New procedures for the travel of Saudi women to be issued soon

Saudi authorities are reviewing the controls for Saudi women wishing to travel

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New controls for the travel of Saudi women will be announced soon, Maj. Gen. Sulaiman Al-Yahya, director general of passports, said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency on Sunday.

He said the authorities are now reviewing the procedures for granting women permits for travel abroad. Several authorities are involved in studying this matter.

In line with the directives of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Naif, deputy premier and minister of interior, the period of validity of passports will be extended to 10 years for those over 20 years of age. A study in this regard is being conducted and it is in its final stages.

Al-Yahya said till now the fingerprints of nearly 15 million expatriates in the Kingdom have been registered. He said a study is going on to take the fingerprints of male or female expatriates who are less than 15 years of age.

He said that since the beginning of the current year till now 4952 passports have been registered as lost within the Kingdom and 547 abroad. Some 3,285 people travelled to countries banned to travel. Investigations are conducted for each case and the penalties are specified accordingly.

Al-Yahya said the Passports Department is conducting a study which is still in its initial stages on issuing a plastic identity card along with the passport. The card will contain all the information mentioned in the passport. The card will help people abroad during their travel, shopping and movement from one place to another as they will not have to carry their passports outside their place of stay.

Protect your passports, Jawazat tells Saudis

As Saudis prepare to travel abroad with the beginning of summer vacation, they are being reminded to protect their passports.

Maj. Gen. Sulaiman Abdulaziz Al-Yahya, director general of passports (Jawazat), launched on Sunday the two-month-long ‘Jawazak hawiyatak’ (Your passport is your identity) awareness campaign, stressing the importance of safekeeping the passports.

The General Administration for Public Relations and Information at the Passports Department prepared an information campaign to be conveyed to citizens through all the available media with the coordination of related authorities.

Col. Muhammad Abdulaziz Al-Saad, director of public relations, said the Jawazat carries out the campaign every year with the beginning of summer vacation and focuses on citizens who travel abroad.

He called on citizens wishing to travel abroad to safeguard their documents and not to neglect or misuse them.

They should also register their passports at the Kingdom’s consulates and representative offices abroad. The citizens should get acquainted with the regulations of the country they are visiting.

They should visit the website of the Passports Department www.gdp.gov.sa and read the regulations and directives on Saudi passports.

Many citizens traveling abroad report about their passports either being lost or stolen.

In 2002, more than 5,000 Saudi passports were reported stolen or lost. Some 4.5 million Saudi tourists take at least one holiday each year and spend as much as six times as Western holidaymakers, Al-Sharq reported.

This was first published by the Saudi Gazette.