The Government of Saudi Arabia has made some important announcements in the past few days. As usual, your favourite blog is the first one to release this information.
The Saudi Government has issued directives on the procedures to be taken by expatriates in case of loss of passports, iqamas, driving licenses, birth certificates and car number plates.
In case you lose your passport or iqama, it must immediately be reported to the nearest Passport office. Note that if you do not report this loss within 24 hours, there is a fine of SR1000 in the first instance, SR2000 in the second instance and SR3000 in the third instance. You must also inform the police in case of criminal cases of document theft.
Loss of birth certificate must be reported to the nearest branch of Civil Status department. If you lose either your driving license or your istemara, it must immediately be reported to the nearest Traffic Police branch, whereas loss or theft of car number plates must be reported to the police station. Note that these two are different.
Expatriates owning cars must note this important point. In case your istemara is going to be renewed, new number plates are issued by the traffic police. As you may be aware, the new number plates have both Arabic and English letters and numerals. For getting the new number plates, you must first remove the existing number plates. Most cars have the existing number plates welded or screwed very tightly and it is quite common to have them removed in a nearby garage. So, for the duration of travel from the garage to the traffice police (after removing the existing number plates), and from the traffic police to the garage (for fixing the new number plates), you would be driving your vehicle without a number plates. You must be extremely careful in this period not to lose your number plates and must also ask for divine help that no cop must catch you in this period!
There is another very important announcement by the Saudi Government for expatriates planning to work in Saudi Arabia. With effect from 26th June, 2009, all expatriates going for employment / residence in Saudi Arabia MUST have themselves vaccinated for Cerebral Meningitis. You cannot have yourself vaccinated by any doctor / hospital, it must be done only by a GCC panel doctor. Before boarding the flight, you MUST have this certificate issued by a GCC panel doctor. Note that you face a risk of being deported soon after you land in Saudi Arabia, if you do not have this certificate.
On another note, I will shortly be publishing the form for those of you who request paid personal consultancy. I am currently sorting out some technical issues and once I am through with it, it would be published here. Please do not use the comment link below for making such requests, I cannot entertain them due to my current workload.
Of course, this blog would be the first to come out with any issue which affect the expatriates working in Saudi Arabia in any way.