Moving & Relocating to Saudi Arabia
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There are a lot of expatriates in the kingdom who are currently without their families, but would like to bring them on a visit visa. This post is meant to guide those.
The most important factor which decides whether you can bring your family or not, is the profession mentioned in your iqama or residence permit. Note that this may not be your actual job title. For example, it is quite common for an engineer to be hired on a labor visa.This has already been covered here earlier. But for all government transactions, it is the profession mentioned in your iqama which matters, not your job title Unfortunately, you are eligible to bring your family only for certain types of visas (like engineer, doctor, technician, etc) If your have arrived on a labor visa, you have absolutely no chance of bringing your family, and it is better to get the profession changed to some other category - this is not an easy task though.
Coming back to the visit visa procedure for bringing your family into the kingdom, I would like to clarify at the outset that the procedure itself is quite simple. The only difficult part is the profession mentioned in your iqama, as already mentioned above.
Before you proceed to fill in the online form, you must have with you the following documents ready.
1. Your original iqama (keep a copy with yourself for records)
2. Your passport photocopy
3. Introduction letter in Arabic from your employer giving details about your salary
4. Passport copy of the visiting member (parents / children / in-laws) (Note that a separate application has to be made for each individual family member whom you are going to sponsor)
For sponsoring your in-laws, the following additional documents are required
Certificate from a hospital in case your wife needs support for any reason, e g., pregnancy
* Wife's passport copy - this is to prove the relationship between your wife and her father / mother
* Copy of your Marriage Certificate, translated in Arabic and attested by the Saudi consulate / embassy in your home country
Once you are ready with all of the above, proceed to the next step as below. Have a person who can read Arabic next to you. Then click on this link https://visa.mofa.gov.sa/VisaFamilyApp/FamilyApp.asp. The name of your family member AND the name of the sponsor (i.e., YOU) should be filled ONLY in English. All the remaining data are to be filled in Arabic. Remember, YOU are the sponsor for your family, and NOT your employer. In case more than one family member is visiting you and are coming by the same flight, enter their names in the same form, otherwise use separate forms.
In the column asking for the number of days of visa required, type "90". If you are lucky, you will get a 3-month visit visa, otherwise it will be only a 1-month visa. There is no hard and fast rule. Everything depends on the mood of the officer who decides the visa validity. However, you can always renew the visit visa twice, and each extension is for one month only. In the column asking for the purpose of the visit, type as "family visit" in Arabic.
Once you fill in this form and submit, you will get an acknowledgment number on the screen. Print two copies of this. Keep one copy with yourself as a reference. You will be needing this soon. Take a printout of your filled-in application form, sign it in the place mentioned in the bottom along with the date. Don't forget to take the signature and stamp of your company sponsor. Once this is done, attach this along with the remaining documents mentioned above and submit it to your nearest Ministry of Foreign Affairs office (not to be confused with the passport office (Jawasat, as it is known locally). Renewal can be done in the Jawasat, but for the first time, you must submit it in the MOFA office.
Most important point: You must submit the above documents within 3 working days of filling in the on-line form, or else all your effort is a waste. Remember, Thursdays and Fridays are weekly offs for Government departments in the kingdom, so keep this in mind before filling in the form
Wait for about a week and the visit the above mentioned link once again. Type in your iqama number and the acknowledgment number which is mentioned in the printout you took earlier. If you get the same page after hitting the 'Enter' button on your keyboard, it means that your visa is still under processing. Otherwise, you should get a so-called 'Yellow slip'. Take two 'COLOR' printouts of this, and keep one for your reference, and note down the URL address.
You have now crossed half the journey. The next step is to send the following documents to your home country
The 'Yellow slip' color printout mentioned above
Copy of your Iqama
Copy of your passport (remember, you are the sponsor)
Copy of your marriage certificate (required only when you plan to bring your in-laws to prove the relationship between your wife and her parent(s) - this is to ensure that the visitor is really your in-law
Printout of your last 3 months' bank statement
A letter in English addressed to the Saudi Embassy / Consulate of your home country stating that you will be present to receive your guest
Introduction letter in Arabic from your employer giving details about your salary
Send all of the above by courier to your home country. Along with the above documents, the following should be attached by your family member and submitted to the Saudi Embassy / Consulate in your home country:
Original passport of each family member who plans to visit
Passport copy of your wife (incase your in-laws are visiting - this is to prove that the visitor is indeed your in-law)