Riyadh — Minister of Commerce and Investment Majid Al-Qassabi said they have completed a study to review expat fees.
It will soon be presented to the Council of Ministers, Al Arabiya English quoted him as saying in an interview with Rotana Khalijiya on Monday.
Qassabi said the Cabinet will look into the advantages and challenges that the issue poses, and will announce the decision within a month.
“The study benefits the country and our nation,” he said, adding, “The government had decided to keep the fees and that the decision is fixed so far, but at the same time it will be comprehensively studied and developments will be reviewed.”
Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan told a post-budget press conference last week that there’s no intention to change the expat fees.
The expat fees were introduced last year.
Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri told Bloomberg on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia will keep its policy of fees on foreign workers but is open to reconsidering them if there’s an economic need.
"We got mixed feedback so far on the expat fees," Tuwaijri said in an interview in Riyadh. "The position today is business as usual -- we are sticking to our position."
Tuwaijri said the government was "willing to look at some of these fees" if there’s a specific sector or industry that would benefit from a change and it would help meet broader goals, such as promoting the balance of payments or creating jobs for Saudis.
In January, the Kingdom introduced a monthly fee of SR400 on companies for each foreign worker they hire. Firms that employ an equal or greater number of Saudis than expats pay SR300. The monthly fee will increase to SR500-600 per worker per month in 2019 and then SR700-800 per worker per month in 2020.