RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is known for housing a sizable number of expatriates and the latest survey shows expats occupy more than 10 million jobs in the Kingdom.
According to a report in Saudi Gazette, Indians, Pakistanis, Egyptians, Yemenis and Bengalis occupy more than 10 million jobs.
There are 3 million Indians, 2.5 million Pakistanis, 2.2 million Egyptians, 1.4 million Yemenis and 1.2 Bengalis in the Kingdom, i.e. 10.3 million in total, the paper says citing its sources.
The latest figures have led to renewed widespread calls by specialists to cut the number of foreigners in Saudi Arabia by getting rid of at least half of the expatriates in the Kingdom.
Labor force survey results showed that the number of non-Saudi employed persons for the first quarter (Q1) of 2017 reached 10,850,192 while the total number of employed persons reached 13,889,137.
Furthermore, they also called for restricting recruitment of expatriate workers to occupations that Saudis do not work in as well as those that need highly skilled people and there are no Saudi specialists in such fields.
The Kingdom has also enforced ‘family tax’ or ‘expat levy’ from July 1 thatis 100 Saudi riyals per dependent.
It will be doubled to 200 Saudi riyals for every dependent from July 2018, tripled to 300 Saudi riyals in 2019 and quadrupled to 400 Saudi riyals from July 2020.
The fee will be collected annually by the department of passport at the time of renewal of Iqama (resident permit). This means an expat living with his wife and two children in the kingdom will have to pay this year 3,600 Saudi riyals or Rs 62,000 when he goes for the renewal of his resident permit if he likes to retain his family with him.