on how to get the birth certificate when the child is born in Saudi Arabia as the paperwork start as soon as the baby is born.
Further, some document takes time to be prepared and a fine of SR 50 is also imposed if the child is registered after one month of childbirth.
Following is the step by step procedure to get Birth Certificate when the baby is born in Saudi Arabia.
Get an appointment with Ahwal e Madni (Civil Affairs): 
To register baby on time in Saudi Arabia, getting the appointment with Civil Affairs at least a month before the baby is due is better. The appointment can be obtained online from the Ministry of Interior web portal link here.
Contact the civil affairs of the city where the baby is born, if contact some other, the request will not be entertained.
Note: A SR 50 late fee will be charged by civil affair if the child is registered after one month of childbirth. Which can be paid online.
Birth Notification from the Hospital: 
When the baby is born, ask the hospital to give a notification paper. It has the bio-data of the baby, make sure that everything, especially family Iqama ID, name, birth date, time and most important baby’s name are correct.
Hospital notification takes about one week to be ready, so it is recommended to apply for it as soon as the baby is born. It also should be stamped and have doctor or medical officer’s sign.
Required Documents: 
Following is the list of documents you should have before going to Ahwal e Madni for the birth certificate:
·         A copy of appointment mentioning the date and time of the appointment. As it will be needed to get the token at Ahwal e Madni office.
·         A copy of child’s birth notification issued by the Hospital
·         Copies of Iqama of both parents
·         Copies of passport of both parents
·         A new form has replaced the old one named “form 87”. You will need to fill the new form in Arabic.
The new form can be found here
At Ahwal-e-Madni Office: 
It is strongly recommended to be at Ahwal e Madni office at least an hour before the appointed time. At Ahwal e Madni office they give token and then call the name of the person to the respective counter. There you will have to submit the documents and wait for the birth certificate to be ready.
Birth Certificate of a child if the father is not a Saudi Resident: 
If the father of the child is not Saudi resident, meaning that if the father doesn’t live in Saudi Arabia then the mother will need the following documents to apply for child’ birth certificate:
·         Copy of attested marriage certificate. And an Arabic translation (from home country Home Ministry, Saudi Embassy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
·         Power of Attorney given by father that authorizes another person (preferably close relatives) to apply for the birth certificate, collect it, sign documents and do related legal procedures
The Power of Attorney should be issued by the native country court, attested by Saudi Embassy in the homeland and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Saudi Arabia.
Status on Ministry of Interior:
Once the birth certificate is issued by Ahwal e Madni, the baby’s name will be added in the expatriate’s dependent’s list.
Note: this is not the newborn iqama, the person has to apply for separate iqama for the baby as well.
Ahwal e Madni Office, Riyadh: 
Ahwal e Madni office is near Nasiriya Moror office in Riyadh. Just adjacent to Pakistan International School.
After entering the main building, turn on left side, where a guard will see appointment paper and will give the token.
The waiting area is on the right side, you will have to wait there before they entertain (window 2 or 3 are usually deal with birth certificates). They will check and keep the documents.
Once the document submission, the birth certificate will be ready after a while. They call the name of father or mother (whoever submitted the documents) to come and collect the birth certificate. Tell them the baby’s name and get the certificate.
Google Map Coordination for Ahwal e Madni Office in Riyadh is:  24.654209, 46.681778.
Ahwal e Madni Office, Jeddah: 
Address: Arbaeen Street (Prince Mitaeb Road) JEDDAH. 
In the office just go to the left until you reach the last window, show the appointment paper. The person will give you a token number.
When called take the documents to be submitted. The officer there will check the documents and prints out the birth certificate.
The officer will call the name to collect the birth certificate after stamping it. Check to see if the details in that are correct. Along with the birth certificate, he will give back the documents.
GPS Coordinates: 21.5690689,39.209327.

Have the Birth Certificate attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs if the child is of an expatriate living in Saudi Arabia.

Monday, May 28, 2018

How to Cancel Final Exit Visa

As the name suggests, Final Exit Visa is issued when you decide to leave Saudi Arabia permanently. However, if for any reason you decide to stay longer after applying for the Final Exit visa, it can also be canceled.
Canceling the Final Exit Visa means you will be issued a new iqama.
Final exit visa can be canceled by your sponsor from his MOI account, but it can manually be canceled as well by following the below given steps:
Following are the requirements for canceling the Final Exit Visa:
To get the new iqama after the final exit visa, following documents have to be submitted to Jawazat:
Final Exit Visa Cancelation Form:
A Final Exit Visa cancelation form is to be filled. Which can be acquired from the agents outside the Jawazat office.
The cancelation form should be signed and stamped by the expatriate’s sponsor who processed the Final Exit Visa.
Request Letter from Employer:
A request letter by the employer will be required to cancel your Final Exit Visa. This letter should state clearly and in details as to why the cancelation is requested. This letter needs to be attested by the Chamber of Commerce of the city where your company is registered.
Iqama Renewal Fee:
When canceling the Final Exit Visa, if the validity of your old iqama is passed then iqama renewal fee will need to be paid. Finally, the following documents should be submitted along with the aforementioned form and letter:
·         Two photographs with white background
·         A copy of the final exit visa
·         A copy of the Iqama
·         A copy of the Passport

Step by step process for applying Iqama of Newly Born Baby – Born in Saudi Arabia

Following are the steps in details to get iqama for a newly born baby born in Saudi Arabia:
Birth Certificate:
First and foremost is to get the birth certificate of the new baby born in Saudi Arabia by Civil Affairs. It should also be attested by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia.
Next is needed a passport from the embassy of the native country. In some countries, a national identity card is required to make a passport. If it is required then obtain the card first.
It is recommended to have the passport translated and attested from the expatriate’s native country embassy.
Appointment with Jawazat:
Jawazat facilitates people to get an appointment online. And it is necessary to have an appointment for the issuance of baby iqama.
Dependent’s Fee:
The dependent fee is required to be paid. The amount of fee depends on when the baby is born. If the baby is born before or on 1st July 2017 then it will start from 1st July 2017 till the expiry date of the expatriate. However, if the baby is born after 1st July 2017 then it will be from baby’s date birth till the expiry date of expatriate’s iqama.
Adding the baby as a dependent:
It is mandatory to add the baby as dependent in parent’s iqama before applying for the baby’s iqama. It should be filled in Arabic, if a person doesn’t k ow Arabic he or she can have it filled by an agent sitting outside Jawazat office (SR 10).  
Documents to have ready before going to Jawazat building are as follows:
·         Original passport of the newly born baby
·         2 passport size photos of the baby.
·         Iqama form with baby photo attached.
·         Copy of father’s Passport
·         Copy of mother’s passport
·         Original Marriage Certificate duly attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs if the wife is not under expatriate’s sponsorship.
·         Copy of expatriate’s Iqama
·         Copy of wife’s Iqama
·         Copy of baby’s Birth Certificate
Note: If applying for Iqama after 12 months of the childbirth, a fine of SR 1,000 should be paid through SADAD.
Jawazat in Jeddah: 
In Jeddah, Jawazat is located at the passport office in Rehab. Instead of going to the main building, take first left and then right. There is a big board with a red arrow on top that directs to the corridor on left. There are various doors. The last to second leads to counters 1 thru 9. Counters 6 and 7 are for adding new baby born in Saudi Arabia and counter 8 is for babies born outside of Saudi Arabia.
Jawazat in Riyadh: 

The building for baby iqama is separate from the main building at the back on the left side. The manager will give the ticket after seeing the appointment. After that, the officer will check the paperwork and file on the system that takes about 2 min. After checking the document, he will give them back along with one photo of the baby. Next is to get to the receiving desk with a photo of a baby and person’s iqama. It will be ready in few minutes time.

Procedure to be followed for Final Exit Visa from Saudi Arabia

Following are the steps to be taken for final exit from Saudi Arabia: 
1.      Paying the Dependent's fee:
To get the final exit visa for the dependent, the expatriate has to pay the fee for the next two months from the date its been applied for. For instance, if Final Exit Visa request is applied on 1st January, 2018, the fee should be paid till 1st March, 2018.  it is because the validity of Final Exit Visa is 60 days.
2.   Notice Period at Work:
As in every job, a notice should be given to the employer for at least a month's time or as mentioned in the job contract when resigning the company. The Saudi Labor Law suggests notice period of one month. In Saudia if the employee worked for a company more than 2 or more years he is entitled to End of Service Benefits from the employer .
3.    Notice Period of House:
Similarly, at least a 30 days’ notice should be given to the landlord before leaving the house. It is a norm in Saudi Arabia to pay the rent in advance for either 3 or 6 months. If the person has paid the rent in advance for the months he will not be living in the house anymore he has to find a new tenant himself. When found, the new tenant can pay the old tenant remaining rent. In Saudi Arabia it is uncommon to get the advance back from the landlord.
The furniture and the appliances used while living in Saudi Arabia can be sold. The new tenant might be interested in purchasing these things or they can be sold to someone else.
4.   Disconnecting the Landline and Post Paid SIM Cards:
All the landlines connections that might be under a person's name of STC, must be disconnected before leaving the country. it should be done at least 15 days before applying for the final exit visa. it is a simple procedure and can be done by calling the STC from the same landline and requesting to deactivate the service permanently. the agent will ask you to pay a certain amount and after the payment is made the service will be disconnected within 7 days.
Similarly, if there is a postpaid connection under the person's name, it is better to deactivate it by paying any payable amount. Any unpaid amount might cause a problem at the airport.
It is advisable to have a prepaid phone handy with sufficient balance before going to the airport so if any problem comes up you will have a source of communication.
5.   Paying Electricity Bill:
Like all the other payables, you should pay off the electricity bill before leaving. The good thing is that in Saudi Arabia electricity charges are not high. It is SR 50 to 100 on average per house.
6.   Traffic Fines & Tickets:
The person should pay off any traffic fine or ticket he might have under his name. It is better to pay it off as soon as possible.
7.   Selling Car:
Since selling car takes time, it is good to put it up for sale when you finally decide to apply for the final exit. An advertisement can be placed on expatriate.com along with the picture of a car and intended selling price. You might get several buyers from the website with the good offer.
The other way, which might be the quickest way to sell the car is to take it to Haraj. There the person can sell the car on the spot as the available buyers will check out the car and will give an offer. The offer might not be the best ones out there but the car will sell quicker.
Transferring ownership only takes a day. Ministry of Interior website has the details where you can make sure whether the transfer has been made before leaving the country.

8.   Surrendering the Credit Cards:
If there is any payable amount left on the credit card, it might cause hindrance at the airport. Everyone leaving Saudi Arabia permanently should pay their credit card bills before the final exit. And make sure that credit cards are deactivated as it can also cause problems. If you don’t have any payable amount but a credit card is active, you can still face the problem. It is recommended to deactivate the credit cards at least 15 -20 days before leaving Saudi Arabia as the deactivation process takes time.

9.   Police Clearance Certificate:
Many people do not think of getting the police clearance certificate important but it is strongly recommended that any person leaving Saudi Arabia to get the Police Clearance Certificate from the Department of Police Saudi Arabia.

10. Send the Important Belongings through Cargo:
When the person is leaving Saudi Arabia permanently they usually have a lot of luggage which he might can’t take with him by plane. In this case, it is better to send the cargo before leaving through cargo. Cargo through the sea is cheap that cost around SR 3-5 per kg whereas if sent by air, cargo charges are a little high ranging SR 8-10 per kg. People living in Jeddah can have their cargo delivered to their doorstep by the cargo service provider located in Balad.

11. End of Service Benefits:
For all the employees working in a company, more than 2 years are entitled to End of Service Benefits. When leaving permanently, the person receives the end of service benefits after the processing of the final exit visa.
It is safer to remit the money received by the company as End of Service Benefits. However, the exchange rate given by banks is always lesser than from other private money exchanges.
Saudi Arabia has some restriction on how much cash a person can carry with him while flying in or out of Saudi Arabia. If the cash is higher than that amount it is safe to send it through the bank to the homeland.  In some cases, if the family of an expatriate going before him, he can send half or some of the money with them while taking the remaining with himself.
If the process of end of benefits takes time and the person has to leave the country before that, the employee can have transferred the amount to his account in the homeland.
12. Departure:
The person has to leave the country within the validity on his final exit visa. Once he receives the final exit visa, the duration of his iqama becomes invalid. It is very important to understand that he should not overstay and should leave before the end date of his final exit visa. If not, the Saudi immigration officer will catch him and will detain him for several months. It is strongly recommended to book the ticket once the final exit visa fee is has been paid.
13. Stamped Final Exit Visa:
Now a lot of companies in Saudi Arabia do not give final exit visa papers to the employees due to new paperless technology and renders immigration officers at the airport to not stamp any paper when the person is leaving the country. However, the record gets saved in Saudi Arabian government records.

In this case when applying for a new visa in the homeland the agent might ask for the paper, simply ask him to process the case to the Saudi Arabian Embassy. They will be able to give records of the final exit visa.

Do people need to change marital status when applying for Family Visa?

There are certain countries (like Pakistan) where marital status is not mentioned in the passports for men. It that case a man doesn’t need to change his marital status on his passport when applying for the permanent visa for his family. However, if it is mentioned in the passport then the man has to change his marital status in his passport.
If a Pakistani man wants to apply permanent visa for his family, he will only have to get the Yellow Paper (Family Visa), he will have to send it to his family for visa processing.
Whereas, if the person applying for the permanent family visa is a woman, then she will have to change her marital status to married.
Following are the steps to change the marital status of women:
1.      First get the overseas ID card with her husband’s name in place of her father.
2.      Then apply for a new passport that shows her spouse name instead of her father.
3.      An attested marriage certificate is required from the Ministry of Foreign Affair Pakistan. An authorized agent should translate and attest all the documents.
4.      Every child (including the infant) should have their own passport which shows the name of their father. Boys should be minor (less than 18-years old), and girls should not be married
5.      Birth Certificate of all the children is required form NADRA. Which should be attested by Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan.

Note: Saudi Embassy can provide the list of all the Authorized Agents or Pakistan Progressive Association can provide authorized agents as well in case of a Pakistani family. 

How to Replace Damaged Iqama

Anyone who is working in Saudi Arabia is required by Saudi Government, to keep their iqama with them wherever they travel in the country.  The absence of iqama may cause the person fined heavily or deportation in extreme cases.
But, if iqama card gets damaged or broken by something, the authorities will not accept it. It will have to be replaced by Jawazat.
Following are the simple steps to replace iqama:
1.      The government relation officer of the company where the expatriate works needs to fill the form of damaged or lost iqama replacement (form 58).
2.      The form needs to be signed and stamped by the expatriate’s Kafeel.
3.      If the Iqama has a one year validity, a payment of SR 500 is required and if it has more than one year validity, SR 1,000 should be paid.
4.      Any unpaid traffic fines or violations under the damaged iqama should be paid off before submitting the iqama form to Jawazat office.
5.      Following documents are required when submitting the iqama form at Jawaza office:
·         Iqama Form
·         2 passport size photos
·         Passport in Original and Copy
·         Damaged Iqama
·         Copy of Iqama
·         Proof of Payment of Iqama Fee
After the submission of iqama form application, Jawazat officer will give the print of new iqama to be used while they iqama card is made.

Note: The government relation officer at expatriate’s office or the agent sitting outside Jawazat office building may help in this regard.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

How to bring pets to Saudi Arabia

To bring pets to Saudi Arabia, there is a long procedure to follow.  
First and foremost, it is to understand that Saudi Arabia is not a pet-friendly country but cats, a few breeds of dogs are usually allowed. But as mentioned earlier a very lengthy procedure is to be followed to take the pets to Saudi Arabia.  
All pet dogs should be stated by a licensed veterinarian that they are either certified service dogs, guard dogs or hunting dogs. 
Further, there is a long list of the breed of dogs that are, under any circumstances, not allowed there. The list includes but not limited to; Akita/Akita ImuGriffon Bruxellois/Brussels  Griffon/Brabancon/Belgian Griffon/Hovawart, Spitz, Affenpinscher, Boxer, any type of Bulldog, Rottweiler, any type of Terriers such as Bull terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Dandie Dinmont, Lancashire Heeler, Swedish Vallhund/Swedish Cattle Dog/Vasgotspets, Newfoundland, Pit Bull, Great Dane/Deutscher Doggeevery breed of mastiff that include but not limited to Bull Mastiff, Old English Mastiff, Neopolitan Mastiff, Leonberger, Doberman.  
Rare, exotic as well as non-domestic pets are also not allowed to enter the country unless they are to be used for government purposes. 

Steps of procedure for taking pets to Saudi Arabia: 

1,Permit to import pet: 
First you should take the Import Permit before entering Saudi Arabia. It is an important document that permits your pet to enter Saudi Arabia. It is available from The Agricultural Directorate in Riyadh (not Ministry of Agriculture). After filling the form in Arabic, you are ready to submit it.  

2, Veterinary Health Certificate: 
 After you receive the Import Permit, you will need a Veterinary Health Certificate that states that your pet has been examined by a registered vet and has been given vaccines against any possible disease. It should be issued within 30 days or 10 days (as per your company requirement) before coming to Saudi Arabia. The certificate should be attested by a registered veterinarian, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saudi Culture Office or/and Saudi Embassy in your country. Saudi Embassy attests the certificate if it’s translated into Arabic. 

3, Letter of Vaccination: 
Along with Veterinary Health Certificate, a letter including the list of all the vaccination given to your pet as well as the declaration of your pet's health (that it doesn’t have any disease, specially rabies) has to be with you before coming to Saudi Arabia. The letter should be addressed to the Director of Custom, Saudi Arabia. 

4, Physically Taking the Pet: 
After you got the Veterinary Health Certificate and The Letter of Vaccination, you can take your pet to Saudi Arabia. If you are travelling by Saudi Arabian Airlines, they allow the transfer of pet when it is properly caged and has certificate to transfer the pet within and across the country. If you are travelling by some other airlines, you will have to follow their rules and regulations regarding the pet transfer.  

5, Arriving at Saudi Arabia: 
When arrived at Saudi Arabia airport, you can collect your pet from Saudi Cargo Depot arrival to Saudi Arabia. You will need to fill the custom declaration form in Arabic. You can also hire a professional pet transfer to speed up your pet releasing process.