Expats can make family visit visas permanent

Updated 06 June 2014

Expats can make family visit visas permanent

A visit visa can be converted into a permanent residency permit for a close family member of an expatriate worker under special conditions, a senior Passport Department official said during a phone-in service with Arab News readers on Wednesday.
“Yes, this is possible,” said Col. Mohammed Al-Hussain, spokesperson of the department. “However, such a request has to be approved by the Interior Ministry.”
In the two-hour phone-in with callers, he also said it was possible for expatriates to place their elderly parents on their iqamas.
The Kingdom currently issues visit visas for expatriates’ spouses, children and parents of their spouses.
A caller from Riyadh wanted to know if his wife, who is in the Kingdom on a visit visa, could get it converted into a permanent residency permit or iqama.
Al-Hussain advised expatriates to abide by the Kingdom’s rules and regulations.
One caller asked Al-Hussain to explain the requirements needed for exit/re-entry visas.
“Everything is now online. There is no need to produce the exit/re-entry document at the immigration counter as was the case in the past.”
The caller then asked about the two types of online services — Abshir for companies with less than 100 employees and Muqeem for firms with more than 100 employees. The caller, a Pakistani expat, said the exit/re-entry papers issued under the Muqeem program are widely accepted at Pakistani airports but there are difficulties with the Abshir service.
The caller said while no documents are required at the Saudi immigration counters, back in Pakistan this was not the case. “When I was traveling back from Islamabad, I was asked to produce the exit/re-entry document,” he said.
Al-Hussain said he could not speak about other countries but “as far as we are concerned we don’t need the exit/re-entry papers anymore. Everything is online. Your passport is enough.”
He said those expatriates who don’t have anyone to look after their parents when they reach the age of 60, can approach the “Qanoon” and “Tadrees” (legal and studies) cell at the Passport Department with their case. “The Passport Department will rule on such cases by looking into all aspects of the request and their genuineness,” he said.


Saudi Cabinet congratulates security forces for thwarting terror cell

King Salman chairs the virtual meeting. (SPA)
Updated 30 September 2020

Saudi Cabinet congratulates security forces for thwarting terror cell

  • King Salman thanked international leaders and officials for their messages of congratulations to the Kingdom and its people on the occasion of its 90th National Day

RIYADH: The Saudi Cabinet on Tuesday congratulated the Presidency of State Security for its work in identifying and apprehending the suspected members of a terror cell in the Kingdom.

Some of those who were arrested allegedly trained at sites in Iran run by the country’s Revolutionary Guards. A cache of weapons and explosives was also seized.

Ministers expressed their appreciation for the efforts of the presidency’s employees in tracking down those who threaten the security and stability of the Kingdom and the safety of those who live there.

Majid Al-Qasabi, the acting minister of media, said that while reviewing the latest regional and international developments, cabinet members reiterated the Kingdom’s call during the recent International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference for the international community to adopt a firm stance on Iran, and take steps to address its violations of international agreements relating to its nuclear-research program. They also reaffirmed Saudi support for efforts, in partnership with the international community, to make the Middle East a nuclear weapon-free zone.

The virtual meeting was chaired by King Salman, who began by passing on his condolences and sympathy to the people of Kuwait and the family of its Emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who died on Tuesday. He also congratulated the emir’s successor, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

King Salman thanked international leaders and officials for their messages of congratulations to the Kingdom and its people on the occasion of its 90th National Day. He also briefed ministers on his recent telephone conversation with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which the two leaders reviewed bilateral relations and discussed opportunities to further develop them.

The cabinet commended the king for his speech during the UN’s 75th General Assembly in New York, during which he emphasized the his country’s continued commitment to assisting the international community in efforts to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and address its humanitarian and economic implications.

Ministers also noted that his speech reflected the Kingdom’s dedication to security, stability and prosperity as a strategic choice, its call for peaceful coexistence, moderation and solidarity among all countries and peoples to address humanitarian challenges, its support for political solutions to conflicts, and its efforts to combat extremism in all its forms.

Al-Qasabi said that the Cabinet welcomed the announcement by the Kingdom that the G20 Leaders’ Summit will take place as planned as scheduled on Nov. 21 and 22, albeit virtually as a result of the pandemic. Saudi Arabia hold the presidency of the G20 this year.

Ministers also expressed their appreciation for international efforts, led by G20 countries, that have resulted in the provision of more than $21 billion to support the production of diagnostic and therapeutic tools during the pandemic, and the development and distribution of vaccines. In addition, more than $11 trillion has been allocated to protect the global economy, and more than $14 billion to mitigate the debt burdens of less-developed countries and help fund their health services and social programs. The Cabinet also reviewed the latest local and international developments in the pandemic, along with preparations for the safe resumption of Umrah.

Ministers reiterated the Saudi call, during an emergency meeting of the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for Environmental Affairs, for urgent action to avoid an environmental catastrophe in the Red Sea as a result of the deteriorating condition of the oil tanker Safer, which has been anchored off the coast of Yemen, near Ras Issa port, since 2015.

The Cabinet also expressed its concern over developments in the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and urged both sides to agree a ceasefire and resolve the conflict peacefully in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.