Saudi Arabia: Stricter fines implemented for overstaying visitors

Visitor visa holders who overstay their legal status and their sponsors will now be subject to more severe penalties, including higher fines, imprisonment and deportation, according to an announcement by the General Directorate of Passports.

Description of Penalties

The new policy will include the following fines and penalties:

  • SAR 15,000 (about $4,000 USD) for a first-time violation;
  • SAR 25,000 (about $6,700 USD) and imprisonment for up to three months for a second violation; and
  • SAR 50,000 (about $13,300 USD) and imprisonment for up to six months for a third violation.

Additionally, if the visit visa is sponsored by a foreign resident, the resident may face deportation if there are repeat violations.

What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

Holders of Saudi visitor visas should verify the validity of their permits and should exit the country before their visas expire.  Sponsoring companies and sponsoring foreign residents should also verify the validity of their sponsorees’ permits and visas.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK