Expatriates in S. Arabia Allowed More Freedom of Movement
The Saudi department of passports announced on Saturday that it had ordered all of its branches to cancel the “letter procedure” for the movement of residents in the kingdom, according to the official Saudi news agency (SPA).
Earlier, expatriates were required to obtain a letter from their sponsor, which had to be authenticated by the department of passports in order to travel between cities and regions of the kingdom.
The department said of he most recent change that “Residents are free to move between regions of the kingdom without any letter authorized by the department.”
A recent measure taken by the Saudi cabinet has allowed performers of Umra (lesser pilgrimage to Mecca) and Hajj to move freely beyond the limits of the holy cities of Mecca, Medina, and the nearby Jeddah on the Red Sea coast.
The move is reportedly aimed at enhancing tourism, another potential source of income for the oil-rich country – Albawaba.com