COVID-19 Mitigation Initiatives Webinar Held by Proven and USSBC

The U.S.-Saudi Business Council (USSBC) presented the Webinar Event, Saudi Arabia Private Sector Initiatives: What You Need to Know, in collaboration with Proven. Omer Saleem, Proven’s Director and Deputy CEO and Osman Qureshi, Proven’s Director Customer Success of Proven and Moderator, Lisa Leander, Director of Member Services of USSBC, provided updates to the current situation in Saudi Arabia and the government initiatives to support the Saudi Arabian private sector amid the COVID-19 crisis. The panelists discussed corporate mobility, visas, tax and payroll, compliance measures and other mitigation efforts by the Saudi government amid the crisis. 

Updates and changes are ongoing and change weekly, to stay up to date, check the Proven website. 

Main points of discussion: 

  1. Current work from home policy in full effect in the Kingdom, as well as a full curfew for the public, with exceptions for essential local travel.
  2. Changes to visa regulations including extensions for exit/entry, visit visa stayers in-country, and residence permits (Iqama). 
  3. New visas for commercial and residence (Iqama) visas were put on hold as of Friday, April 17th. There is no date given when processing will begin again.
  4. For employees with expired visas, a system to renew those visas will be in place once the restrictions are lifted. There is no current date of when the Embassy will reopen to processing visas.
  5. Companies can apply for GOSI compensation as an alternative to terminating Saudi contracts, including compensation equaling 60% of GOSI-registered wages for a duration of 3 months, among other measures to support businesses.
  6. There are a number of financial measures to support the banking sector, financial institutions and SMEs, as well as a number of payments deferrals and other financial relief programs for WHT returns and VAT returns or VAT payments on imports.

For more on the mitigation initiative, click here. Watch the webinar below: