Causeway ‘chaos’ at weekend

Updated 03 February 2015

Causeway ‘chaos’ at weekend

Commuters who crossed the King Fahd Causeway at the weekend have accused the causeway authority of failing to provide sufficient staff to cope with the volume of traffic.
A record 587,213 people crossed the causeway at the weekend, the highest number this year. The Eastern Province Passport Department has rejected the claims, saying congestion is normal on holidays and weekends.
Commuters told Arab News that there were blockages on both the Bahraini and Saudi sides of the bridge. Some claimed that several lanes were closed at the weekend, with the promised expansion not speeding up passport procedures.
Commuter Lama Al-Gosaibi said: “There are regular traffic jams on the King Fahd Causeway. There are too few counters, and those open are only staffed by a single officer. You can also often see them chatting to each other or on their mobiles. There are many cabins closed for no apparent reason.”
Ali Al-Otaibi shared this view. “I have been traveling across the King Fahd Causeway to Bahrain almost daily. There is overcrowding regularly, particularly at peak times. In addition, there are some checkpoints without any officers.”
Muhammad Shaaban said that passport and customs procedures have not changed for years despite claims from the authority that it had introduced new measures to reduce congestion and speed up processing of travel documents, including deploying more staff.
Saad Al-Dosari accused officials at the causeway of failing to solve problems of overcrowding, which have resulted in the slow processing of procedures for travelers.
Col. Muala Al-Otaibi, spokesman of the Eastern Province Passport Department, has rejected claims that there are insufficient staff members on the bridge. Traffic jams are normal during vacations and on weekends, he said.
“The Passport Department has a plan in place to deal with extra commuters, including officers prevented from taking leave, additional staff and shifts, and more lanes and counters opened. This is to ensure processing is done quickly and accurately without prejudicing security,” Al-Otaibi said.


Saudi Arabia details travel exemptions

These must provide proof of residency in the country to which they wish to travel. (SPA)
Updated 27 September 2020

Saudi Arabia details travel exemptions

  • In the cases of the death of a spouse, parent, or child abroad, the directorate requires the submission of a death certificate and proof of relationship

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports on Saturday announced requirements for the issue of travel permits for groups exempt from coronavirus travel restrictions. Travel permits will be issued through the Absher e-services platform.
The first group exempt from travel restrictions includes government officials, civilians and members of the military assigned official missions.
This group can obtain travel permits if the official mission cannot be performed remotely and has a deadline that cannot be postponed, provided participation is kept to a minimum.
Documents required for the first group include an official letter from the entity’s senior official, in addition to the names of those who wish to travel and their mission, its location, duration and evidence that the previous conditions are met.
The second group includes citizens with humanitarian cases, especially family reunification, or the death of a spouse, parent or child abroad.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The first group exempt from travel restrictions includes government officials, civilians and members of the military assigned official missions.

• The second group includes citizens with humanitarian cases, especially family reunification, or the death of a spouse, parent or child abroad.

• The third group includes citizens living outside the Kingdom and their dependents.

Citizens who wish to be reunited with their families abroad must provide proof of relationship (spouse, parent, etc.) for the family member residing abroad, proof of residency in the country to which the other party wishes to travel, and proof of the children’s study location abroad if there are children of school age. The last should be certified by the Ministry of Education or one of the Kingdom’s representations in the destination country.
In the cases of the death of a spouse, parent, or child abroad, the directorate requires the submission of a death certificate and proof of relationship.
The third group includes citizens living outside the Kingdom and their dependents. These must provide proof of residency in the country to which they wish to travel (a document or an instrument that they own a property or have a valid lease contract prior to the issuance of these measures).
They must also submit a valid residence card (permanent or semi-permanent) in the country to which the travel is requested and proof that the applicant had spent at least six months in the destination country during the past three years.