RIYADH – The General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) has started extending the period of validity of exit and reentry visas that expire between Feb. 25 and May 24 for another three months without any charge. This is in line with the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman as part of reducing the economic and financial impact of the precautionary and preventive measures taken to stem the spread of coronavirus pandemic, the Saudi Press Agency reported quoting the Jawazat sources.
The beneficiaries of this extension include expatriates, who have commercial and industrial professions as their trade, and are already in the Kingdom without using the exit and reentry visa during the current period of suspension of entry to and exit from the Kingdom.
The Jawazat explained that the extension is being done automatically through its system and that is in cooperation with the National Information Center and the Ministry of Finance. There is no need to personally contact any one of the Jawazat offices for the purpose. The beneficiary can have access to his account on the Absher portal of the Ministry of Interior to know about the status of the service extended to him.
Last week, the Jawazat unveiled a mechanism for the extension of exit and reentry visas of expatriates or their family members who are outside the Kingdom. The extension process must be done electronically by the employer in the case of expatriate workers or by the head of family in the case of dependents after visiting the designated link for that in the electronic visa portal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Meanwhile, the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) said on Wednesday that it has begun receiving requests for financial support from Saudi employees working in the private sector through its website. This is in line with implementation of the order of King Salman. It said that the support will be through the unemployment social insurance scheme (SANID), which is designed to meet the financial fallout of the situation arising out of the coronavirus related precautionary measures that threatened the ability of employers to continue to engage in their business activities and eventually employees losing their source of income.
Last Friday, the King ordered the government to pay 60 percent of the Saudi employees’ salaries for a period of three months amounting up to SR9 billion. The financial support, which provides a major relief to the private sector companies impacted by coronavirus pandemic, will, however be in accordance with the conditions stipulated in SANID. According to the royal order, the employer instead of terminating the contract of a Saudi worker can apply for compensation request with GOSI, claiming 60 percent of the registered wage for a duration of three months, at a maximum of SR9,000 monthly.
The compensation will be paid in accordance with the SANID, in which Saudi workers have contributed, during their working tenure. SANID covers 100 percent of Saudis employed in companies that have five workers or less and covers up to 70 percent of firms where the number of Saudi workers exceeds five.
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