Jawazat unveils mechanism to extend reentry visas of expats outside Kingdom

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Okaz/Saudi Gazette

RIYADH — The General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) unveiled the mechanism for the extension of exit and reentry visas of expatriates or their family members who are outside the Kingdom. The extension process must be done electronically by the employer in the case of expatriate workers or by the head of family in the case of dependents after visiting the designated link for that in the electronic visa portal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (https: //visa.mofa.gov.sa/ExtendReturnedVisa).

The Jawazat said that the following procedures are to be carried out for the extension of the visa.

*The employers or the heads of the family need to specify the period of extension required.

*They need to fill up the electronic form through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs electronic visa services website and validate it electronically.

*They need to provide a valid iqama (residency permit) until after the period of extension.

* Entry of all data must be made in the Arabic language except the names of the visa holder if the person is from non-Arab countries, and the data shall be identical to the data in their passports.

As for the extension of the re-entry visas for wives of Saudi citizens, it can be done through contacting the Saudi embassy in the respective countries regardless of the period of extension as long as the residency permit is valid. According to the statement, identity verification is done through the unified access portal, which helps speed up the completion of the application procedures automatically without the need to submit it in paper to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Jawazat’s new clarification came as a follow up of its earlier announcement in which it had announced that the issue of extending exit and reentry visas for those outside the Kingdom would be resolved by a committee that was created to examine the matter.

The Jawazat recently unveiled the mechanism to implement its previous decision to exempt foreign workers from expat fee until June 30, as part of efforts to combat the economic fallout of coronavirus. This will be applicable to extension of iqama as well as exit and reentry visa and final exit visa.

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 personally contact the Jawazat offices.

As for expatriates who have a commercial trade as their profession and whose iqama expires between March 18 and June 30, they will be exempted from the expat fee by extending their iqama for a period of three months free of charge.

With regard to expatriates, who have a 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.

The Jawazat said that business owners, who got issued final exit visas for their workers after the expiry of their residency permit, can cancel the 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 a final exit visa or an exit and reentry visa, to quickly cancel them before their expiry. This is to avoid the prescribed fines for not availing of these visas before their expiry date. The new measure was taken following the Saudi government’s suspension of international flights as part of the preventive and precautionary measures to stem the spread of new coronavirus.


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