Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Procedures for Expats Leaving Saudi Arabia

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An expat leaving the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia permanently is required to secure a final exit permit or visa before he or she leaves. Normally, the process is executed by the sponsor or employer. This involves the cancellation of the expat’s residence permit.

This also holds true to any family member who is dependent on the employee’s residency. A 30-day notice is required from an expat who is about to leave the institution. This assures that the employee receives end-of-service benefits. Expats are advised to finalize all paperwork and the formalities for the cancellation of residency a few days prior to their departure. However, if the sponsor is trustworthy and reliable, it is possible to finalize everything on the same day as that of the departure.

Rented Accommodation
An expat must inform his or her landlord or landlady at least one month before departure. Furthermore, the exact date of departure must also be relayed to the landlord or landlady. Once all things are set and the landlord or landlady is well informed, an expat could already start packing up his or her belongings or giving away items that will not be brought home.

Normally, lease contracts last for 6 to 12 months, with the rent for that period fully paid. Moreover, ending a lease earlier than the contract period to secure a refund for the remaining period is not allowed. However, the sponsor may still use the accommodation for someone else.

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When an expat is about to leave the flat, the landlord or landlady makes a visit to assess the state of the unit and check the items against the inventory signed by the expat when he or she arrived. The keys should be returned to the landlord or landlady and documents to end tenancy must be signed. It is also advisable to arrange a temporary accommodation with a friend, so that utilities and services can be terminated.


Bank Accounts
Banks should also be informed regarding the departure of the expat. They will need to verify the account holders name, account number, and address. Before an expat leaves the country, he or she must make sure that he has:

>Paid off any debts or loans
>Stopped using and cancelled all credit/debit cards
>Stopped all automatic payments such as direct debits
>Withdrew all money left in bank accounts or transfer it to other international accounts

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There should be intervals between the transfer of money and the departure from the country. Furthermore, it would be better if money is transferred before the account is closed. At this point, the bank may release a letter to the expat, stating that all accounts in the expat’s name were closed and that all loans were already settled. This letter may be shown to authorities before an expat leaves the country.

There are no taxes charged on personal income in the Kingdom. Therefore, there is no need to notify tax authorities about departure. However, if a huge amount of money is transferred or brought to an expat’s home country, the tax office at the airport of his or her home country must be notified upon arrival. An expat must make sure to know the tax policies in his or her country because his or her earnings in Saudi might be taxed.

Other paperwork
An expat is also advised to keep a copy of every final notification of the termination of accounts or services. These copies should be retained because sponsors might confirm even after the expat has left. An expat must also take note that all loose ends need to be tied up, otherwise problems might arise if he or she plans to return back to the Kingdom.

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