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Cairo: Saudi authorities have elaborated on visa rules for expatriates, saying that foreign residents leaving on exit/re-entry visas can return to the kingdom until the last day of their valid visas.

The kingdom’s General Directorate of Passports also noted that exit/re-entry visa holders can have their visas extended electronically while they are outside Saudi Arabia after paying related fees via the Absher platform or Muqeem portal.

Authorities pointed out that the expatriate’s passport should be valid at least 90 days for issuing the exit/re-entry, and 60 days for issuing the final exit visa.

According to the directorate, it is not permissible to convert the exit/re-entry visa into a final exit visa if the beneficiary is outside the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia hosts a large community of migrant workers.

Last May, the Saudi General Authority for Statistics, citing a recent census, put the kingdom’s total population at 32.2 million with foreigners making up around 13.4 million or 41.5 per cent. Asian nationals from three countries accounted for over 42 per cent of the total foreigners in Saudi Arabia, according to the census figures.

Bangladeshi nationals took the lead with 2.1 million, or around 15.08 per cent of the overall expatriates in Saudi Arabia, followed by Indians with 1.88 million and Pakistanis with 1.81 million, a breakdown given by the Saudi state TV Al Ekhbariya showed.

Yemenis ranked the fourth among expatriates in Saudi Arabia with 1.8 million followed by Egyptians with 1.4 million, Sudanese with 819,000, Filipinos with 725,000 and Syrians with 449,000.