Saudi Arabia to again extend residency permits, visas for expats stranded abroad

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Saudi Arabia will be extending the residency permits and visit visas for expatriates who are stranded abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic until the end of August, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Tuesday.

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The General Directorate of Passports already began renewing visas free of charge, according to SPA.

“The General Directorate of Passports has started to automatically extend the validity of residence permits (Iqama) for expatriates outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in addition to extending the validity of visit visas and exit and re-entry visas without fees or charges for all expatriates until 31/08/2021,” SPA said.

The extension will only be granted to residents who are currently stranded in one of the countries that the Kingdom has banned entry from. These include: Afghanistan, Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.

“This extension, which was issued by the Minister of Finance, comes among the continuing efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's government to deal with the effects and repercussions of COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement from SPA said.

“It also falls within precautionary and preventive measures that guarantee the safety of citizens and residents and contribute to mitigating financial and economic impacts,” the statement added.

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