Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) on Monday extended the validity of re-entry visas of expats stranded abroad due to the suspension of international flights announced in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
No fee will be charged for the month-long extension, which is also applicable to all expats who are in the Kingdom but whose exit/entry visas have expired due to the closure of borders, reports the Arab News.
The decision applies to laborers and domestic workers whose resident permits (iqama) expired abroad, and who could not return to the Kingdom due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
It also includes a free extension for final exit visas of expats who were unable to leave the country. The visas have been extended up to September 30.
Expats working in commercial professions and who are waiting to return to Saudi Arabia are also included in the iqama extension, provided their permits expired between August 1 and August 31.
The extension will take place automatically in cooperation with the National Information Center.
The decision came four days after Saudi Arabia discussed the resumption of international flights during a virtual meeting of G20 foreign ministers.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the move would help revive the economies of G20 member states.
The Kingdom suspended international flights on March 15.