An expat who fails to return within the validity of exit reentry (خرج ولم یعد) visa will face a ban period of 3 years to get a new visa in Saudi Arabia. In other words, there is a 3-year ban for moving without a final exit visa from Saudi Arabia.
3-year ban for moving without exit
As per Decision No. 825 issued in the year 1395 (the equivalent of Gregorian 1975), expatriates who “violate” their contract would be fined SR 10,000 and banned for 3 years from re-entering Saudi Arabia.
- Starting Date: The ban period will start after 2 months of the expiry of exit reentry visa. Source: Jawazat
- Reason: The purpose of imposing the ban is to prevent workers from switching jobs using these visas.
- Exception: The ban is not applicable if the same employer issues the visa to the same employee.
The 3-year ban for moving without final exit from Saudi Arabia is not applicable to expats holding dependent Iqama in Saudi Arabia. You can always apply for a permanent family visa or a family visit visa for them.
Can we convert exit re-entry visa to final exit?
Unfortunately, there is no way to convert an exit re-entry visa to a final exit visa to avoid the ban while the employee is outside Saudi Arabia.
However, in the case of dependents, the family head can contact Jawazat and cancel the Iqama for dependents and later apply for the permanent family visa again as the exit reentry visa ban is not applicable to dependents.
Can we enter Saudi Arabia on a new type of visa?
The 3-year ban for violating exit reentry visa rules stops a working expat from entering Saudi Arabia on certain types of visas;
- Work Visa: Not Allowed.
- Hajj Visa: Allowed.
- Umrah Visa: Allowed.
- Permanent Family Visa: Not Allowed.
- Family Visit Visa: Not Allowed.
- Business Visa: Not Allowed.
Can we go to other GCC countries?
There is no problem in going to other GCC countries on a work visa. Although a GCC Wide Ban has been proposed for expatriates, it is not yet implemented.