Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Ridiculous visa requirements are fuelling an expat exodus 

Jun 09. 2019
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I recently returned to the country from abroad on a tourist visa, and almost immediately went to extend it at Immigration.

I handed in all the usual forms, thinking that this would be an elementary exercise. 

But lo and behold, the Immigration officer demanded I show a return plane ticket to my home country before she would extend my visa! I said that I had a ticket to another country, but not with me, as such a thing had never been asked of me before.

I considered telling the officer how ridiculous her request was, but I didn’t want to cause a commotion. Instead I went home, picked up the ticket and returned to Immigration the same day.

On and on it goes. What next? We have heard numerous stories of problems that long-term expats are having renewing their retirement visas. Now even people with simple tourist visas are encountering difficulties.

Is it any wonder why so many expats are leaving the Kingdom and heading to greener pastures such as South Korea and Saudi Arabia, where they can double or even quadruple the salaries they receive here?



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