RIYADH: Saudi General Directorate of Passports has started to automatically extend the validity of residence permits (iqama) for expatriates outside the Kingdom as well as visit visas and exit and re-entry visas without fees or charge until Nov. 30.
This decision implements the directives of King Salman.
The extension, which was issued by the Minister of Finance, is part of the continuing efforts of the Saudi government to deal with the repercussions of COVID-19.
It also falls within the precautionary measures that guarantee the safety of Saudis and expatriates and mitigate financial impacts.
The Directorate confirmed that the extension will be done electronically, in cooperation with the National Information Center, without the need to visit the passport departments.
The extension process will be carried out as follows: first, extending the validity of residence permits as well as exit and re-entry visas for residents who are in the countries from which entry is suspended because of the coronavirus until Nov. 30. Second, extending the validity of visit visas for visitors who are in those countries.
Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia announced the end of restrictions on travel to and from the UAE, South Africa and Argentina. The travel ban was originally imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19, amid a surge in cases of the delta variant of the coronavirus.
It has been lifted in light of changes in the epidemiological situation both locally and globally, and based on submissions by the relevant health authorities, the Saudi Interior Ministry said.