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Saudi Arabia extends visas for expats, residents stuck abroad until Nov 30

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Saudi Arabia has announced that it will automatically extend the validity of resident permits (Iqama) for expats outside the country and of visit, exit and re-entry visas without fees or charges for all expats until November 30, according to the Kingdom’s General Directorate of Passports.

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The Directorate indicated that the extension will be carried out electronically without the need for visa holders to visit the department of passports, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Friday.

The extension process will be valid for holders of residence permits as well as residents holding exit and re-entry visas who were previously stuck in countries that were not permitted entry into the Kingdom due to COVID-19 precautions and measures.

This also applies to visit visa holders who are from countries that were suspended from traveling to Saudi Arabia.

The visas will be automatically validated until November 30.

The visa extensions, which were issued by the Minister of Finance, come as the Kingdom’s government continues to deal with the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic in the most appropriate manner, SPA reported.

Saudi Arabia lifted its COVID-19 travel ban to the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, and South Africa on September 8, a move long-anticipated by many in the region and worldwide.

The Kingdom has offered multiple extensions to residents stuck outside the Kingdom, and travelers on visit visas since the pandemic's onset which impacted travel regulations worldwide.

In August, Saudi Arabia reopened its borders to foreign tourists and began allowing entry to tourist visa holders after a months-long ban due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Citizens from 49 countries can apply for a tourist e-visa through the “Spirit of Saudi” website, visitsaudi.com.

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