UAE, India, Pakistan, Egypt and Turkey among the listed countries
Cairo: Saudi Arabia has said that a decision on automatic extension of stranded expatriates’ residency permits and visas apply to 13 countries with which flights are still banned.
Earlier this month, Saudi authorities announced extending validity of residency permits, exit/return and visit visas automatically without paying fees until September 30.
The Saudi General Directorate of Passports said that the extension is applicable to Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, Pakistan, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, India, Ethiopia, the UAE, Vietnam and Afghanistan.
The directorate has started the extension for expatriates now outside the kingdom at
directives made by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz.
The step is part of Saudi efforts to mitigate impacts of precautionary measures against COVID-19.
Visa holders outside the kingdom in the countries with which flights are banned as part of travel restrictions against COVID-19 stand to benefit from the extension.
The General Directorate of Passports said that the extension is conducted automatically in cooperation with the National Information Centre, an affiliate of the Interior Ministry, without the need for expatriates to check with its offices.
Starting from July 4, Saudi Arabia suspended flights with the UAE, Vietnam, and Ethiopia, citing concerns about COVID-19 and its variants.
In February, the kingdom banned flights with several other countries to limit COVID-19 spread.
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