Overseas Filipino Workers and other foreigners employed in Saudi Arabia will be banned for three years if they fail to return to the country before the expiration of their exit/reentry visas.
This was declared by General Directorate of Passports (Jazawat) Director of Media and Public Relations Col. Muhammad Bin Abdulaziz as it appeared on the Saudi Gazette. He also said this will be implemented as soon as possible.
The strict rule caught many expats by surprise, especially since many of them are experiencing varying circumstances that make it impossible to return to KSA right away. If you want to keep your record clean in Saudi follow their rules and procedures of taking care of your Saudi re-entry visa or else you might get into trouble.
An IT specialist from India claimed his dad wasn’t able to come back sooner because a family member recently passed away. As of the moment, the family is hoping to make proper arrangements “to extend the reenter visa duration for him.” They just want their father to continue with his work despite the family challenges they’ve been facing.
On the brighter side of things, expats have recently been granted an easier way to access visas. With the use of online technology, users can process a visa for dependent family members, update personal data, as well as issue or cancel final exit visas. All of these tools can be found at www.epassport.gov.sa. This internet-based system allows them to conduct important visa transactions without having to make a personal visit at the Jawazat’s office.
Back in 2013, the Jawazat officially declared that expats no longer need to carry print copies of their exit/reenter visas as the status of individuals will be checked via the online system. This makes it very necessary for all concerned to ensure that they have updated information recorded on the internet. Airline representatives also depend on the online data as expats reenter the country.
Hopefully, more and more OFWs will be reached by this news so they can avoid unnecessary hassle (and a possible 3-year ban) as they make their way back to KSA.