Monday, August 26, 2013

Exit / Re-entry visa - Always carry a printout

The Ministry of Interior today announced that starting from September 7, 2013 it is no longer necessary to carry the hard copy of the exit / reentry visa.

According to the Ministry, all details are already available in their website and that itself is adequate to verify the details of exit / re-entry or exit visas. The statement brags about the Passport General Directorate's "keenness to further ease travel procedures and boost e-services". The reality is far from it.

Once this rule is implemented, probably the guys at the airports in the kingdom may not insist on the hard copy. But you are going to face a tough time on your return journey, if you do not carry a printout of the exit / re-entry visa. It is common knowledge that airlines around the world check for a valid visa before even issuing the boarding card. Unless you have the hard copy of the exit / re-entry visa, it is impossible for the airline to know whether you have a valid visa for re-entering or not. Do not expect the staff at the airline counter to browse the internet and look for your visa validity. 

The problem is not just with exit / re-entry, but also with exit-only visas. I would like to draw the attention of readers of my earlier article (click here) wherein I had advised all those leaving on final exit visas to carry a copy of the exit paper. In fact, I would advise such people to carry two copies, just in case the guy at the immigration does not return the exit paper. This is because, if you decide to return to Saudi Arabia at a later date, you will need physical proof, i.e., hard copy of the exit visa for you to return. Without this, the new visa will not be stamped on your passport.

Announcements such as this is  not what expatriates working in Saudi Arabia want. Let the Government announce the total abolition of exit / re-entry visa. That is real reform. Anything other than this is only superficial. It is like saying "I will continue to whip you, but now the whip will have a plastic handle so don't complain"!

 

8 comments:

Joseph said...

Well said, Expatguru! No civilized country in the world has such stupid artificial barriers.

Steve Williams said...

i'm applying for a final exit visa, i'm submitting my iqama but they are not taking it and said it is not necessary anymore in the new guidelines. in the old guidelines, the iqama should be surrendered to the passport dept. my question is, is it true that iqama is not needed anymore in applyin for final exit visa? tnx and more power to you.

Expatguru said...

Steve,

Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized and confidential reply by email.

muzaffar naz said...

Just 2years ago my sponser has geve me huroob. Now i have received a permision of final exit(khurooj nihai) from the tehreel(jawazat deprt.) In jail... now i want to know that. Has i eblety to come back to ksa or not??? Pls suggest me

Expatguru said...

Muzaffar,

Yes, you can come back to the kingdom for employment again. Make sure you choose a good company. All the best.

ahmed said...

Due to some personal reason i could not return to saudi & my exit/re-entry visa has expired My company has provided all the relevant documents how much time does the saudi consulate in mumbai take for extension of exit/re entry visa.kindly need your suggestion.

Expatguru said...

Ahmed,

Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized and confidential reply by email.

MIGUEL SAN ANTONIO said...

Hi
i would like to ask about the exit stamp visa in the passport, my question is what is the different of re-entry and cancelled visa.
because my agency was asking me for a N.O.C.
so my passport was stamped with re-entry visa, is't should be stamp cancelled visa? thank you for helping me..