Visit visa renewal a click away


Good news for expatriates in the Kingdom. Expats can now renew visit visas for relatives using the Passport Department’s Abshir system.

Maj. Gen. Sulaiman Al-Yahya, the department’s director-general, will launch the new service next Monday, said Col. Mohammed Al-Saad, director of public relations.

He said the department would also launch another Abshir program to help Saudis renew their passports using the electronic system. “We have readied the two services after testing the systems,” he added.

The launch of the new services coincides with the department’s campaign to increase awareness on its electronic services.

Col. Al-Saad urged Saudis and expatriates to make use of its electronic services to save their time and energy and reduce congestion at the department’s offices across the country.

People can register with Abshir by visiting one of the department’s offices or using interactive machines available at banks (Al-Rajhi, Samba, Riyad, NCB, Al-Jazira and Albilad), as well as at malls and international airports.

Expatriates have applauded the new electronic services. “The registration of expats with the Interior Ministry’s electronic system simplified their residency procedures, including issuance of exit and re-entry visas,” said Omar Abubacker, a business consultant.

Speaking to Arab News, he said the new Abshir service would help expats renew visit visas of their family members without standing in the long queues at Jawazat offices.

He said the move to renew visit visas throughout the year would boost the Kingdom’s economy.
“As a result of this gesture, expats would be spending their money inside Saudi Arabia instead of sending it to their home countries,” he added.


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