Cairo: Saudi Arabia has started automatic extension of visas and residency permits of expatriates stranded abroad due to travel restrictions imposed to limit the spread of COVID-19, local media reported.
In compliance with Saudi King Salman Abdulaziz’s orders, the Saudi General Directorate of Passports has embarked on extending the iqamats of expatriates still staying abroad and validity of exit/return visas as well as the visit visas for free until July 31, authorities said.
The extension is part of the Saudi government’s efforts to tackle repercussions of COVID-19 and alleviate economic and financial fallout from the pandemic, they added.
The General Directorate of Passports explained that extension is limited to 20 countries from which arrivals were suspended earlier this year due to an outbreak of the coronavirus there.
In February, Saudi Arabia temporarily halted flights with 20 countries, exempting Saudis, diplomats and health workers from the ban.
The ban also included arrivals from other countries who transited any of the 20 countries during the 14 days prior to applying to enter Saudi Arabia.
Starting from May 30, travellers coming from 11 nations including the UAE, were allowed to enter the kingdom.