Expats ‘must surrender iqama ahead of final exit’

Updated 05 February 2014

Expats ‘must surrender iqama ahead of final exit’

The Immigration Department has advised its corporate clients to surrender residential certificates (iqama) belonging to expatriate workers after processing their final exit visas on its online service.
Residents and private sector firms routinely make use of the online visa services to process their workers’ re-entry and final-exit visas.
An immigration official from King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh said that obtaining a final exit visa alone does not qualify an expatriate worker to leave the country for good.
“Our system should show that his residency permit (iqama), which is an official government document, is returned to the regional passport department to enable authorities to send the person from the airport ,” he said.
A teacher from a prestigious school in Riyadh was turned back last week for not surrendering their iqama to the Passports Department despite having their final-exit visa issued online. The teacher had already checked into the airline’s reservation system and his baggage was also sent to the flight.
“It was a bad experience. It took a lot of time to retrieve my baggage and I had to wait another week to return home,” he told Arab News.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised all its citizens not to carry excessive amounts of cash while traveling abroad.
“The citizens are expected to carry only the amount stipulated by the countries that they intend to visit or declare the amount of cash to customs at the port of arrival,” the statement said.
The ministry also advised citizens who are visiting foreign countries not to enter into arguments with security authorities at the host countries and to be polite in all their social dealings abroad.
They have been advised to seek the assistance of the Saudi missions abroad for guidance in case of emergency.

Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

Updated 23 April 2019

Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

  • Mohamed Jafar and Hany Osman, cabin crew with Saudi Arabian Airlines, were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels targeted
  • Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi says officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests

COLOMBO: Two Saudis were among 31 foreigners killed in a string of Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after the devastating attacks on hotels and churches killed at least 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

The extent of the carnage began to emerge as information from government officials, relatives and media reports offered the first details of those who had died. Citizens from at least eight countries, including the United States, were killed, officials said.

Among them were Saudis Mohammed Jafar and Hany Osman. They worked as cabin crew on Saudi Arabian Airlines, and were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels that were hit.

Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi said that officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests on the two Saudi victims, and only after these are received will their names be confirmed.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Sri Lankan government believes the vast scale of the attacks, which clearly targeted the minority Christian community and outsiders, suggested the involvement of an international terrorism network.

“We don’t think a small organization can do all that,” he said. “We are now investigating international support for them and their other links — how they produced the suicide bombers and bombs like this.”

The attacks mostly took place during church services or when hotel guests were sitting down to breakfast. In addition to the two Saudis, officials said the foreign victims included one person from Bangladesh, two from China, eight from India, one from France, one from Japan, one from The Netherlands, one from Portugal, one from Spain, two from Turkey, six from the UK, two people with US and UK dual nationalities, and two with Australian and Sri Lankan dual nationalities.

Three of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen’s four children were among the foreigners who were killed, a spokesman for the family confirmed. Povlsen is the wealthiest man in Denmark, the largest landowner in Scotland and owns the largest share of British online fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos.

Two Turkish engineers working on a project in Sri Lanka also died in the attacks, the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper reported. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave their names as Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus.

Fourteen foreign nationals remain unaccounted for, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said, adding that they might be among unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s morgue.

Seventeen foreigners injured in the attacks were still being treated at the Colombo National Hospital and a private hospital in the city, while others had been discharged after treatment.