Jawazat unveils mechanism for visa extension without expat fee


Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — The General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) unveiled the mechanism to implement its previous decision to exempt foreign workers from expat fee until the end of June 2020, as part of efforts to combat the economic fallout of coronavirus.

The Jawazat relief measure covers the extension of residency permits (iqama) as well as exit and reentry visas and final exit visas. The Jawazat said, through its official account on Twitter, that in all these cases, the extension will be made through Absher and Muqeem portals of the Ministry of Interior and there is no need to physically visit Jawazat offices.

Iqama renewal: As for expatriates who have commercial trade as their profession and whose residency permit (iqama) expires between March 18 and June 30, they will be exempted from the expat fee and their iqamas can be extended for a period of three months free of charge. The iqama period will be extended online and they need not personally contact any Jawazat offices for this.

Exit and Reentry Visa: With regard to expatriates, who have commercial profession as their trade, and whose exit and reentry visas were not used during the period from Feb. 25 to March 20 because of the temporary suspension of entry and exit to and from the Kingdom, their exit and reentry visas will be extended for a period of three months without any charge.

Final Exit Visa: The Jawazat said that business owners, who got final exit visas for their workers issued after the expiry of their residency permit, can cancel final exit visa of their workers and their stay in the Kingdom will be extended for a period of three months without the payment of expat fee.

Last Tuesday, Jawazat asked all expatriates in the Kingdom, who have final exit visa or exit and reentry visas already issued, to quickly cancel them before their expiry. This is to avoid the prescribed fines for not availing these visas before their expiry date.

The new measure was taken following the Saudi government’s suspension of international flights as part of its preventive and precautionary measures to stem the spread of new coronavirus.

The Jawazat has also asked expatriates to verify the validity of such visas and cancel them through Ministry of Interior’s electronic service portals of Absher or Muqeem. It underlined the need to adhere to the regulations and instructions in order to avoid fines prescribed by law against the violators.