The government of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has extended the validity of visa and Iqama (work permit) for Bangladeshi expatriate workers and professionals until October 31 without any charge to help them return to their workplaces smoothly.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen confirmed it on Wednesday.
Usually, employers, not the government, provide Iqama and Bangladesh raised the issue during the discussion with the Saudi government.
The Saudi government responded positively in this regard saying Iqama will remain valid till October 31.
Bangladesh Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dr Mohammad Javed Patwary conveyed the development to the Foreign Minister over the phone.
On September 21, Bangladesh through its Mission requested the Saudi government for an “automatic extension” of exit/re-entry visa and Iqama(in applicable cases) up to October 31, a senior official said.
Bangladesh received the written reply from the Saudi authority on Wednesday on the extension of visa and work permit validity of those whose previous extension period has expired, he said.
The Bangladeshi workers and professionals who got stuck here have already started to return to their workplaces in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
The Saudi government has extended the validity of Iqama and visa for Bangladesh citizens several times at the request of Bangladesh.
Bangladeshi workers got stuck here due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The oil-rich kingdom is the most popular destination for migrant workers from Bangladesh.
Last year, Bangladeshi migrants sent back US$18.355 billion. Of the amount, $3.647 billion (19.87 percent) were sent from Saudi Arabia. – UNB