Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) for Residency Affairs, Fawaz Al-Masha’an, has ordered the automatic cancellation of the residence permit of all expatriates who have been outside the country for 6 months at the end of this month, saying their residence permit will be automatically canceled from that date and they will not be entitled to re-enter except with completely new procedures and approvals.

Nationality and Residency Affairs sector at MoI has also announced that it will not extend the campaign for family visa holders who have been outside the country for more than six months to rejoin their families beyond the deadline of 31 January.

It will be remembered that during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Interior had taken the humanitarian decision to renew the residence permits online, for those outside the country for over six months. This privilege is set to end on 31 January.

Electronic cancellation of the residency of workers who have been outside the country for over six months will apply to workers under Article 17 (government sector), Article 18 (private sector) Article 19 (partner in the private sector), Article 22 (joining a family), Article 23 (student), and Article 24 (self sponsor).

The ministry clarified that the period of an expat’s presence outside the country will be calculated, especially for the family visa holders, starting from 1 August, 2022 until 31 January 2023, and then their residency will be automatically canceled, as per provisions of Article 12, paragraph 3 of the Foreigners’ Residence Law.

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