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Saudi Arabia Streamlines Visa Cancellation Process for Employers

In a bid to enhance the efficiency of visa processes, Saudi Arabia has recently introduced a more convenient system for employers to cancel exit/re-entry visas for expatriates. The implementation of this system, accessible through the Absher platform, signifies a significant step towards simplifying administrative tasks related to visas.

Key Changes and Benefits:

  1. Online Cancellation via Absher Platform: Employers can now cancel exit/re-entry visas seamlessly through the Absher platform, streamlining the entire process. The direct link to the employer’s account ensures a swift and hassle-free experience.
  2. Non-Refundable Visa Fees: While the online cancellation process offers convenience, it’s crucial to note that the fees associated with issuing these visas are non-refundable.
  3. Digital Transformation Efforts: The General Directorate of Passports encourages the use of digital services on the Absher platform, encompassing the issuance and renewal of residency permits (iqamas), as well as exit/re-entry and final exit visas. This aligns with Saudi Arabia’s broader digital transformation initiatives.

Visa Regulations and Important Points:

  1. Passport Validity Requirements: To obtain an exit/re-entry visa, a passport must be valid for at least 90 days, and for a final exit visa, the validity period is 60 days.
  2. Conversion Limitations: Converting an exit/re-entry visa to a final exit visa is only feasible within Saudi Arabia. It’s essential for individuals to understand this restriction, especially if they are outside the kingdom.

Flexibility and Convenience for Foreign Residents: Recent changes in Saudi Arabia’s visa regulations offer increased flexibility for foreign residents. Notably, those with exit/re-entry visas can return to the country until the last day of visa validity. Moreover, visa holders can extend their visas online while outside the kingdom, facilitating a more convenient process through the Absher platform or the Muqeem portal.

Enhancing the Expat Experience: With approximately 13.4 million foreigners constituting 41.5% of the total population, Saudi Arabia’s recent measures aim to improve the experience for expatriates. By simplifying visa processes and embracing digital solutions, the country seeks to create a more user-friendly environment for its diverse expatriate community.

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