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Family visit visa

Bringing pets into Saudi Arabia
Moving & Relocating to Saudi Arabia
Driving Liccnse In KSA
Vacation entitlements

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 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)

Some Important Links

Attestation formalitites for Indians
Visa Of Exit Re-entry visa
Expatriate problems in Saudi Arabia
Unscrupulous recruitment agents
Employment contract in Saudi Arabia
Job title, salary and position
MoneyTransfer from Saudi Arabia
Working Women in Saudi Arabia
Expatriate Grievance Celll
Vehicle ownership by expats in Saudi

i got more then 30 e-mail to ask for some Saudi Arabian ministry contact numbers, so today me collect those numbers and post them here for you

i hope this will be useful for you

1= Ministry of Transport

2= Ministry of Civil Service

3= Ministry of Justice

4= Ministry of Education

5= Ministry of Higher Education

6= Ministry of Health

7= Ministry of Foreign Affairs

8= Ministry of Municipalities and Rural Affairs

9= Ministry of Labor

10= Saudi Press Agency (SPA)

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Child birth in Saudi Arabia-2

Quick Iqama
Changing Job in SaudiArabia
Security for expatriates
Medical insurance in Saudi Arabia
Medical insurance in Saudi Arabia
Telecommunication in Saudi Arabia

Those of you who have missed the earlier post on this topic can click here to read the same.
Life is not easy for expatriates working in Saudi Arabia. The paper work starts the moment a child is born! Fortunately, the vaccination for the child is not part of the paperwork, unlike for children born in your home country and brought into the kingdom. The All-Important document is, of course, the child's birth certificate. To be precise, there are two versions of birth certificates - one in Arabic for local use, and one in English which is going to be with you lifelong even in your home country.
Now for the brass-tacks. It is the responsibility of every hospital in Saudi Arabia to issue a document called "Birth notification". This is issued either immediately after birth of the baby or definitely before the mother is discharged from the hospital. The first thing to be done is get the original passports of both the father and the mother translated into Arabic. I would strongly advise you to take the services of a professional agent for this. They know their job and will do quite a good one out of this. To this translation, you have to attach the photocopies of your original passports , your iqama and of course, the birth notification issued by the hospital.
Next, you will have to go to the Ministry of Interior in your town or the office of MOI nearest to your town and get the relevant birth certificate application form from their office. Everything will be in Arabic in this form, so it will be best to bring the blank form from the Ministry and give it to the agent who did your translation. Usually these agents do have a photocopy of this form, this is just in case your agent does not have one of these. Get the form filled in properly and attach photographs where required.
This whole set must be submitted to the Ministry of Interior. Again, get the agent to do this work for you. Believe me, it would save you a lot of trouble rather going and trying to do it yourself.
In a few days, you would have got a birth certificate issued by the Ministry. Everything would be in Arabic in this certificate. Note that this certificate is of no use in your home country, so the paper work hasn't finished yet!
You will have to get this re-translated back into English. Again, the agent is your savior! Next, take a digital photograph of your baby while he or she is awake. The reason why I insist on a digital photo is that when you give it to a studio, they will accordingly change the background, size, etc., of the baby's photograph and will give it to you in a format required by your embassy.
Now, you will have to attach your original passport of the mother, photocopy of your iqama, photocopy of the Arabic birth certificate along with photographs of the baby. Fill in the relevant form of your country's embassy and give the whole set to your agent. You should be getting a new passport for your baby plus a document having a fancy name called "Certificate of Entry of Birth" by your embassy. This is nothing but the birth certificate issued by your embassy which you will have to retain throughout your life!

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Child birth in ksa 1

What You Want From Ksa
Converting Visa Profession
About Contract
More About Visa
Salary Structure
The Requirement

My earlier post on death case formalities (click here to read it) evoked such a huge emotional response from the expatriates working in Saudi Arabia, that the logical corollary is a post on - what else - child birth formalities in the kingdom. The subject is quite extensive, so I decided to write it in two or more parts. This is the first part of the series and depending upon your support, I may continue to write more on the subject or just stop.

The first and foremost thing to remember if you are planning to have your child's delivery in Saudi Arabia, is that you must definitely have an insurance. Medical care in the kingdom is extremely expensive and without an insurance, you are really doomed. But before this, you must ask yourself a fundamental question:Do you really want to have the delivery in Saudi or not ,

Answering this question is quite difficult and you must most certainly consider all the pros and cons before making this all-important decision. Most bigger cities in Saudi Arabia have hospitals with good facilities. Most of the medicines are imported and all of them carry a mandatory pamphlet mentioning the dosage, indications, contra indications, precautions and side effects. All the medicines in the kingdom are strictly monitored by the Ministry of Health. Some of the best equipments which money can buy, are available in the hospitals. Hospitals are quite clean and patient care by the nurses is also good.

Now for the downside. Until a few years back, delivery for expatriate mothers was free of cost in Government hospitals. However, the rule has changed in recent years with health insurance becoming mandatory. Do note, however, that there are several insurance companies operating in the kingdom. The coverage of each company depends completely on the premium paid by the sponsor. As an example, treatment and child birth in a five-star hospital like Saad hospital in Al Khobar, is not covered by most of the standard insurance companies. Hence, you must be absolutely sure whether maternity treatment is covered by your insurance policy or not.

Next, the sensitive issue about the quality of doctors. Opinion is divided on this. There are excellent doctors, good doctors and not-so-good ones in all the hospitals. It goes without saying that a good gynecologist is paramount to having a safe delivery. After all, nothing is more important to an individual than personal health and safety. I have seen some really excellent doctors in a few hospitals. I have also seen some doctors who are just terrible! To give a fair assessment, it is impossible to generalize all the doctors or hospitals as either good or bad. The best way is to ask fellow expatriates their experiences about a particular hospital or doctor and then take a decision accordingly.

Child birth and maternity care in Saudi Arabia does not simply stop at the hospital. It has to continue beyond delivery. I have seen fellow-expatriates looking desperately for some domestic help for their wives for a few months after delivery.Of particular concern are those mothers who have undergone caesarian surgeries. Most companies in the kingdom give only upto 3 days leave for the husbands to take care of their wives. If there is no one else to take care of the wife and the new-born, the couple are really in for some trouble. Usually, expatriate husbands prefer to bring their mothers-in-law for assisting their respective wives, but it is not always practically possible to do so. Domestic nurses are in extremely high demand and being a rarity, they charge quite heavily when available.

So how does one decide whether to have the delivery in the kingdom or not? Again, it is quite a difficult decision and has to be made after analyzing the various options, pros and cons, and is purely a personal decision. My own opinion on this is that, if possible try to have the delivery in your own home country. This would save a lot of trouble for both the husband as well as the wife, particularly after the delivery. After all, no place is as good as home! Of course, deliveries for expatriate mothers do happen in the kingdom. There are quite some formalities and paperwork dealing with child birth for expatriates in Saudi Arabia More on this in future posts.

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Vacation entitlements

Lifestyle Saudi Arabia
While Flying To Saudi Arabia
Cost of Living in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia Video's
Visa For Saudi Arabia
Duty Hour In Saudi Arabia
Passport and Iqama

I have been repeatedly mentioning in this blog about the importance of reading and understanding your contract before planning to work in Saudi Arabia. Your contract IS the final document which would stand by you in case of a dispute between you and your employer.

I would now like to mention something about your entitlements for annual vacation. There are a few contracting companies in Saudi Arabia, which take the expatriates' ignorance of law as granted. Not all of them are this way, but as in any place, there are bad apples in every basket.

Specifically talking about your vacation entitlements, you must know that you are entitled for an annual vacation of minimum of 21 days each year for the first five years. Some of the contracting companies allow the employees to go on vacation only once in 2 years. But this does not relieve them of their obligation towards the law. If you are planning to sign such a contract, ensure that your entitlement is a minimum of 21 days each year.

If you continue to stay in this company for more than 5 years, your entitlement becomes 30 days for each year, from the 6th year onwards. An interesting thing to note here is that, even if your employer has forced you to sign a contract of 21 days vacation after the first 5 years, the law clearly states that your entitlement is 30 days, so this will supersede what you have signed in your contract. In other words, when you go on final exit from the kingdom, your employer is supposed to pay you for the remaining 9 days per year for each year of service after the first 5 years.

Working in Saudi Arabia is a challenge as well as a rewarding experience, but you must know your rights and obligations clearly before signing any contract.

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Some Question Related to Saudi arabia - FAQ

Question Related to Family

  1. 1 i am working in KSA and i have a valid IQAMA, can i bring my grand father on visit visa ?
  2. 2 If a person is on a technician visa, does he have to produce his diploma at the time of applying for permanent family visa. ?What if the diploma/degree does not match the profession (assuming supervisory)mentioned on the Iqama. Does it matter?
  3. 3 Is my wife eligible for bringing me to KSA, under family visa ?" If not, What will be the ideal visa for me to proceed ?
  4. 4 I have a family visa.My wife is now in India with an exit and re-entry visa. We are expecting a new born baby in India soon. If I want to bring the baby within 2-3 months of birth,is there any requirement of separate visa or we can bring without the visa and after reaching hear we can add him to the existing Ikama?
  5. 5 I am working in Jeddah, when i want to renew my driving licence there is problem with the name of Iqama, before was no any problem. How i know that my name is not same in Jawazat office ? May i check through Internet ?
  6. 6 How can I bring a servant from India?
  7. 7 What Saudi labour is doing if they found any unauthorised degree,I mean, what is action is to be taken according to labour law of Saudia Arabia, If person found a false attestation or the documents. ? Read More

Question Related To Visa

  1. 1 if i leave my job. is there any change that i was chaged for my visa fee and other expenxcess?
  2. 2 My trade in visa is "kaarbaayi aam" actually i dont know what is this kaarbaayi aam ?can i bring my wife and childeran to here either permanently or on visit visa,is it possible??
  3. 3 I would like to initiate for my wife visa. I am working as an IT Manager and my profession mentioned is Computer Programmer. I want to know the cost for my wife's visa and who would pay that amount ?
  4. 4 My profession in iqama is programmer, and have family visa. My wife delivered in India, and the kid is 5 months now. Is it possible to bring him without visa? Read More

Out Of line Questions

  1. 1 I heard about a "free visa" concept. What does it really mean? My wife works in saudi, some of her co-workers told her that they brought their spouses on "Free visa?What is the difference between the so called "Free visa" and other visas like, "visit visa".
  2. 2 I am offered a job working for an American Company but will be based on client sites, would that pose any problems?
  3. 3 I've have the choice of choosing between an AC Technician visa or a Decor Technician visa, however I'm a Pakistani with a Mechanical Engineering degree from the US. My degree is attested. Can my degree be utilized for this type of technical visa when I want to get the permanent residency visa issued for my family? Read More

Professional Questions's

  1. 1 I am a General practitioner working in Nejran region since 3 years.I want to know about the possibility of transfer to a another city where schools are there & if possible, how can I proceed.?
  2. 2 My Iqama professional is General Electician so can i bring my family by Family resident visa?
  3. 3 My profession in iqama is "TRANSLATOR" and I am holding a bachelor of arts in English Literature attested by saudi consulate. Can I bring my family?
  4. 4 The issue is that the profession on degree does not match to that of iqama (degree is engineering and iqama is technician). My question is only regarding when I go to SA and apply for family visa. Would there be a problem ? ?
  5. 5 My profession on my Iqama is FANNI KAHARBAI is I am elegible to bring my family here either permanently or on visit visa ?
  6. 6 What i do for change my profession. in iqama
  7. 7 Mason or malaeyas can bring famly in Ksa ?
  8. 8 My employer and agent told me that they will change my profession later and "mechanical drughtman" can bring family or by my degree certificate am I eligible to bring my family as per commitment by my employer?
  9. 9 At present my profession is plumber and now I would like to change my profession to computer engineer, since the attestation get so old will the Jawazat office will accept these documents or should I need to re-attest these documents.Can I sponsor my mother after If I change my profession …?
  10. 10 I have a three years of diploma in computer science which is attested by the Saudi sansulate of my home country and re-attested by the forign affair of KSA Dammam.Will it enough to change my profession to computer technician.? Read More.....

Some More Questions

  2. 2 My friends want to bring his family on this profession "AMIL MAYMARI"...can you please let me know about that can he or not?
  3. 3 My Visa is auto Electrician Am i allow to bring family in KSA?
  4. 4 Manzil karbai , which i found out to be building electrician . is transferable =?
  5. 5 "kaharbe mabanee" and on iqama it is "kaharbae" can bring family ?
  6. 6 Can i bring family with "operator " job title?
  7. 7 I was given a laborer visa. I have completed a 3 year Automotive Technician diploma. Will i be eligible to bring my family on a permanent residence visa here in KSA should i change my profession based on my qualification? ?
  8. 8 I want to know the minimun period of time after which I can come to KSA on another visa after getting NOC from the earlier sponsor(MOH)? Read More....

Exit Reentry Questions

  1. 1 I am on direct sponsorship of the school as you mentioned. I hope to sign a new contract with another school soon, so I don't mind paying for my ticket home but I just want to leave this school without any trouble. Contractually I can leave, but I can't guarantee they will give me the NOC. If they refuse, I've heard the old trick of leaving the passport in the washing machine and getting a new one, clean of any previous visa.
  2. 2 My question is about NOC. Is there a validity period for NOC from the date of issue? I am planning to go on exit and come back on another visa in about 6 months. Since the new visa will take some time, should I take my NOC now or only when the visa is avalable?
  3. 3 Is it possible to reenter on a "visit visa" and work with a new company within the first year? I know some people who work here on a visit visa since their company doesn't sponsor people. Would it be illegal for me to work on a visit visa if i don't obtain a NOC? Read More....
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