Saudi Arabia has announced it is extending expat visas, including residency and work permits, as a way of 'mitigating the effects of covid-19' on the kingdom's economy.
The Saudi Ministry of the Interior said yesterday the extension will be granted to expired residency permits for expats who are currently outside Saudi Arabia on exit and return visas.
A spokesman for the Ministry told Arab News the move represented "one of the efforts by the Saudi government to mitigate the effects of the covid-19 pandemic on people, private sector establishments, investors and economic activities in the Kingdom, while taking preventive measures to avoid its spread."
Employers will be able to better rearrange their priorities and reshape their accounts with a balanced vision that stimulates rapid progression."
Khalid Al-Hamdan, chairman of the trade committee of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: "The initiatives for the renewal of residencies constituted support for the private sector, which would provide positive signs for the economy."
Al-Hamdan added, "Citizens and residents will see the benefits of this decision, and employers will be able to better rearrange their priorities and reshape their accounts with a balanced vision that stimulates rapid progression.
"The announcement from Riyadh comes as Saudi Arabia, along with other Gulf states, is moving to reduce the number of expat workers. Last month II reported that 1.2 million expats had already left Saudi Arabia so far this year.