Thousands of Pakistani iqama holders get a breather
Statesman Report
ISLAMABAD: Thousands of Pakistani expats residing in Saudi Arabia breathe a sigh of relief, after King Salman approved the extension of the validity of the expired iqama (residency permit) and exit and reentry visas of expatriates who are outside the Kingdom for a period of three months.
No additional fee would be charged for the extension, furthermore, the iqama of expatriates inside the Kingdom as well as the visa of visitors who are in the Kingdom of which the validity expires during the period of suspension of entry and exit from the Kingdom will also be extended for a period of three months without any charge, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
“More than 40,000 Pakistani expatriates will benefit from this facility,” said Pakistan’s ambassador to the Kingdom, Raja Ali Ejaz, quoted Arab News. “They have given three months’ extension in almost every relevant visa related issue for expatriates.”
The envoy informed that around 15,000 Pakistani expats inside the Kingdom and over 25,000 who had traveled back to Pakistan, would be facilitated by the extension.
The Kingdom has also extended the validity of final exit visas as well as exit and reentry visas issued for expatriates, who are in the Kingdom, but were not used during the lockdown period for a period of three months without any fee. The measures were taken amid uncertainty and travel restrictions imposed due to coronavirus.
It may be mentioned here that over 2.5 million Pakistanis reside in KSA.