Saudi Arabia: Expats who fail to return before visa expiry will face 3-year ban

Riyadh: The General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) has clarified that expatriates who have left on an exit and re-entry visa from Saudi Arabia will be banned from returning to the Kingdom for three-years if they fail to return before the visa expiry, local media reported on Wednesday.

The three-year ban period will start after two months of the expiry of exit and re-entry visa. There will be exemption for dependants holding iqama and for those who come on a new visa under new employer.

There is no way to convert an exit and re-entry visa to final exit visa to avoid the ban while the employee is outside the Kingdom.

However, in the case of dependant’s the family head can contact the Jawazat and cancel the Iqama for the dependant and later apply for the permanent family visa again as the exit and re-entry visa is not applicable to dependants.

The purpose of the imposing the ban is to prevent workers from switching jobs using these visas.

The 3-year travel ban for violating exit and re-entry visa rules stops a working expat from entering the Kingdom on these visas: work visa, permanent family visa, family visa. The expat can enter the Kingdom on Hajj and Umrah visa.

Those who fail to return to the Kingdom will automatically remove from the Absher platform (smartphone application that allows citizens of and residents in Saudi Arabia to use a variety of governmental services) six months after the expiry date.