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Valid iqama for final exit must visa in Saudi Arabia.

Image : Gulf news 

In Cairo, a Saudi lawyer emphasized that expatriates in Saudi Arabia must possess a valid iqama or residency permit to obtain a final exit visa. Lawyer Zyad Al Shalaan addressed this requirement in a TikTok video, stating that an expat cannot secure a final exit visa without renewing their iqama. Responding to a query about an expat with an iqama expired for two years, Al Shalaan clarified that while an expired iqama doesn't warrant arrest, it incurs fines unless there's another legal basis for detention.

The fine for failing to obtain a resident ID within 90 days of entering the kingdom is SR500. The Saudi General Directorate of Passports stipulates that a medical test, payment of fees, and submission through the Absher or Muqeem portal are prerequisites for obtaining a resident ID.

Expatriates in Saudi Arabia can avail themselves of three-month residency permits with renewal options, and they have the option to store a digital copy of their iqama on their smartphones. This system, launched in 2021, also enables quarterly renewal, facilitating payment of dependent fees.

Iqama fees can be paid quarterly or biannually through a government payment system. With a population of around 32.2 million, Saudi Arabia hosts a significant expatriate community, accounting for approximately 41.5% of the population.

In recent times, Saudi authorities have introduced several facilities for expatriates. Notably, foreign residents on exit/re-entry visas now have the flexibility to return to Saudi Arabia until the expiration of their visas. These measures aim to streamline processes and improve the overall expatriate experience in the kingdom.

March 23, 2024 3:29 p.m. 8161

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