The media in Saudi Arabia has caused confusion among expats this week as it had reported that the deadline for registration of health insurance and biometrics was to be extended three months, until April this year.
The Passport Office has strongly refuted these claims and assured expats that, contrary to the media reports, the deadline for registration has not been extended, and that it has now passed. The deadline for registering biometrics in Saudi Arabia was the 21st January this year.
It has now become mandatory for all male and female expats, and their dependents over the age of fifteen, to have their biometrics registered with the Passport Office of Saudi Arabia. Residency permits (iqamas) are issued to those expatriates who live in Saudi Arabia on an employment visa. These will now not be issued or renewed without proof of health insurance and biometrics, without an iqama, entry and exit will be denied to expats. Once fingerprints have been recorded on the Automated Central System (ACS), they do not need to be recorded again, although they will be checked upon exit and entry to the country and upon renewal of the iqama, which is only valid for one to two years.
It must be noted by expats living in the country that they are liable to face a considerable fine if they have not already registered their biometrics, and their exit visas will not be granted until this has been done. Information on where to go to register can be found on the passport control website.