KSA Announces extension of Visas and Residency Permits for Expats

Sajin Rasheed, Director

16 July, 2020

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The government of Saudi Arabia has extended expatriate visas and residency permits for a period of three months, without any additional charges. The initiative announced earlier this month was taken to extend the validity of visa and residence permits of expatriates who are locked up abroad and are unable to return into the kingdom due to the suspension of flights.

The Saudi General Directorate of Passports will collaborate with the country’s National Information Centre, an affiliate of the Interior Ministry, for the automatic extension of expatriates’ residence permits, without applying.

“The Kingdom’s government has issued several directives, including the categories exempted from fees and fines covering expatriates with valid iqamats who left the kingdom on exit-return visas, but could not come back and their iqamats or visas have expired,” chief of the General Directorate of Passports Maj. Gen. Sulaiman Abdulaziz Al Yahya said.

Below are the measures announced by the Ministry of Interior for Saudi Arabia;

  • The validity of final exit visas for expats has been extended without any cost.
  • The validity of expired Residence Permit (Iqama) for expats who are on an exit and return visa and currently not in the country, will be extended for three months without any charge.
  • The validity of unused and expired exit and return visas for expatriates will be extended for a period of three months free of charge.
  • Residence permits (Iqama) for expats who are inside the country and had arrived on a visit visa that expired during the travel ban period, will be extended for three months free of charge.

Foreigners make up a major part of Saudi Arabia’s total population. International flights to and from KSA were suspended in March as part of measures to combat COVID-19.

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