COVID-19 Initiatives: Saudi Government Facilitates Exit of Expats

The Saudi government has allowed expats on reentry and exit visas to return to their home countries. The new initiative was announced by the Ministry of Interior in order to facilitate the travel of expats who want to visit or relocate to their countries of origin. The initiative, titled Auda (“Return”), those expats who wish to go back home can now apply on the Absher portal for permission to travel, which processes these requests and validates them with the relevant authorities. Beneficiaries now have the option to select ‘Auda,’ fill in details and upon request approval, they receive text messages with their flight details. The Ministry also clarified that Absher accounts are not mandatory for applicants, which enables all expats to have access to the initiative’s services. 

Departures will be through King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Prince Muhammad International Airport in Madinah, and King Fahd International Airport in Dammam. The Auda initiative is part of a large series of COVID-19 response and mitigation initiatives.