Jeddah: Fee-payment system glitches prevent travel of some foreign residents

Jeddah, Jul 4 (Arab News): Glitches in the electronic system to collect payment of the newly imposed fees on foreign residents’ family members caused many to miss flights over the past two days.

A local newspaper spoke with a number of Sudanese residents trying to pay their exit visa fees at the airport Sunday afternoon. Abdulrahman Abbas missed his flight despite the fact he had received a boarding pass.

Another passenger, Abdulhameed Al-Warai, said he tried to pay the fees several times but the system refused to recognize it, and consequently would not issue an exit-and-return visa. “Then I went to the airport where Passports Department personnel tried to solve the problem, but they could not document my payment in the system no matter how hard they tried. Eventually I could not travel,” he said.

Khaled Mahjoub reported that he tried to pay online several times and the messages that popped up on the screen said, “the service is under maintenance” and then, “the service is not available.”