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Nov
20
2014

Is this Real? No More Iqama Fee for OFWs in KSA?

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Don’t rejoice yet, fellow overseas Filipino workers in Saudi. This may sound like good news, right? But not all OFWs will benefit in this ‘No Iqama Fee’ policy announced last June by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz.

The Iqama renewal fee for expatriates was lifted based on certain criteria that need to be met.

You are exempted from paying the SR 2,400 iqama fee if:

  • If you are an OFW who works for an SME and you’re one of the four expatriate employees.  An SME employs less than 10 employees.

 

Your iqama renewal is free if:

  • You are employed under a small and medium sized business in Saudi Arabia employing less than 10 employees. But this will only be applicable if the Saudi owner of the SME Company is working full time.

You are entitled to reimburse the iqama fee you paid if:

  • You are working in a company who have signed contracts with the Saudi government before November 15, 2012. The iqama fee they’ve paid in the previous two years are refundable.

Normally, OFWs employer will have to pay SR 2,400 plus the insurance, the iqama renewal fee of SR500, and some labor office fee.  This is still applicable if the OFWs’ company is not under the criteria of SME.

OFWs are reminded that their Kafeel or sponsor is the one to transact and pay for their iqama and it is against the Saudi Ministry of Labor if they fail to do so.

Saudi MOL also encourages OFWs to file an official complain if their Kafeel is delaying the renewal of their iqama, which is a necessary document for OFWs.

 

More articles to read:

Saudi MOL to Lighten Regulation on Sponsorship Transfer

OFWs Transferring Sponsor? Know Your Company’s Category in Saudi

Final Exit Visa Guidelines for OFWs in Saudi Arabia

How to Apply for a Driver’s License in Saudi Arabia

OFWs Returning to Saudi, Do You Still Need an NOC?

 

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Published in: OFW News
Nov
19
2014

OFWs: No to 2-year Ban in KSA for Exiting Filipinos

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Before, the only problem overseas Filipino workers in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia faces was the maltreatment of employers and delayed or low salary. Now, they have another thing to worry about.

A 2-year ban on expatriates was proposed which will also affect OFWs leaving KSA with a final exit visa.  The said proposal will only allow expatriates with final exit visa to return to the kingdom two years after they exited.

This action is in coordination with the kingdom’s Saudization program, creating more job opportunities to Saudi nationals rather than employing expatriates, with OFWs most of the time.

But OFWs protest to this proposal because for them, it is against the Saudi and Philippine government’s labor agreement.  If ever the idea will push through, OFWs deployment will be affected and more Filipinos will add to the number of unemployed individuals.  This will also affect the Philippine’s economy since OFWs remittances are of great help for the country.

Filipino migrant worker-supporting groups also emphasized that most OFWs were forced to leave KSA on final exit visas because of their labor disputes which is mainly matters regarding their salary, humane injustice and breach of contract they’ve signed before leaving the Philippines.

The 2-year ban for expatriates leaving KSA with final exit visas was proposed by the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) labor market committee, which reviewed the kingdom’s Saudization program.

The recommendation which will greatly affect OFWs was patterned to the same measure taken by Oman, Saudi’s neighbouring Gulf country.

Oman imposes a two-year visa ban on expatriates who leave their jobs because of labor arguments.  But they can return to Oman on a tourist, family joining, and visitor or investor visa.

OFWs are concerned that if ever the proposed two-year ban on expatriates were imposed, most Filipinos who work in KSA will suffer unemployment with their final exit visa. They call on to the government to settle the issue with the Saudi government so that OFWs will not endure in the end.

 

Related articles:

OFWs Returning to Saudi, Do You Still Need An NOC?

Final Exit Visa Guidelines for OFWs in Saudi Arabia

OFWs Transferring Sponsor? Know Your Company’s Category in Saudi

How OFWs can Transfer Sponsorship if in Red Category

Filipinos in Saudi Advised To Take Precautions Against MERS-CoV

How to apply for a Driver’s License in Saudi Arabia

 

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Published in: OFW News
Nov
18
2014

Overseas Job Seekers Target by Online Scams

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Once again, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration or POEA had reiterated its warning for Filipino jobseekers who wants to work abroad.

Online scams are seen prevalent on most social media accounts like Facebook.  POEA Anti-Illegal Recruitment Department lawyer Rosemari Duquez said that these types of online scams can be easily distinguished because of the discrepancies it promises to Filipino jobseekers.

According to Duquez, these social media scams usually:

  • Promise quick deployment;
  •  no experience needed;
  • no license required;
  • no placement or processing fees;
  • Hassle-free processing of their documents for working abroad.

Such social media scams intend to victimize Filipino jobseekers who want to work as nurses and caregivers in countries like Canada and Australia.  Many Filipinos are enticed to grab the offer because these first-world countries are rich and known to give higher salaries and better benefits.

POEA also said that companies or agencies behind these scams can only be reached through email and was not in POEA’s list of accredited agencies.

POEA further explained that all overseas Filipino workers or OFWs need to go through strict deployment so that the Philippine government can protect them against forms of injustices abroad.

The name of the recruitment agency, what their overseas jobs would be, and the name of the employer should be checked on POEA’s website to confirm their legality. POEA’s mobile application can also be downloaded to have access anywhere you are with your smartphone.

Filipino jobseekers and OFWs dealing directly with companies abroad are reminded that they still have to process their documents with POEA for issuance of job permits and to be documented overseas workers.

 

Related articles:

POEA Gives Guide on How to Avoid Job Scams

POEA Bares an Email Scam that Recruits Medical Workers to Singapore

Other helpful articles:

How to Identify Overseas Job Scams

Easy Way to Know if an Email Job Offer is a Scam

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Published in: OFW News, OFW Warnings
Nov
5
2014

OFWs Rejoice: ITF Suspended By Pasay RTC

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Overseas Filipino workers’ action filing for a temporary restraining order to the implementation of the terminal fee integration on November 1 was favored by the Pasay City court.

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has another interruption when Pasay City Regional Trial Court Branch 109 Judge Tingaran Guiling ordered suspension of the terminal fee integration for at least 20 days.

Last week, OFW groups filed for TRO against the Integrated Terminal Fee which was to be implemented by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and MIAA.  They insist that the terminal fee integration would violate Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act of 1995, which states that migrant workers or OFWs should be exempted from paying terminal fees.

In the nick of time, the OFW groups got lucky when the TRO was approved by Judge Guiling on October 31. A hearing was also ordered by the judge for the preliminary mandatory injunction on November 17.

MIAA had no other choice, but to adhere to the court order.  This would be the second time around that the terminal fee integration was to be suspended. The first one was when DOTC moved the implementation a month behind, that is supposed to be last November 1.

MIAA aimed to have shorter queues for OFWs in airport terminals, which is why they wanted the integration to push through. But OFWs had also been persistent in stopping the ITF that for them is a violation of their rights for the exemption in paying terminal fees.

 

 

Related articles:

OFW Groups Want TRO vs. Terminal Fee Integration

OFWs Don’t Want another Burden

OFWs Burden Postponed, Moved to Nov 1

How OFWs can Refund the P550 Terminal Fee

Direct Flights to Riyadh and Dammam to Benefit OFWs

OEC Online System Launched by POEA

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Published in: OFW News, Philippine News
Nov
3
2014

DFA to Filipinos in Yemen: Leave Now!

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DFA Urges Filipinos to Leave Yemen Now

The Department of Foreign Affairs call out to Filipinos who are in Yemen to leave the war-torn country.  This was the DFA’s plea to OFWs last Tuesday, after raising the alert level in Yemen because of the continuing threat by the Houthi rebels in the city of Sana’a.  Alert level 3 was raised by DFA after attacks were made to civilians by conflicting separatists and members of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Alert level 3 in Yemen means that the Department of Labor and Employment or DOLE will impose a total deployment ban and the reiterated call for OFWs in Yemen to return to the Philippines.

And to help for the repatriation of OFWs and all Filipinos, the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh had already sent a crisis management team in Yemen since it was under their jurisdiction.

 

Related article:

Yemen still in Alert Level 2

 

You may also like:

OFWs in Riyadh, Here is Where You Can Seek Help

Lost your passport abroad? Get a New One

The Different Types of Recruitment Agencies

To Serve You Better, DFA Did This

SSS to Launch New Contact Center for OFWs

POEA Mobile App Against Illegal Recruiters Launched

Saudi MOL to Lighten Regulation on Sponsorship Transfer

 

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Published in: OFW News, OFW Warnings


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