Companies Who Delay Salary Gets SR 3000 Penalty

All employers who delay the salary of expatriates and Saudis will be penalized for SR 3000 on each offense, this is according to the announcement made by the Ministry of Labor. This is will take effect and in accordance to the Ministry’s Wage protection System (WPS) where it indicates a delay or violation, or if a complaint is lodge at an office of the ministry.

According to an article from Arab News, this implementation is geared towards the protection of rights of the citizens, expat employees and in order to track the companies who abuse and delays salary disbursement. In the present, the Ministry has stopped the services catered to a company that violates this policy, like profession change, Iqama/Muqeem transfer, visa requests among others.

Historically, on the other hand, the Wage Protection System (WPS) has developed into a progressive mechanism in protecting employees:

Timeline

– The WPS became in June 2013 compulsory for companies with over 3,000 employees,
– September 2013 for companies with over 2,000 employees,
– December 2013 for companies with over 1,000 employees,
– November 2014 for companies with over over 500 employees.
– February 2015 it became compulsory for companies with over 320 employees,
– April 2015 for companies with over 240 employees,
– June 2015 for companies with over 170 employees,
– August 2015 for companies with over 130 employees.
– 2016 to present, the Minsitry has implemented 10 phase
– August 2017 11th phase is planned to be implemented

Meanwhile, the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) has announced that it would fine employers SR10,000 if they exclude workers from the system. According to the agency, employee can only be excluded if the company’s owner dies, the firm is liquidated, or it closes down. Other reasons include the worker’s contract ending, resignation, or the worker dying.

And as an expat in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, this policy is definitely a good way to protect you from the abusive employers who delay the disbursement of your salary. The government is definitely striving its best to adjust policies to provide a better service and well-being of employees, specially for the expat

Source: Arab News

 

Saudi Shura Council Finally Approves the Draft of Value Added Tax

Acording to Asharq Al-Awsat, an online news agency, Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council, also known as the national Consultative Assembly, approved during its 45th ordinary session held today under the chairmanship of Vice-Speaker Dr. Mohammed bin Amin Al-Jeffry the added value tax draft.

The Council also underscored the necessity of activating the unified program for the citizen’s account before starting the application of the system, reported the Saudi state-owned news agency SPA. The Consultative Assembly is permitted to propose draft laws and forward them to the King, but only the King has the power to pass or enforce them.

On the other hand, Al-Shura Council called on the Ministry of Housing to expedite the delivery of housing products to citizens , emphasizing the removal of procedural obstacles from the option of providing direct loans through the activities of the Real Estate Development Fund, giving priority to lending to citizens and avoiding financing developers.

 

BREAKING: Free OFW ID available beginning Wednesday

Starting July 12, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will launch the OFW ID card with its partner agencies such as SSS, DBP, PHILPOST, among others.

OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) can avail of the ID cards for free. They just need to go to POEA’s website to fill out the necessary information.

“So this is for OFWs who are scheduled to leave and for applicants,” said DOLE Usec. Dominador Day said.

Overseas workers don’t need to pay for the processing of their ID card, which will be delivered by Phil Post to their respective addresses.

“One of the costs of hiring an OFW is the ID. This for the benefit of the OFWs anyway so the employers must shoulder the expenses for it,” USec. Day said.

DOLE targets to provide ID cards to more than six million OFWs.

OFW seafarer Vuson Gil Taala is among those who would benefit from the new system.

He has been a seafarer for more than 20 years now.

Taala believes the new system will help in the faster processing of documents of Filipino migrant workers, especially those who set to leave for abroad.

“So far for now, there’s no problem because everything’s computerized. You can look it up on the website if an agency is really registered with POEA,”  Taala said.

Another OFW seafarer, Ryan Guevarra, has been working in the kitchen of a ship. Ryan said he can save more time and avail a number of privileges with the ID card.

“It will be a big help because instead of processing documents, you would just need to present the ID which has privileges. It will be favorable to OFWs,” he said.

An ID card will serve as a proof that the documents of an OFW are legally processed by POEA.

Along with the Overseas Employment Certificate, it will also serve as the travel exit clearance and is valid for up to two years.

Likewise, an OFW with an ID card will no longer need to pay for travel tax and terminal fee. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

 

Companies To Shoulder Dependent Fees Only If…

Since July 1, there has been a ‘panic’ lingering around the expatriates community due to the implementation of dependent levy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. While there are 10.5 Million expats working in private companies, there are also around 3 Million dependents living in the Kingdom – of which half of this number might possibly go back to their home country.

While most expats are worried about the financial impact that this levy has caused, there are some companies-to-the-rescue who are willing and have decided to pay these dependent fees; in order for the expat not to leave the country. Who wouldn’t right? It’s economically sound.  However, the main criteria is: this expat must be highly skilled.

Now in order for you to know and verify this information, you must ask your HR whether you are eligible for this benefit or otherwise.

It’s not a government policy, but a consideration of the companies for its employees. Most of these companies are already revising their human resource plans and salary schemes in order for their budget to align.

As you may have known, dependent fee will start from 100 SAR monthly on each dependent which is expected to reach 1200 SAR annually.

By July 2020 it will 400 SAR per month per dependent i.e. 4800 SAR anually.

Companies will also be paying tax based on the Nitaqat wherein it all depends on the no of Saudi Expatriates Vs Saudi Citizens working in a company.

 

6 Categories That Are Exempted from Saudi Arabia’s Dependent Fee Policy

Although, dependent fee has been heavily implemented targeting the expats, there are still some considerations that the government has made. Still good news, right? So here are the list of dependents who are exempted from Saudi Arabia’s dependent levy:

1.Any non-Saudi employee working in Civil Sector or Government sector is exempted from new dependent fee. However, The General Directorate of Passport also needs further clarification about the extent of this policy.

2. If one of the parents is a Saudi national (citizen), then it will be an exemption.

3. A divorced woman or widow of Saudi Citizen, is exempted from this fee.

4. In line with point number 3, the expat wife of a Saudi national is also exempted.

5. For those expats who have been living in Saudi Arabia for more than 40 year OR did not travel to any other country except the country of origin, are exempted from this levy.

6. Finally, those foreign students who are currently studying in Saudi Arabia are exempted.

For more information, please find the below image. It’s written in Arabic. For those who cannot read the language, might as well grab some Arabic-speaking friends to translate.

Dependents” these include wife or wives (from two to four), children, parents, in-laws, home workers and any person whose name is registered in the system as sponsored by the expatriate worker.

 

While some expats are financially burdened and somehow saddened about this news, there’s always a silver lining and an exemption to the rule that some expats may also enjoy. Share some light to your friends by sharing this information.

 

Blazing Temperatures to Reach 50°C in Some Parts of Saudi Arabia

According to an article published by Arab News, it stated that Eastern Province (and other provinces), will surpass 50°C temperature and will continue for the next week. This is according to the announcement made by the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME). Are you prepared for it?

Moreover, other areas in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will also witness high temperatures including Riyadh, where the PME is forecasting 48°C temperature highs during the same period.

The main reason for this scorching and hell-like temperature is due to a seasonal depression in India which is accompanied by hot and dry air that will affect the weather in all regions of the Kingdom. Fascinating, right?

Now, If you don’t want to experience this hot weather, you can always go to the higher areas such as in Asir and Jazan, where the weather is forecasted to be partially cloudy with a chance of rain.

This is also to say that the coastal areas of Makkah and Jazan regions are predicted to experience dusty winds.
Ok, now that you know how the weather will look like (already felt) in the coming days, make sure that you are hydrated and always bring a sunscreen.

If you have friends who will travel to Riyadh or the Eastern province, let them know this news. Please share!

 

Here’s What You Should Do if You Lost Your Emirates ID in UAE

Being a UAE resident or national, you already know how important to carry the National ID in UAE, right? You also know the trouble you’ll get into if you don’t have this highly important document. You need this in every transactions you will have such as applying for driving license, renting a property, getting utility connections and so on. This ID, as issued by the Emirates Identification Authority (EIDA). It  stores all the information about you including your personal information, including photo and biometric data (finger prints).

Now that you know how important this document is, it is mandatory to keep the card secured at all times. However, if you’ve lost it, what yah’ gonna’ do? Here are the  steps that you need to follow to secure a new ID and do not need to worry again

Procedure to make a new Emirates ID:

  1. For making a new Emirates ID in the case of it being lost, stolen or damaged, you first need to register a complaint with the police station in your jurisdiction. You need to pay a fee of Dh70 and you will receive an acknowledgment of the same.
  2. You need to head to one of the typing offices to apply for a new card or fill in the application online on the authority’s website.
  3. Submit the application with the necessary documents as prescribed –

For UAE Citizens (above 15 years old)

  1. Original passport and family book (original plus photo copies)
  2. Proof of identity number issued by one of the authorities in case the card is lost
    c. Photocopy of the lost card

For UAE Citizens (below age 15)

  1. Personal photo (size 4.5 X 3.5 cm) with white background
    b. Original birth certificate

For UAE residents (above 15 years old)

  1. Original valid passport
    b. Residency or Visa
    c.Photo copy of the lost Emirates ID

Residents added to parent’s passport

  1. Original passport
    b. Original birth certificate or father’s passport or father’s ID
  2. Submitting the documents

The process of submitting the request will start with the processing of the documents. The application has to be filled online of the Authority’s website. The other options are smart mobile phone application or approved typing office following by the payment of registration fee, printing and the receipt of the registration request form.

Every UAE resident has a PIN, and we’re not talking credit cards

  1. Below is the fee you need to pay while applying for a new card
  2. Dh300 – in case of lost or damaged ID for all residents of UAE
    Additional payment of Dh150 for express service (ID can be received within 24 hours)
    b. Dh70 – Additional fee collected in case of submitting the form online and printing or
    c. Dh40 if the application is submitted online via the website.
  3. Receipt of the Identity card

Once the application has been submitted, you will receive your new Emirates ID within 7 working days. Customers must contact the Emirates Post to receive the card after receiving a message on the availability of the card.

 

BREAKING: NO Need for OECs for Overseas Filipino Workers

Good news to all Filipino expats working abroad, you no longer need to secure the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC) when you travel abroad to work. This is applicable not just in the Middle East, but throughout the world. This is a confirmation that was revealed by Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello III through their live commentary with Presidential Communications Office Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson.

In this live video, Bello said that the OEC will be replaced by the I-DOLE. The I-DOLE is an identification card that will be issued by the Department of Labor and Employment “When you have that ID, that will be the substitute for the OEC’. According to GMA News, Filipinos no longer need to apply for an OEC by the end of July.

Additionally, OFWs no longer need to worry about any new set of fees “All OFW’s will get the ID. It’s free and will not cost Filipino migrants anything.

Watch the full video here:

Via: Mocha Uson Blog

 

10 Visa-Free Countries for Indians and Pakistanis Under 600$

It’s no secret that Pakistanis and Indians love their homes. They also like being an expat immigrant (most of them). Most specially, they love travelling. And if given a chance, they will certainly move from one country to another just to enjoy the culture, the scenery and have the best experience that being a tourist may bring. And if you are an Indian or a Pakistani who would want to travel in a country without the hassle of applying for a visa, here are the top countries that are visa-free and cheap (but quality) under $600.

Pakistanis

Pakistanis can enjoy holidays in either Asia or Africa sans visa on the cheap. Here are some great picks

Nepal

USD338

Climb a mountain, hang out with Sherpas or just enjoy the rustic appeal of this city on the rise after the earthquake that struck it.

Seychelles

From USD472

 

Land in Seychelles and you’ll find yourself chilling in the beaches of Mahe Island. The country is pretty much untouched, so if you want the holiday without the crowds, this is a solid choice.

Maldives

From USD483

 

For just a little extra above Seychelles, Pakistanis can experience this holiday island without worrying about either a visa or a pricey plane ticket.

Cambodia

From USD589

 

This is pretty much on the pricier end of the spectrum, but the Asian getaway is still worth the money. Cambodia is known for its ancient ruins. Think Egypt but greener.

Comoros

From USD599

Comoros is an eclectic mix of Arab culture and laidback seafaring life. It also boasts pristine underwater dive sites AND secluded beaches.

Indians

Indians on the other hand can enjoy a couple more locations in various parts of the world. Asia? Check, Europe? Check, right here in the Middle East? Check.

Ukraine

From USD284

A disclaimer: Ukraine is pretty much safe, just don’t find yourself wandering off to the southeast in the Crimea. The capital of Kyiv is a blend of traditional Ukrainian culture and its Soviet past. If you’re a coffee-lover, Lviv’s coffee mines is a must-see

Macau

From USD306

One of China’s most beautiful and lively cities, there’s never a dull moment in Macau. Hey, it wasn’t called the ‘Vegas of China’ for no reason you know.

Jordan

From USD322

Just right around GCC’s own back yard is Jordan. The home of Her Highness Princess Haya, there’s a lot of things to do in Jordan – such as seeing the beauty of Petra.

Macedonia

From USD337

Straddling the line between Balkan and Mediterranean history. Macedonia is steeped in immense history dating back to the Greeks, Romans and Ottomans. It is a country that takes pride in its waterfronts and outdoor vistas.

Indonesia

From USD378

Don’t let the multiple volcanoes scare you. Indonesia is the home of lush greens and an exotic journey of flavours. Yes, you’ll be eating a lot here.

 

*All prices retrieved from flydubai and Skyscanner. Prices are subject to change.

 

37 Stunning Photos That You Surely Want to See in Saudi Arabia

Sometimes, with the daily grind at work and home, it’s easy to forget how visually stunning the the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is.

Hence, with these photos it will make you appreciate (more) the gorgeous aesthetics and magic of the country.

Hail (A. Aziz bin Hajjaj Via)

Hail (A. Aziz bin Hajjaj Via)

 

Hail (Via)

Hail (Via)

 

Dawadmi (Khalid A. Al-Saif Via)

Dawadmi (Khalid A. Al-Saif Via)

 

(Abdulhameed Shamandour Via)

(Abdulhameed Shamandour Via)

 

Al Khobar (Mohammed Al-Jawi Via)

Al Khobar (Mohammed Al-Jawi Via)

 

Al Masjid An Nabawi (Muneeb Mohamed Via)

Al Masjid An Nabawi (Muneeb Mohamed Via)

 

Al Masjid An Nabawi (Via)

Al Masjid An Nabawi (Via)

 

(Salem Al Atwi Via)

(Salem Al Atwi Via)

 

Boulders Beach (Osama Khaled )

Boulders Beach (Osama Khaled Via)

 

Angawi House, Jeddah (Souvenirs Heureux Via)

Angawi House, Jeddah (Souvenirs Heureux Via)

 

Jeddah (Via)

(Via)

 

Corniche, Jeddah (Bilal Ahmad Via)

Corniche, Jeddah (Bilal Ahmad Via)

 

Old Jeddah (Souvenirs Heureux Via)

Old Jeddah (Souvenirs Heureux Via)

 

(Farhan Al-Salman )

(Farhan Al-Salman Via)

 

Gulf of Saudi Arabia (Ali Areda Via)

Gulf of Saudi Arabia (Ali Areda Via)

 

(Karim Hussain Via)

(Karim Hussain Via)

 

(Khalid A. Al-Saif Via)

(Khalid A. Al-Saif Via)

 

(Mohammed Al-Jawi Via)

(Mohammed Al-Jawi Via)

 

(Abdulhameed Shamandour Via)

(Abdulhameed Shamandour Via)

 

Nabatean Characters in Madan Saleh (Souvenirs Heureux Via)

Nabatean Characters in Madan Saleh (Souvenirs Heureux Via)

 

Old Nabatean Settlement (Souvenirs Heureux Via)

Old Nabatean Settlement (Souvenirs Heureux Via)

 

(Osama Khaled )

(Osama Khaled Via)

 

Riyadh (Saad Mdawi AlAhmari Via)

Riyadh (Saad Mdawi AlAhmari Via)

 

Summan (Khaled Al Juhaim)

Summan (Khaled Al JuhaimVia)

 

Makkah (Via)

Makkah (Via)

 

An aerial view of Makkah ()

An aerial view of Makkah (Via)

 

Haram, Makkah (Via)

Haram, Makkah (Via)

 

Cave of Hira, Mecca (A. Shamandour )

Cave of Hira, Mecca (A. Shamandour Via)

 

A view of Al Wajd from the International Space Station

A view of Al Wajd from the International Space Station

 

Desert near the oasis city of Al-Ula (Danita Delimont/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Desert near the oasis city of Al-Ula (Danita Delimont/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

 

Asir Mountains (Via)

Asir Mountains (Via)

 

(Via)

(Via)

 

Darb Zubaidah (Via)

Darb Zubaidah (Via)

 

Great Gorge near Tabuk  (Via)

Great Gorge near Tabuk (Via)

 

Madain Saleh (Via)

Madain Saleh (Via)

 

Madain Saleh (Via)

Madain Saleh (Via)

 

Najran (Via)

Najran (Via)

 

No Expats Will Be Exempted from Dependent Fees – Ministry of Labor

All foreign workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are covered and will not be exempted on the fees levied to expat’s dependents. This is an announcement made by the General Directorate of Passports at the Ministry of Interior on July 3, 2017.

According to the Department, residence permits are not going to be renewed until fees are paid for the dependents. Although this brings another tough time to a foreign worker, this policy is going to be firmly employed beginning July 1 – and is not halted.

The Passport Department further elaborated that fees must be paid before the issuance/renewal of Iqama (Residence Permit) or exit re-entry visa.

With this new policy, the monthly levy is staged accordingly (per dependent) and the amount will gradually increase until year 2020:

SR100 – 2017

SR200 – 2018

SR 300 – 2019

SR400 – 2020

Although this is another burden to the working expatriates in the kingdom (those with families living with them), “this is part of achieving a balance between revenues and expenditure by 2020” – Arab News

Being an expat, what can you say about this new policy? In favour or not (and there’s really nothing you can do about it), how will you cope with this change? Share your thoughts.

 

Source: Arab News 

 

Duterte Government Approves 10 Year Validity of Philippine Passport

The House of Representatives on Monday approved on third and final reading a measure that seeks to extend the validity of Philippine passport to 10 years.

House Bill No. 4767, a consolidation of 22 bills on the matter, got the House’s nod, 216-0-0.

The measure seeks to amend Republic Act No. 8239, or the “Philippine Passport Law,” which currently states that a passport is valid for a period of five years, regardless of the age of the applicant.

Under the bill, the validity will be extended to 10 years for adults, or those 18 years old and above.

It states, however, that the issuing authority “may limit” the period of validity to less than 10 years in the case of minors, or “whenever the national economic interest or political stability of the country” makes it necessary.

The bill will be transmitted to Senate for concurrence.

Among the measure’s principal authors is former president and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who now sits as a deputy speaker.