Riyadh: In a significant development, Saudi Arabia has announced a series of changes to its exit/re-entry visa regulations, providing enhanced flexibility for foreign residents. Under the new rules, individuals departing the kingdom on exit/re-entry visas are now granted the ability to re-enter the country until the expiration date of their valid visas.
The General Directorate of Passports in Saudi Arabia has introduced an electronic extension mechanism for exit/re-entry visas, streamlining the process for visa holders who need to extend their stay abroad. By utilizing platforms such as Absher or the Muqeem portal, visa holders can conveniently make the necessary payments to extend their visas.
To obtain an exit/re-entry visa, individuals are required to have a passport validity of a minimum of 90 days. Similarly, for those seeking a final exit visa, the passport should remain valid for at least 60 days. These clear guidelines ensure that foreign residents can navigate the visa process with ease.
Authorities have emphasized that the conversion of an exit/re-entry visa into a final exit visa is not permitted if the beneficiary is located outside the kingdom during the conversion request. This stipulation aims to maintain the integrity of the visa system.
Saudi Arabia boasts a diverse expatriate community, and recent statistics from May, released by the Saudi General Authority for Statistics, highlight the extent of this diversity. With a total population of 32.2 million, foreigners constitute 41.5% of the population. Among the foreign population, individuals from Asian nations make up more than 42%.
Among the various nationalities, Bangladeshis comprise the largest portion, totaling around 2.1 million or 15.08% of all expatriates in the country. Indians and Pakistanis closely follow, with 1.88 million and 1.81 million respectively.
Yemeni expatriates rank fourth with a population of 1.8 million, contributing significantly to Saudi society. Egyptians and Sudanese follow with populations of 1.4 million and 819,000 respectively. Filipinos and Syrians also play an essential role in the expatriate community, with populations of 725,000 and 449,000.
These changes in visa regulations are expected to have a positive impact on the expatriate community, fostering greater ease of travel and enhancing the overall experience for foreign residents in Saudi Arabia.
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