Tuesday February 27th, 2024
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Saudi Arabia Lifts 3-Year Entry Ban for Expats Violating Visa Expiry

The Kingdom has lifted its ban on expatriates unable to return before the expiration of their exit and re-entry visas.

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Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) has issued directives to all departments and ports, including those for land, sea, and air travel, instructing them to allow the entry of expatriates who were unable to return before the expiry of their exit and re-entry visas.

The government’s decision to rescind the three-year entry ban on expatriates, which was enforced in 2022, includes the implementation of new rules, effective from Tuesday, January 16th, 2024, allowing foreign workers to re-enter the country even if they had previously violated exit and re-entry visa conditions.

The directorate had previously implemented the ban in response to demands from businesses, which sought to prevent the re-entry of individuals failing to return within the valid period of their exit and re-entry visas. This request from businesses was aligned with the Council of Ministers' decision not to permit the return of workers, who exceeded their allotted time. Such actions by some workers resulted in financial losses for the businesses, encompassing expenses for renewing residency permits (iqama), work permits, and the return tickets of these workers before their departure.

The conditions for obtaining an exit and re-entry visa is as follows: clearing all outstanding traffic violation fines, ensuring there are no unresolved violations leading to the non-cancellation of a previously issued but unused visa; guaranteeing the presence of a valid visa for the worker, as well as the physical presence of the individual for whom the visa is intended within the Kingdom's territory.

Additionally, these conditions include the necessity of a passport with a validity of 90 days or more and the presence of the individual's fingerprint for the visa issuance process.

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