As we have all seen, the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has progressed from a regional to a global crisis, affecting travel and health. The situation in the Kingdom continues to evolve and currently there have been two confirmed cases in the Eastern Province.

Can I travel to the Kingdom for a business trip?

As of Sunday 15th March, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has suspended all international flights into and out of the Kingdom for two weeks.

As of the the 12th March, entry to the Kingdom by land from the UAE, Kuwait, Jordan and Bahrain has been temporarily halted as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. Only commercial trucks are permitted to pass after undergoing health inspection.

As the virus spreads, additional countries facing a significant outbreak may be added to the list.

If you are already in the Kingdom and need to leave to undertake a visa reset (after 30 or 90 days) you should contact your sponsor. If you have entered the Kingdom on a single entry / exit visit visa, you should contact your sponsor regarding the possibility of an online renewal / extension that may not require a physical exit / re-entry.

As of the 15th March the Ministry of Interior will allow visit visas of all kinds to be extended either online via your sponsor or through a Ministry of Interior passport office.

If you are in the Kingdom on a business visit visa, you can apply for an extension of your stay duration through your sponsor. The application must be made with fewer than seven days of your stay duration left. Read more here.

How do I leave the Kingdom now and can I return?

As of the 15th March, all international flights to and from the Kingdom have been suspended for two weeks.

Can I travel to the Kingdom for Umrah?

As of the 2nd March 2020 the Saudi Arabian government has banned all pilgrims embarking on the Islamic pilgrimage of Umrah.

What is the impact for Saudi residents?

If you hold an iqama, your exit/re-entry may be affected if you have travelled to any of the listed countries and you will be treated no differently to visitors or pilgrims.

If you are outside of the Kingdom and refused entry, you should make sure that your re-entry visa remains valid and you should contact your sponsor if it is due to expire whilst you are outside of the Kingdom.

Where can I get more information?

Most Saudi information is disseminated in Arabic, the links below should provide you with the latest information in English:

https://www.spa.gov.sa/home.php?lang=en

https://www.arabnews.com/

https://www.moh.gov.sa/en/Pages/default.aspx

http://saudigazette.com.sa/Saudi-Arabia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *