Saudi Arabia will extend visas for residents stranded outside the kingdom until July 31 free of charge, on King Salman’s orders.
The decision applies to expatriates from countries where entry to the kingdom is currently banned, including the UAE, the US, Pakistan, India and 16 other countries.
The General Directorate of Passports was also asked to extend visit visas and exit and re-entry visas free of charge until the end of July.
In May, King Salman ordered the extension of visit, exit and return visas’ validity without fees until June.
Authorities say the latest decision will serve to relieve the burden of Covid-19.
“This comes in continuation of efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's government to deal with the effects and repercussions of Covid-19 pandemic,” Saudi Press Agency reported, adding that it helps keep precautionary and preventive measures in place that “guarantee the safety of citizens and residents and contribute to mitigating financial and economic impacts.”
Passport authorities said the extension to the visas, called Iqama, will be carried out in co-operation with the National Information Centre, which will be done electronically, without the need for residents to visit the passport department.