Fingerprinting to be Mandatory for Expat Women in Saudi Arabia
The General Directorate of Passports has introduced a new rule that makes fingerprinting a mandatory practice for the issuance of new residence permit and final exit for all expatriate women, according to a report by the Saudi Gazette.
Before the new system, providing biometric data was only mandatory for expatriate women seeking to obtain a work permit, and simply an option for all other women (as of March 31, 2012).
Saudi Arabian director general of passports Major General Suleiman Al-Yahya said that the new mandatory fingerprinting system for expatriate women will be carried out in phases, with the first phase being applicable to issuance of new iqama and a final exit.
According to Al-Yahya, the fingerprinting system for expatriate women for the issuance of new iqama and a final exit has been in place for a long time but was previously an optional practice.
The directorate officially made it a condition for issuance of new iqama and final exit from March 23, 2014.
Meanwhile, fingerprinting is mandatory for all expatriate male and female workers in the Kingdom, as well as for other services such as a transfer of sponsorship, iqama, and acquiring a driving license for men.