Expats ‘must surrender iqama ahead of final exit’

Updated 05 February 2014
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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.


Saudi Arabia urges global community to deter maritime trade disruptions

Updated 19 min 49 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia urges global community to deter maritime trade disruptions

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday that Iran’s interception of commercial vessels, including its seizure of a British tanker, in Gulf waters was a violation of international law and urged the global community to deter such actions.
“Any disruption of the freedom of international maritime traffic is considered a violation of international law and the international community must do what is necessary to reject it and deter it,” the Saudi cabinet said in a statement carried on state media.
Iran said on Friday it had seized Britain’s Stena Impero tanker, which had been heading to a port in Saudi Arabia and suddenly changed course after passing through the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf.
Britain described the seizure as an act of “state piracy” and called for a European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through the world’s most important oil artery.