Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Lifts 3-Year Entry Ban on Expats Who Failed to Return Before Expiry of Visa

The General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) has instructed all departments and land, sea and air ports to allow the entry of expatriates, who failed to return before the expiry of their exit and reentry visa, Okaz newspaper reported.

The Jawazat lifted the existing three-year ban on foreign workers who left the Kingdom on exit and reentry visa and failed to return before the expiry of the visa. The new directive came into force on Tuesday, Jan. 16.

The directorate enforced the ban earlier following demands made by businessmen to prevent the reentry of those who did not return within the valid period of the exit and reentry visa. The businessmen’s demand was based on the decision of the Council of Ministers not to allow the return of workers who did not come back on time. They noted that such acts of some workers incur them financial losses in terms of the fees for the renewal of their residency permits (iqama), work permits and return tickets of these workers before their departure. The businessmen also noted the workers’ failure to return on time means causing them terminating their contracts and thus harming their interests and affecting the stability of the employment market.

The Jawazat also reemphasized the following conditions for the issuance of an exit and re-entry visa: The worker must pay all outstanding traffic violation fines; there should be no violation that resulted in not canceling a previously issued and unused visa; the worker does not have a valid visa; and the presence of the individual to whom the visa is to be issued within the Kingdom’s territory.

The conditions also include the 90-day or more validity of the worker’s passport, and the presence of a fingerprint of the individual to whom the visa is to be issued.


Saudi Gazette

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