Saudi Arabia: Visa overstays subject to even stricter penalties

Notorious for imposing harsh penalties on foreigners who overstay their visas, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) declared an amended campaign to deter those who overstay the allotted duration of their visas. While foreigners have always been subject to harsh fines, imprisonment and deportation, the recent announcement provided even harsher penalties then were seen before.

For those who overstay their visa:

  • 1st violation (visa holder is now subject to a fine of 15,000 SAR & deportation). At the discretion of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the visa holder will be banned from entering the Kingdom for between 3-5 years.
  • 2nd violation (visa holder is now subject to a fine of 25,000 SAR & Imprisonment for 3 months, and followed by deportation). The deportation is likely to be followed by a ban from entering the Kingdom for up to 5 years.
  • 3rd violations (visa holder is now subject to a fine of 50,000 SAR & Imprisonment for 6 months & deportation). As is the case with all visa violations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has discretion to impose a permanent ban from entering the Kingdom.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK