RIYADH – The General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) has started automatically extending the validity of the residency permit (iqama) and exit and re-entry visa without charging expatriates any fees until March 31, 2022. The Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday this extension was in line with the directives of King Salman, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
Expatriates facing a travel ban due to the coronavirus outbreak and who are now outside the Kingdom will be the beneficiaries of this initiative.
Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan issued an order in this regard. The Jawazat stated the process does not require an in-person visit, and the extension would be carried out automatically.
The extension is not applicable to expatriates who took one dose of coronavirus vaccine within the Kingdom before their departure on exit and re-entry visa. The King’s directive also extends the validity of visit visas issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for visitors outside the Kingdom facing a travel ban due to the coronavirus outbreak.
This extension is a part of the government’s continuing efforts to alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a preventive protocol that ensures the safety of the citizens and expatriates, mitigating the financial and economic impact of the pandemic.
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It is noteworthy that on January 21, the Jawazat had announced the automatic extension of the validity of residency permit (iqama) and exit and re-entry visa of expatriates and that of visit visas to 10 days after January 31.