Saudi to extend validity of iqama, re-entry, visit visas for free; relief to stranded expats

Jaffar Ali/ Palakkad

Representational Image: AFP

Jeddah: The government of Saudi Arabia has extended a helping hand for expatriates who could not return to the Arab country due to surge in Covid 19 cases. The authorities have informed renewal of iqama (residence permit) and re-entry of foreigners free of charge. Saudi Director-General will implement the renewal which was ordered by King Salman of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi has restrained entry of people from countries with a high number of Covid 19 cases in order to secure its citizens from the pandemic and also to assuage the financial repercussions in the nation. By this, several expatriates who reached their native places have been prevented from flying back to Saudi. However, their visas were extended as per the guidelines of King Salman.

The latest order to renew the residence permit and re-entry for free comes at a time when the last visa extension granted by Saudi is set to expire by January 31. With the collaboration of the National Informatics Centre, expats will get their residence permit and re-entry renewed without visiting the Saudi Embassy or offices of the passport department. Saudi Arabia will also extend the validity of the visiting visa for those who could not travel to Saudi after a rise in Covid cases.

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