Saudi Arabia cancels 3-Year Entry Ban for Expats Post Visa Expiry

Expats who had been prohibited from entering Saudi Arabia for three years due to visa expiration can now reenter the country. According to news outlets in the area, this move represents a major change from the strategy that was put into place in 2022.

Saudi Arabia Lifts Entry Ban on Expatriates

The General Directorate of Passports, known as Jawazat, has issued instructions to all departments to allow the entry of expatriates who did not return before the expiry of their exit and re-entry visas. This directive, which took effect on Tuesday, January 16, brings relief to individuals previously barred from entering the Kingdom.

Origin of the Entry Ban

The General Directorate of Passports initially introduced the entry ban in 2022. The policy stipulated that expatriates leaving Saudi Arabia and failing to return within the specified timeframe would face a three-year prohibition from re-entering the country.

Re-entry visa requirements

Expatriates holding a re-entry visa were required to adhere to the timeframe specified on the visa for their return. Failure to comply necessitated the issuance of a new visa, a process typically facilitated by the employer.

Record of Non-Return

The authorities, at the time of the ban's introduction, indicated that the phrase "exited and did not return" would be officially recorded for any expatriate two months after the expiration of their visa.

Policy Reconsideration and Relief for Expatriates

The recent decision to lift the entry ban signifies a reconsideration of the previous stringent policy. It aims to provide relief to expatriates who, due to various reasons, could not return within the prescribed timeframe. This move aligns with ongoing efforts to streamline immigration procedures and uphold fairness for individuals facing challenges adhering to exit and re-entry regulations.

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