Ex-pats living in Saudi Arabia welcome the pleasant news from the ministry, which has decided to allow them to extend their residency permits/iqamah and visas from remote locations.
This decision was taken specifically to accommodate people who had been stranded due to the travel ban that Saudi Arabia had placed earlier this year.
The list includes about 20 different countries from around the world. This service, however, can only be used for individuals whose visit visa has expired during the travel suspension.
Any application submitted before the 30th of September will be entertained at no charge, as the ministry has outlined.
This extension was issued by the finance minister. This highlights the government’s continuing efforts to diminish the impact of the covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, ensure the welfare of their nationals and residents.
Read: Do You Need a Business Visa to Travel to Saudi Arabia?
The extension will be done directly in collaboration with the National Information Center. There is no need to report at the office of the general directorate. So exactly do you go about this whole online visa extension thing? Don’t worry. We have got you covered.
How to extend an unused or expired visa?
Although the task may seem formidable at first, it is nothing to be anxious about. We have organized a systematic list of all the things you need to do.
- Log onto the official website of Electronic Visa Services.
- Enter your relevant details
– Visa Number
– Passport Number
– Email Address
– Image captcha
- If your visa is eligible for this service, the system will take you to the next page. There hence, you can complete your application with the necessary requirements to extend your visa. This service is meant for use, especially from outside of the KSA, and should work flawlessly.
- If your visa is not eligible for this service, it will show you error messages on the same webpage. Something along the lines of:
– Visa’s data is not included in the extension, or
– An error occurred; please verify application data and try again.
What Visa types can be extended?
Although this extension service is deeply reputed, it can only do so much. There are certain restrictions to this decision which we have compiled as follows:
- Extensions up until the 30th of September 2021 will have no fee
- An expired, but single entry visa can be extended
- An expired, but multiple entry visa would not be allowed extension
- An expired visa would only be considered if it expired during the travel ban by the KSA.
- An unstamped visa on a passport will not be eligible for this service. In this event, the visa will have to be applied for, again
- A permanent family visa is not eligible for an extension through this service
What countries enjoy this e-service?
What began in Feb 2021 as a travel ban on a small group of countries amid covid-19 wild spread soon turned into a much longer list. As of today, the index covers 23 countries added over the past six months.
Whether there are going to be further additions to the inventory is unknown. The countries with travel suspensions to date and hence eligible for a visa extension are as given below.
- South Africa
- United Arab Emirates (UAE)
- United States of America (USA)
- United Kingdom (UK)
Needless to say, ex-pats from these areas of the world are delighted at the decision of the Kingdom. Because many people feared being laid off from work and had other concerns. But it appears that the Saudi government is doing as much as it can to assure its people that they are taken care of and valued.