Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has said that Oman would open its border from October 1 for Bangladeshi expatriate workers, who have been stuck here amid flight suspension due to Covid-19 pandemic since March last.
He also said that visa renewal process for those whose Saudi valid visas have already been expired amid the pandemic will start at Saudi Arabia embassy from Sunday.
“It’s good news … Oman sent us a note verbal today, saying that all stranded Bangladeshi workers, employed in Oman, can enter its territory without obligation of having no objection certificate from October 1,” the Foreign Minister told reporters at his office on Thursday.
He said that the Oman-bound Bangladeshi expat workers have to show only their valid passports, valid Oman residency IDs and Covid-19 negative certificates through PCR testing as well as agree for undergoing 14-day mandatory quarantine after entering into Oman.
“We are trying to facilitate returning all stranded Bangladeshi expatriate workers to their respective host countries …. We are in good shape,” he said.
The foreign minister said Dhaka has been able to resolve the issue of stranded Bangladeshi expatriate workers of Saudi Arabia as the Saudi government on Wednesday agreed to renew their visas and extend Iqamas (work permission from employers) for another 24 days.
He said visa renewal process for those whose Saudi valid visas have already been expired amid the pandemic will start at Saudi Arabia embassy from Sunday.
The foreign minister said that the Saudi civil aviation authority had given landing permission for all commercial scheduled flights of Biman Bangladesh Airlines from October 1 to carry back the stranded Bangladeshi workers from to Saudi Arabia.
Bangladesh Civil Aviation Authority has already given approval to Saudi Arabian airlines to operate flight on Saudi Arabia-Dhaka-Saudi Arabia as many as they can to ensure return of the Bangladeshi expatriate workers.
He hoped that all stranded Bangladeshi expatriate workers would be able to reach Saudi Arabia before expiration of their Iqama. “Even if not, the Saudi government has assured us that they would extend the Iqama duration for rest of the Bangladeshi workers who are stuck here,” he said.
The foreign minister also urged the Saudi bound Bangladeshi nationals to maintain discipline when they will go for renewing their visas or booking air tickets to avoid giving any wrong message to the Saudi government.