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Saudi Arabia extends iqamas, visas validity of stranded expats until July 31

Riyadh — Shahid Nayeem

The validity of iqamas (residency permits), exit and re-entry visas, as well as visit visas of expatriates, who are currently stranded in the countries facing travel ban, will be extended until July 31, 2021 free of cost, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The free extension of the validity period of iqamas and visas granted by the finance minister at the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman is part of the continuous efforts taken by the government to ensure the safety of citizens and residents and to mitigate its economic and financial impacts on them. 

According to the SPA, the General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) has confirmed that the extension will be done automatically in cooperation with the National Information Center.

The General Directorate of Passports in Saudi Arabia has decided to extend the validity of residence permits (Iqama) for expatriates who are stranded outside the country free of charge until July 31, 2021.

This decision covers visit visas and exit and re-entry visas.

This extension, which was issued by the Minister of Finance, comes among the continuing efforts of the Saudi government to deal with the effects and repercussions of Covid-19 pandemic. It also falls within precautionary and preventive measures that guarantee the safety of citizens and residents and contribute to mitigating financial and economic impacts.

As per Khaleej Times, the directorate indicated that the extension will be carried out electronically in cooperation with the National Information Centre. The decision is applicable to the following sections:

First: Extending the validity of residence permits and exit and re-entry visas for residents who are in the countries from which entry is suspended as a result of coronavirus until July 31.

Second: Extending the validity of visit visas for visitors who are in the countries from which entry is suspended as a result of the coronavirus pandemic until July 31.

Third: The extension is limited to the 20 countries from which entry is suspended as a result of the pandemic, announced on February 2.

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