September 22, 2021

Bangladesh requests Saudi govt for 3-month extension of work permit, visa for expats

Bangladesh today requested the Saudi government to extend the tenure of ‘Iqama’ (valid work permit) and visa of Bangladeshi expatriates for three more months so that workers stuck here can return to the Gulf country.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen told The Daily Star that the Bangladesh embassy in Saudi Arabia has given a letter to the Saudi foreign ministry in this regard.

Bangladesh requested that the period for an ‘Iqama’ or visa be extended by three months, depending on the need of Bangladeshi citizens.

The Saudi government has so far extended the validity of Iqama for Bangladeshis stuck in the country thrice following the global Covid-19 pandemic. The latest term will expire on September 30.

Saudi Arabian Airlines is scheduled to resume regular flight operations from Dhaka today.

At least 30,000 Bangladeshi expatriate workers stuck in the country are waiting to return to their workplaces in Saudi Arabia.

A top official at Dhaka office of Saudi Arabian Airlines said the validity of visa or Iqama of several thousand Bangladesh workers will expire on September 30 and it will not be possible for all Bangladesh workers to return to Saudi Arabia within the deadline of September 30.

The Saudi Arabian Airlines has initially been given permission to operate only two weekly flights from Dhaka.

Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (Caab) Chairman Air Vice Marshal M Mafidur Rahman, however, said today that Caab will permit Saudi Arabian Airlines to operate as many flights as it needs so that Bangladeshi expatriates can return to their workplaces in the Gulf country.

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