Saturday, December 15, 2007

Family visit visa

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, eg., 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 "famly visit" in Arabic.
Once you fill in this form and submit, you will get an acknowledgement 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 acknowledgement 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.
  1. The 'Yellow slip' color printout mentioned above
  2. Copy of your Iqama
  3. Copy of your passport (remember, you are the sponsor)
  4. 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
  5. Printout of your last 3 months' bank statement
  6. A letter in English addressed to the Saudi Embassy / Consulate of your home country stating that you will be present to receive your guest
  7. 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:
  1. Original passport of each family member who plans to visit
  2. Passport copy of your wife (incase your in-laws are visiting - this is to prove that the visitor is indeed your in-law)
Good luck with your efforts to bring your family to the kingdom. If this post was useful, do send in your comments. Your appreciation is my motivation to write more.


464 comments:

1 – 200 of 464   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Superb post, Expatguru. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

HAI THANK FOR YOUR INFORMATION. THEN DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA ABOUT THE NEW RULE. IF ANYONE GO EXIT FROM CURRENT COMPANY AFTER HOW MANY MONTHS HE CAN COMEBACK TO SAUDI ARABIA.IF YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS KINDLY INCLUDE THIS TOPIC

Expatguru said...

Thanks for your query. The minimum waiting period before you can return to the kingdom without an NOC is one year from the date of departure. Please refer to my earlier post of June 9, 2007 on this subject for more details. You can view this by choosing the date from the drop down menu in the calendar on the right hand side of this blog (Choose June instead of December, and then see the topics below I have written in June). Otherwise, you can go to this link http://workinginsaudiarabia.blogspot.com/2007/06/switching-jobs-in-saudi-kalli-valli.html

Lamnalco said...

My wife's 6 month exit reentry for KSA visa is expired on 20th Oct 2007. Pls advise whether she can reenter KSA by renewing it by Feb 2008 at Bombay. My Iqama is valid for another 10 months. What are the formalities? What is the time period set to reenter ? Is it 7 days or 14 days ?

Expatguru said...

Lamnalco,

You still have a chance as your iqama is still valid for another 10 months. However, you must ensure that your wife reaches the kingdom atleast 30 days prior to the expiry of your iqama. For the procedures as to how to bring her back, please refer to my earlier post in this link
http://workinginsaudiarabia.blogspot.com/2007/11/exit-reentry-visa-procedure-after.html
Note that your wife must enter the kingdom within 7 days from the date of stamping by the Saudi consulate in Bombay.

Hope this post was of some help.

Anonymous said...

this was a great help.
As you said in earlier post that one should check his profession on iqama in order to get visa for his family. but what if you have very good profession such as manager or Engineer and you are not acttually one of them,then will there be any problem too at the time of applying for visa for your spouse.
i want to ask that weather the immigration department will going to ask for proof in form of your Degree as per your proffession in order to give visa.
plz answer thanks
Shahid

Expatguru said...

Thanks for your comments, Shahid. No, once you already have an engineer or a doctor visa (for example), you need not attach any further documentary proof to that effect. In a nutshell, if your visa is of a non-supervisory category (for example "Helper", "Labor", etc), then you dont stand a chance of bringing your spouse into the kingdom, whatever be your actual job title. In other words, you may actually be an engineer or a manager, but if you are on a labor visa, you have no chance of sponsoring your spouse. The only way to do that is to change your profession in your iqama before bringing your family. But this depends on how influential your sponsor is, so you have to try your luck in first getting your profession changed before bringing your spouse into the kingdom.

Irfan said...

please can anyone tell me that can i get my wife in KSA. My trade on Iqama is ( kharbai Aam ) don't know what does it mean in english.
irfanajwad@gmail.com
irfan_ajwad@hotmail.com
Thanks

Expatguru said...

Irfan,

I think you mis-spelt the trade name. I presume what you meant was "Kharabhai Aamil". If this is correct, it means "Electrical Technician". I am not sure whether you can bring your family, but I know people with "Mechanical Technician" visa who have brought their families. Please check with the Saudi consulate or better still, if you have all the documents ready, just apply online and try your luck. In case your application is rejected, you can see the possibility of changing your profession in your iqama. Good luck!

shahid said...

Salam,
my profession on iqama is of "Muhasib AAM" its Account. The problem is that i dont have any documents which support me being an accountant, iam just simple intermediat student and currently working in the position of sales secretary. Sir will there be any problem while applying for the visa for my family. Some of my friends told me that i need to have a degree from university that should be certified by various departments plus vasaratil kharjia here in saudia. plz comment.
i need the permonent family visa for my wife not the visit visa.
plz appreciate your help .

Expatguru said...

Shahid,

Having a degree is not a must, but it helps. In your case, there is nothing to prove that you are a qualified accountant, even though you may have gained the knowledge by experience.

I am not aware of how much 'Wasta' (influence) your sponsor has with the Labor Ministry, in which case it becomes easier to get your family here. You may give it a try. But in the worst case scenario, in case of rejection of your application, you may like to change your visa profession to some other category which allows to bring your family. Please first talk to your sponsor and ask his help.

chris1lara said...

Hi Expatguru,

It seems you have a good knowledge of the process and therefore I would like to request your assistance if I may be so bold. Would it be possible for my wife to study through one of the Universities in Riyadh or is it a very difficult process to achieve?

Expatguru said...

Chris1lara,

It is quite uncommon for female expatriates to study in Saudi Universities. I am unaware of the procedure for the same, even if it is possible, and hence would not be able to guide you on this. I do have 'male' expatriate friends who have completed their post-graduation degrees, but do not have any idea regarding 'female' expatriates pursuing their studies. I would certainly enquire and let you know. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Anonymous said...

Salam,
I heard about new Laws for Family and visit visa. Such as i heard that government have planned to become flexable in visa requirments. Do you have any clue about this new laws, please advise.

Expatguru said...

What you heard was right. You are now allowed to bring your in-laws as well as your parents. The procedure which I have mentioned above is the latest, i.e., 'after' the relaxation of the earlier rules whereby only the wife's mother or your mother was allowed (not the wife's father or your father), and that too on production of proof of pregnancy. All that is now no longer insisted.

Anonymous said...

hai expatguru

i have a doubt, my current profession is house driver, if any possibility to change this profession, or transfer to a company.

shahid

Expatguru said...

No Shahid, you cannot bring your family into the kingdom with this job title. Please try to change your job title to something else. If you are transfering to another company, your problem will not get solved, as your profession will still be a driver in your iqama. The only way is to get your profession changed or to re-enter the kingdom on some other visa.

Anonymous said...

Salam,

I would like to know what chances I may have of proceeding to the Kingdom...my husband is an auditor by profession but is on a driler visa...and is currently in Saudi. Will he be able to sponsor me?

and another thing...me being a dentist by profession...what chances do i have of getting employment there on my own basis?

Thanx.

Expatguru said...

Madam,

"Driller" is supposed to be a specialized profession and your husband should have no problem in sponsoring you.

Regarding your second question, actually it has two parts.

First, your chances of getting employment here is quite bright. However, you have to undergo an exam by the Saudi MOH. Your chances are brighter in a good hospital if you are an MDS, as you would be able to command a better salary package.

Secondly, your chances of getting employment on your own basis is quite slim, unless there is an advertisement or a visa available with the hospital sponsoring you. It is quite a long-drawn process. What I advise you would be to first arrive in the kingdom on your husband's sponsorship, get used to the local conditions (language could be a major barrier, so acclimatization is a must). Once you settle down here, you can always give the exam and even look for a good hospital. In fact, most good hospitals have very good housing facilities and if you get employed on your own, you could shift into one of those villas with your husband. Good luck!

Alok said...

Hi Expatguru,

Thanks for your informative post.

Im planning to bring my parents on Visit visa for 2-3 months.I am an electronic engg by prof and Iqama as well.

I am just counting on my dad and mom to visit here :) or plan B im going on a vacation.

I have a query though . The arabic letter describing my prof and salary from the company does it needs the Chamber of commerce attestation.

So will my dad too will a get a visa is the query?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your advise..:-)
Will definitely follow it.

One more thing I'd like to ask you since you seem to have quite a bit of knowledge about Saudi systems...:-)

Where can i get information regarding MOH exam for dentists? (since I am unable to find anything on the internet)..and are there any job advertising sites where i can look for a vacancy in a hospital in Dammam?

Thank you.

Expatguru said...

Alok,

Thanks for visiting my blog. Glad to know that my blog has been of some help. You dont need any kind of attestation from Chamber of Commerce. Just ensure that it is in the original company letter head with logo, etc.

Sure, your dad would get a visa too. This was unthinkable even a couple of years back.

Do keep visiting this blog. All the best!

Expatguru said...

Doctor,

I would definitely find out more information about the MOH exam and write a separate post on it soon. (You wouldn't find the information on the net so easily Ma'am. That's why I started this blog!)
By the way, I am sorry I wouldn't be able to suggest any particular job site. Blogging is just my hobby, not my profession, and as a policy I do not want the neutrality (and hence the popularity) of this site to get diminished, by recommending any particular site. Hope you understand, Doctor.

What I would suggest though, is to just click on any of the ads in this blog and register yourself. Maybe this would be of some help.

Thanks once again for your comments, which motivate me to write more.

Anonymous said...

Sir,congrats for your informative works & I hope that many of us are getting the real solution for their troubling problems.
I reard in news that family visa for the families of Doctors working in KSA can get from India itself.Can you make it clear for me.
I wish you all success
Thanking you

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your valuble efforts
Sir my doubt is that a Housemaid can bring her child along with her
Waiting for your valuble reply
Thanking you

Expatguru said...

Thanks for your encouraging comments. I too read about this, but sitting in Saudi Arabia, honestly I am unaware of whether this has been implemented in India or not. Maybe you could ask someone to check this up in the Saudi Consulate in India.

By the way, if you are already in the kingdom, the easiest thing for you to do is just follow the step-by-step procedure I gave here and I am sure you should get the visa slip within a week. Good luck in your efforts to get your family into the kingdom!

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Unfortunately, housemaids cannot bring their children into the kingdom.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sir,
Congrats for a very nice blog you have in here ...

I am presently working as a systems administrator for national guard. In my iqama , its says supervisor for labor ( is it the same as in he labor category ?). I was able to bring my wife as my defendent ( now shes here for 3 yrs and we already have our new baby born here :). I am about to transfer to a new company and they gave me a transferrable iqama. I am planning to bring in my two kids as my defendent, will i still be able to get an aprroval from the ministry ? by the way my new company is abudullah bin-saedan.

Thanks very much ! ! !

Expatguru said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I don't see any reason why your application should get rejected, because if the ministry has approved for you to bring your wife, there should be no problem for your kids too. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I would like to know which web site that I can apply online for Permanent Family visa. I have seen on mov.gov website only visit visa for family rather I could not find permanent visa link as well as there is permenent visa "iqama" link.

Please assist me.

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

I am unable to help you in this regard as I am unaware whether any such online link is available. Maybe a professional agent would be able to advise you better.

binny said...

Hi,
Congrats on a very nice job u r doing here.

i am currently working as a system engineer.in my iqama my profession is Network Technician as i have a diploma in computer networks.i would like to know that can i bring my wife here and after getting visa do i have to show my diploma in my country embassy to get my wife visa.

my second question is that my wife is archtitect by profession.can she do job in saudi arabia.are there any apportunities for female architects.
plz reply

Expatguru said...

Binny,

Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comments. You are on a skilled category and should have no problem in sponsoring your wife. Just follow the procedure mentioned here.

Regarding your second query, unfortunately there are not many avenues open for working expatriate women in the Saudi Arabia, so if your wife is already working in a good position in your home country, consult and do explain to her the situation here, with her before bringing her. You may also wish to bring her here on a visit visa, if she does not want to let go of her career back home. For more information, check this link
http://workinginsaudiarabia.blogspot.com/2007/10/working-women-in-saudi-arabia.html

Sonu said...

many many Thanks for your informative post.

Im planning to bring my parents on Visit visa for 2-3 months.I am an SAP Functional/Technical Support Officer and in my Iqama profession is Computer programmer.

I am just counting on my dad and mom to visit here , I am only son to him and in India nobody to take care my parents.

I read your answers, In one comment you reply that anyone can bring Father and Mother for visit visa if iqama profession is good.

Last question is there any Law or G.O. passed in the kingdom to bring Father & mother visit visa without any intruption.I consult so many person, they disappoint me.
Waiting for your answer.

Thanks in Advance.

Aamir.

Expatguru said...

Hello Aamir,

Thanks for your comments. Several times I have thought to myself that I should now stop writing this blog, thinking it is a waste of my time and effort. (I don't get paid unless people click on the ads around, so why even bother). But when I see such encouraging comments that someone is getting benefitted out of my writing, it feels so good that I think I should not stop writing.

By all means, do bring your parents. To specifically answer your question, do apply for 90 days (which normally should be approved). Once your parents are in the kingdom, you can have 2 more renewals which means that they can continuously be here for atleast 5 months. Of course, it is impossible for them to be here permanently, but after every 5 month-period, you can always apply again and bring them here for another 5 months! And if you feel that this blog has been of some help to you, do tell your friends about it and let me know any specific topic you want me to cover. Good luck to you!

Anonymous said...

Hello expat guru, i was searching on net for the requirements & procedure of visit visa. My husband dr in health organization, and i am housewife.
I wanted to know that whether its possible for my husband to have the issuance of visit visa for my sister and her kids.
And what will be the procedure for business visas. As we would like to invite sister's husband too-and i think only via business visa its possible if any other available then do inform about it too. Thank you in advance.
However i would like to appreciate your effort in providing help to all the expatriates which is rare to find in dry saudi arabia environment.

Expatguru said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. It is impossible to sponsor someone on a visit visa, if he or she is not a blood relative of either you or your husband. That is, either your husband's parents, your parents or your children alone can be sponsored by your husband on a visit visa.

I am not aware of Business visa requirements, so would not be able to give you information on this.

Anonymous said...

Hi

I would like to bring my wife with a kid for permanent residence visa under my sponserhip. I am graduate with degree certificate, and I am working as secretary However My pisition in Iqama is Electrician. Is there any chance for bring my family with this position or i need to change my position in Iqama?

Secondly if it is possible with the present position as 'Electrician' will it required to attest my degree certificates? please reply.

regards,

Ashraf

Anonymous said...

Hi ! I am working in KSA from last 10 months, I am working on NAJJAR profession ( Carpenter ) I want to bring my wife & my daughter here. I had completed my graduation degree in BA from Nagpur University, India. Pls. suggest me the procedure & documents which I need to get attested from Saudi Embassy, India.
Thanks..
pls. reply me on my mail ID pramod_uchitkar@yahoo.com

Expatguru said...

Ashraf,

'Electrician' falls under skilled category, so you can bring your family. There is no need to attest your certificate for this.

Expatguru said...

Pramod,

Read my comment above for Ashraf. The same applies to you too. Just follow the procedure given here.

Anonymous said...

I am working for a company in India and have to visit Saudi Arabia for 7 months for a project in an Saudi Company. The Saudi Company has sent an visa invitation letter and mentioned the type of visa as "Vist Visa" what is the procedure to obtain the visa and wht are the documents required for the same? Please advice ASAP

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

You sponsor will take care of all visa formalities, so don't worry. He will let you know of the requirements.

Anonymous said...

Tx expatguru for all ur help. this blog is very useful. I am currently working in Saudi Arabia for 3 years now and have just been married. I have been issued a visit visa for my husband but just for 1 month. We were hoping for 3 months. You did mention renewal of the visa twice at a month each time.. my questions are how to go about this; how long will it take; and how long before the expiry of the first visit visa shud we apply? Also i got his visa via the hospital i work for. thank you again. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Dear Expat Guru,

I am 27 non-married male and have an offer from a good company of KSA (either Jeddah or Riyadh)....

What I would like to know is the process of bringin my mother along as she is depandent on me and also my younger brother who happens to be 17.

If they cant stay with me permanetly is there a way to get them to come with short intervals.

Please let me know of the solution.

thnx in advance

Expatguru said...

It is impossible to bring your brother as your dependent. It is also not normally possible to bring your mother permanently. However, in special cases, if your sponsor agrees and if you give a declaration that you would bear all the expenses of bringing her, then you may be allowed to bring your mother. Of course, it all depends on case to case basis, and of course on the mood of the Saudi officer who is processing your paper. Remember that it is also next to impossible to bring your brother on a visit visa, but is much easier to bring your mother on a visit visa. The only hassle is that she has to go back after a maximum of 2 renewals, each of 1 month validity and come back on a fresh visa.

Hope this has been of some help.

Anonymous said...

Dear expat guru,

I am working in KSA as an administrator. My iquama job is "fanii tharkeeb thakeef va thabreed"(I think it is HVAC TEchnician or something like that.
I wish to brin my wife and kids here and in plan to submit a family visa application. Somedays before I asked to a Sudi colleague working in our govt.relations department about the possibility fo the same. At that time he said it will be ok and no problem for family visa to this kind of proffession. But now he says it will be impossible due to the change of law and now family visa is issued only to engineers and doctors.so I need to change my profession to file apllication.

Can you please advise me regarding this.And can you please confirm whether the law has been changed.

thanks
sanathanan

Anonymous said...

hello i was just trying to find answers via google about business visa to riyadh, saudi arabia. until i saw your blog.
my husband is on a business visa in riyadh, saudi arabia. he requested his employer to process a visa for me to be able to visit riyadh for just a week or two the most. would you know if this request is possible? is it true it'll cost around US$900 or so for processing?

Expatguru said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. It is impossible for your husband to sponsor you on a visit visa, as he himself is not a permanent resident. I really doubt whether your husband's company could also arrange a business visa for you because (a) you are a woman (nothing wrong with that, but remember, this is a very conservative Islamic country with strict rules) and (b) you do not have any business dealings with your husband's sponsor, only your husband has. The only solution is for your husband to make a short trip home to meet you.

Anonymous said...

I am working here in saudi arabia nd have a visual display designer visa. my problem now my new job as a bank teller the bank want me to change the status of my profession to general labor. there is a risk involved in changing my profession to labor? I am graphics designer.

Expatguru said...

Never agree to this. If your iqama profession is "Labor", you can never bring your family into the kingdom. Also, certain benefits like going to other GCC countries like Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, etc., is not possible.

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

It is not true that visit visas are issued only to engineers and doctors. There is a restricted list, which includes labor, barber, carpenter, plumber, painter, etc. HVAC Technician is a skilled job and I see no reason why you cannot bring your family. Good luck!

Expatguru said...

To the Anonymous working in the hospital (please, atleast use a pseudonymn, as there are so many anonymous people!),

Ma'am, I wish you just re-read my post above. It contains answers to all your queries!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for having thsi blog about going to the Kingdom, actually I use your steps about the Family vist visa and i just followed it and it help me a lot and it was easy as abc.
But one problem that I encounter when I finish filling up the online form ,their is a name for specimen needed for my employer (stamp and signature) my employer does not want to sign on this asking them the reason but they could not tell. Eventhough that I stated all are all my expense and responsibility.

Is there any other way I could get a family visit visa if my employer does not want to sign and stamp the said document that I fill up online or I could be the sponsor for my wife as you have mention in your blog if your IQAMA is an engineer there is no problem?
Or is there any other way I could get my wife at the Kingdom?

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

You have to only get an introduction letter in Arabic from your employer. Please explain to him that there is no obligation from his side, he is just stating that you are his employee. In fact, the introduction letter need not even be addressed to anyone, it can simply be "to whomsoever it may concern". Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hello hope you can give me more clarification...I get my wife a visit visa as i read in the english letter that the visa will expire 3 months, but in the arabic at the lower right said only 1 month.after two months staying here i give the passport to our public relation officer for the renewal then he told me the visa expired. my question is for my neglegence of renewal for the visa why the goverment as me to pay 10,000 riyals? is that resonable enough? or ther is any agency that can help any one like me not to pay this big amount of money. To pay for a penalty is ok but the amount that they are asking is more than to much. And what are the basic penalty for the case like this? thanks

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

I feel sorry for your situation. This is a common problem for all the expatriates, particularly those who do not know Arabic. I am not a lawyer and cannot guide you on legal matters. However, the best way I feel would be to use some influence ('Wasta') to ensure that your wife goes on exit without you having to pay a fine. Try explaining to your PRO that you were just following what was mentioned in English and even give an apology letter saying you will not repeat this "mistake" (usually this works!). Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I am working in saudi arabia and the profession in my iqama is "BiNA TOOB" I think it will be "mason", so please let me know can i get family visa with this profession.Or should i have to change the profession. I have a degree in B.SC. with maths,physics and computers with all attestations from saudi embaassy and education ministry in india and ministry for external affairs in saudi. What profession i can change with this degree? can i get family visa immediately after profession is changed?

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

First of all find out which visa your company has. Take the help of a professional agent who can guide you based on the available visas which are eligible for bringing families. Since you have already got the required attestations, profession change is easy, provided your sponsor cooperates. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I am working in Saudia as a Computer Programmer.I do have a residence status here. I want to know can I enter in GCC country like UAE for few days without any visa.

Second I want to know if I call my parents here on visit visa then can they go for HAJJ with me? Will ministry of HAJJ will give permission to my parents to perform HAJJ if they are on visit visa.

Thanks

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

You cannot visit any GCC country "without a visa". You may be working as a computer programer, but what matters is the job title mentioned in your iqama. If it is "labor", it is impossible to go to any other GCC country. If it is "Engineer" or "Doctor" or one of the permitted trades, you still need a visa to visit other countries. The only exception is Bahrain and that too if you travel by the causeway and not by air.

Regarding your parents performing Hajj while they are on visit visa, I am not aware of this. Please check with some professional travel agent.

Shafeek said...

Dear Sirs,

I got my mother in law visit visa three months before. Due to some difficulty, I could not sent it for stamping in India. Is the visa expired? if so what is the next course of action? When I tried to enter new application, it says one visa allready issued.

Expatguru said...

Shafeek,

The visa is not expired because it is not even made. What you have done is just to get a "permission" for a visa. Now just follow the steps I have mentioned above and ask your mother in law to submit it in India. The rule is that from the date of stamping in India, she has to be in the kingdom within 30 days. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hello,

The profession on my Iqama is "Computer Programmer". So can I get UAE visa easily at Dubai Airport?

Second can you give me a list of permitted trades which are allowed the visa after landing at any GCC country.

Kind regards

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

This blog is meant to give my opinion about working in Saudi Arabia, of which I am familiar with. Regarding other GCC countries, please contact some professional travel agent who would be able to help you.

Anonymous said...

Assalamu alikum,

Thank u very much for posting these kinds of tips, which is very much useful to others> ofcourse the Almighty will give u benifites for ur helps.
Now let me come to the point,
In my Iqama my profession is Aamil ( Labour ) , so how could i bring my wife? I'm an Engineering Diploma Holder . How could i change my Profession?
Someone told me that even if i change the profession in Iqama, in the Jawaasat Computer it will still apeeared as the old profession and they will reject the visa application, is it true?
But some one offered me by giving 14000SR, they could issue family visa, is it leagal?
plz replay my queries..

sandpaper007@yahoo.com

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

I have said several times in this blog, that it is impossible to bring your family if the profession in your iqama is "Labor". First of all, get your profession changed into a technical category. For this, the cooperation of your sponsor is needed, as he alone can help you.

Regarding someone's offer to get you a family visa for SR14000, just remember one thing. Had it been so simple, the kingdom would have been full of families of expatriates as all the "labourers" would have brought their families by now. Please, you are an educated person, there are better ways to spend this money than believing such nonsense!

Binu said...

Dear Expatguru,
The blog you are maintaining is much useful for those seeking an advice.I am working in yanbu and my profession mentioned in iqama is fabricator. My wife is arrived in a hospital in riyadh. came to know that some upgradation is made on the labour law in last month. Is it possible I can get transfered to another sponser in riyadh with out NOC from the present sponsor in humanitarian ground since my family is in riyadh? Whether they removed th NOC requirment for reentry to saudi with the upgradation.Please confirm.
Thank you
Binu

Expatguru said...

Binu,

Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comments. Regarding your query, it all depends on your sponsor. Read my previous article on this

http://workinginsaudiarabia.blogspot.com/2007/06/switching-jobs-in-saudi-kalli-valli.html

Anonymous said...

Dear Expat Guru,

I have got a very good offer from a new company in Saudi Arabia. Company is providing me with an Engineer Visa. But I am holding Bachelor of Arts in English Literature degree. Will the consulate in Mumbai ask for an engineering degree. I don't want to miss this offer, so please advise. Abid

Expatguru said...

Abid,

Consider yourself extremely lucky, because engineers here are on painter visas! An engineer visa is a prized possession (no matter what your qualifications are). I do not know whether the consulate will ask for your BE degree certificate, but anyway it is your sponsor's headache. Just ensure that you read the contract properly and the company you join is good. I would advise you to go through my entire blog from the beginning. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

hi ,
I have come to KSA on family visa.Can i know how many times my visa can be renewed.That is how long(months) can i stay here in a streach.I have been here for the past 9 months.Came to know that it can be renewed for 11 months(2 months on every renewal---was doing like that for me till now)Is it true???.DO u have any info regarding the tottal number of months for which it can be renewed ....

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

The rules have been changed recently. Now, the initial period of visit is for a maximum of three months followed by renewal two times of one month each. This is what the rule says, but if someone has got more time than this, then it is sheer luck as it depends on the mood of the guy stamping the visa! If you want to stay beyond 5 months, you must go out of the kingdom and come back on a fresh visit visa.

Also note that as per the new rule, if a person on visit visa overstays without renewal, there is a fine of SR10,000 plus deportation for the sponsor, so please take care!

Anonymous said...

hi Guru,

pls i want to know that my wife was here in january and there was a delay in the extension of visit visa second time for a four days, and they took 100 riyals coupan extra and gave me one month visa, and after then she left to pakistan. any possibility of 10,000 panelty on me or deportation. pls advise me
thanks

Expatguru said...

Now that your wife has already left, there is nothing to worry. This new rule was introduced only very recently and hence is not applicable for earlier cases.

Anonymous said...

Hi

I came to KSA for company's work on Business visa. I worked here for two months. When I was travelling back, the immigration officer told me that my visa was for one month only and hence i overstayed. So i could not fly. Please let me know what is the remedy now. I just need exit from KSA.

Thanks

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

You should have known the validity of your visa before arrival in the kingdom. Now it is upto the company which sponsored you to pay the fine (which is quite a heavy amount). Thank your stars that you are not behind bars. You must immediately push your sponsor to sort it out urgently. If you have difficulty, contact your country's embassy.

Alok said...

Hi Expatguru!
My name is Alok and i am employed with an Indian company. 2months back i was posted to KSA to work as consultant with a company (This KSA company is my sponsor) atleast for one year and there are 99% chances that we can stay for another year. Now i was to bring my family(my wife and son) (my visa is family visa) not for visit purpose but to stay with me till i work here. Kindly either detail me the procedure or get me the link for desired information.
Thanks

Expatguru said...

Alok,

Thanks for visiting my blog. Bringing one's family on a permanent dependent visa is a complex process involving several factors such as your job title in your iqama, etc. It has to be handled by the Government Relations Officer of your sponsor with the Passport Department. To my knowledge, there is no online link or form for this and hence I am unable to help you out. Hope you understand.

Anonymous said...

Dear Expatguru,

I moved to KSA january this year on construction labor visa. I am computer network engineer. but due to profession in iqama i wasn't entitled to bring my wife here. But fortunately I found one guy in Riyadh who said just pay 2000 riyals government fees in Riyadh bank and give that slip with documents to me. And when you get visa then pay 11,500 riyals. He said he will do it in 15 days. But can you believe once i send him bank slip with all documents after 4 days he called me and said your visa is ready come and check on mofa website and pay my 11,500 riyals. Alhumdulillah now my family is here and now I am trying to get visit visa for my parents but unfortunately i m not getting positive response from any agent. I am transfering my sponsorship to my company and then they will try to change my profession. But I heard even with good profession they will not give visit visa to father, they will only give mother visit visa. I am not sure about this. So currently I am thinking to call my parents on umrah visa and then keep them with me in Jeddah for long time till I didn't get visit visa for them. What you suggest?

or if did not get visit visa in future then might i will send them back after 3-4 months and then call them again on umrah visa. so first time of over stay will saudi consulate will stamp umrah visa again or not? can you help me with this? your input will definately help me in taking any decision.

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

I do not know whether what you have done is legal or not. I also do not know your current job title in your iqama. Something is really not right, which is why none of the agents are ready to help you. It is best that you take your sponsor into confidence and let him handle your case, as he would know the complete details. Also, do not ever even remotely try any illegal activity, as it may end up in you being simply deported, or worse still, you may be jailed. And the people who would suffer would be your own family and parents.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,

I am working in a company as a System Administrator in KSA. I have bachelor degree in computer engineering also Microsoft and Cisco Certified engineer. But unfortunately my iqama profession is house driver(!) and I am suffering a lot. I want to change my profession legally. Illegaly I can do it very easily whatever may be the rulea and laws, because the authorised persons are violating these rules!). Sir, just I am asking with 100% guarantee that you will say not possible, Can I change my profession from house driver to Computer Engineer status?

Expatguru said...

Absolutely! The only thing you need to do is to get your original certificate attested by the Saudi Embassy in your country, fill in the required form and submit the same through your sponsor to the Passport department. The process is quite simple, so don't try any illegal means and waste your money!

SAMEER AHMED said...

Hi

my wife is working with a hospital IT section and she's under my sponsorship and now her employer(hospital) wants her to change her sponsorship , I am just wondering is family visa transferable ????

could you tell me abt this blog is family visa transferable ?

Expatguru said...

Sameer,

Family visa is definitely transferable. You just have to delete your wife's name from your sponsorship and her employer will add her name. There are standard forms for all of this. However, please be careful about the implications of this and make a judicious decision.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Expatguru,
I appled for a position of Financial Analyst in an IT Company of KSA through their website. I was interviewed by its CEO on my phone. After the interview he selected me for the post. When I asked him about the offer letter he said to me that he will send me via email. I thought that the letter of offer would be a scanned copy on company's letter head but it was simple on doc. format with no company logo. I have emailed the company several times to send me a proper formal offer letter but failed to get any prompt response from the company. I asked about the company's reputation it is one of the leading IT Company of KSA. I just keep on emailing the company and its CEO but I have never got any response through emails. When I got hold of the Company's CEO he told me that his company only issue such offer letters on emails to the candidates. I am still very much confused why saudis dont reply be emails.
Regards

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Something seems to be fishy with this company. Even after your telephonic conversation if the company does not want to give you a proper offer letter, common sense says that you should right away dump this so-called "offer" and look for better prospects.

By the way, just because one guy didn't reply to you by email doesn't mean that all are bad. There are good and bad apples in every basket. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi Expatguru,

An extremely helpful blog, many thanks.

My question is - is there a maximum age set with regards to my children visiting their parents in Saudi. I will have no problem in respect of my profession, etc, but am concerned as to whether my son and daughter (in their twenties) are able to visit my wife and I.

Your expertise would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,

Peter

Expatguru said...

Peter,

Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comments. You should have no problem in bringing your daughter. However, there could be a problem in bringing your son, because any male above 18 years is considered as a potential job-seeker in the kingdom (strangely, this perception is not for women!). I suggest you may give it a try, and with luck you should be able to have both your children in Saudi. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the speedy response. It was as I suspected. Let's see if they allow my son to visit.

Regards,

Peter

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,

Its really a very suitable title you chose for urself 'Expat GURU'. It really resembles the way your posts giving information to all the readers. Very much appreciate your efforts and requesting a advice / info from your good selves for the following query.

We are a couple living here in KSA with our 5 year old son. My wife is a Doctor working with MOH and I am an Engineer working in pvt co. My iqama profession is 'Auto Mechanic'. With this profession I brought my son last year through my company only.

My query now is, we would like to bring a housemaid to take care of my son and cooking, as my wife is pregnant now and not able to take care of house duties. Can we bring some body from India(TN)? What is the procedure and how to proceed?

Thank you very much in advance for the valuable advice on this.

with regards

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Thanks for your comments. It is impossible for you to sponsor a maid for the simple reason that both you as well as your wife are inturn being sponsored by some one else! Bringing someone into the kingdom for employment is exclusively a right given to Saudis.
The best option for you would be is to bring some close blood relative, i.e., mother or mother-in-law to help you out or better still, to have the delivery done in India as most expats here do.

Anonymous said...

salam alaykum
my iqama is [kharabai aam]my compony is new but good salary.my total salry is 4325/saudi riyal. my factory agree to me bring faimly.is give salry certificate.i apply in isteqdam for faimly permonet visa in aqama here reject and said bring visit,why i don;t no.i have iti certifecat 2year but not attacted HRD and saudi embsy in mumbay
so pls, how i try again and what needed.

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Follow the procedure I have given here. Get your certificates attested by HRD and Saudi Embassy and try again. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

my profession is Medical Transcriptor, can i apply for my family visa not visit visa for saudi arabia.

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

I am not aware of whether a Medical Transcriptor can bring his family. Please check with some professional agent. Sorry for not being able to help you.

sj said...

Dear Sir,

I recently got my Iqama of Computer Engineer ("Mohandas Hasib Aali"). I want to bring my wife along with my parents. My wife is pregnant and expected delivery in 4-5 months later. Please guide me on;
* If there is any potential risk of not getting visa stamp for my wife in this condition?
* Can I bring my parents (father+mother) together with my wife in first place?
* Can someone guide me the best hospitals for gynecology (all the medical is insured for me and my family).

Thanks alot...

Expatguru said...

SJ,

All your queries are absolutely personal in nature and totally depends on you and your family. All I can say is that there is no connection between the visa stamping and the health of your wife. Regarding the best hospitals, I suggest that you consult fellow-expatriates in your place of work and then make a decision whether to have the delivery done in the kingdom or in your home country.

thesting said...

dear expatguru, my deployment to KSA will be this coming august 2008 as training coordinator in oil & gas company...i would like to ask what is the difference between the "technician and business visas? what are the restrictions? it might be one of those visas that my sponsor will be issuing to me. thank you.

Expatguru said...

Testing,

Both are totally different. A business visa is given for a short-term stay, eg., 15 days or 1 month. A technician visa is a permanent visa. You cannot bring your family nor obtain a driving license if you are on a business visa.

Anonymous said...

Hello Sir,

Your blog has been a very good resource of info for us.
I have a question to be clarified. I wish to apply for visit visa for my parents( ofcourse you had clearly mentioned the required details elaborately earlier on this blog..) and for which when i contacted my company they asked me to submit my degree + filled-in visit visa form + photos, to them so that they can issue me the salary letter and stamped visit visa form which I have to take to the jawasat.

Contrary to your mentioned details, I am in assumption that I need to apply online and so on...

I am little confused here;
1. do I have to submit my degree to the company
2. do we need company stamp on visit visa form
3. is ONLY the employment salary letter enough along with the remaining documents to be submitted to the jawasat.

Your reply in this regards will be highly appreciated.

Thank you
Arif S.

Expatguru said...

The procedure which I have mentioned is the latest - this I can confirm it for sure. Fill in the form online and submit all the required documents mentioned here to your company for taking it to Jawasat. I do not know why your company needs your degree certificate. You have not mentioned your iqama profession, so I assume it has got something to do with that, but Jawasat requires only the documents mentioned in my post. Company stamp is not necessary, but even if it is there, it does not matter. What I have mentioned in my post are absolutely necessary. Anything over and above this is only extra, which Jawasat will just ignore, but to keep your sponsor in good humour, it is better to do as what he wants, instead of arguing with him, to make your life easier! Hope you understand.

Zakaria said...

As Salaamu Alaikum,

I have just arrived in Saudi.

I am Indian Passport with U.S. Permanent Resident.

I am a Computer Network Administrator with a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from the USA (Authenticated by Saudi Mission Culture in Washington, D.C.).

But my visa is Electrician (Kharabai Aam). I could change my profession to Computer Programmer.

Should I get my profession changed and then apply for my wife and son or is my Electrician visa qualified to bring my wife and son to the kingdom?

Also, I have just arrived in Saudi three weeks ago and have not yet received my Iqama. Would I be able to apply for my profession change as soon as I get my Iqama or would I have to wait for a certain period?

If I had to apply for my family on my current Electrician visa without profession change, would my employer have to write my profession as Electrician or Network Administrator to go with the application?

Back in the US, I would call the immigration hotline to ask questions but there is no such thing here except your blog. Awesome job.

Jazakallahu Khair for all your help.

Anonymous said...

hello sir,
i am hired in ksa on family status.its two months now and i am thinking of bringing my family here.i would like to know how much duration will the entire procedure take.some say it takes 1 month to issue a visa is it true?I also have one problem my visa is of senior draftsman and i work here as networking engineer. Will that become a problem for the visa process for my family. Iwould kindly like to know these details..

Expatguru said...

Zakaria,

Welcome to Saudi Arabia and thanks for your comments.

You will have to wait till your iqama arrives before you initiate any further action. You cannot change your profession without a valid iqama, so there is nothing much you can do now except to just wait for your iqama to come. You are just 3 weeks old in Saudi. Things do not work here as quickly or efficiently as elsewhere, so unfortunately you just have to wait. Good luck!

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

I have my doubts whether you could bring your family with your profession as a draftsman. If you are a networking engineer, I would advise you to first change your profession to an engineer and then process your family visa formalities. Regarding the time for a visa, there is no such fixed time frame and everything depends on your luck. You must consider yourself fortunate if you get your visa in a month.

Sajay said...

Hello expat guru,

.I am hired here in Saudi in a software company.I am a software engineer here.I have been given family status and am on my preparations on bringing my family here. There were a series of certificate attestations of degree certificates,marriage certificate and birth certificates of my child that I had got done by an agency in my native.On receiving my certificates here in Saudi after attestation I came to know that the agency that did the attestations did not get my professional degree certificate attested.When I enquired they said only my secondary, higher secondary and BSc degree certificates only could be attested and the ministry of foreign affairs and education dept do not attest my professional diploma certificate.They said it would not cause any problem for my famly visa procedures here in Saudi and it is not needed for the process. Expat Guru please also tell me the rest of the procedures to be done for applying for the family visa here in Saudi and requirements.Will the time take more than 2 months in total for the entire process.
Hope you understand as I am eagerly waiting for the arrival of my family.

Your blog is really a great help and comfort for all expats in Saudi. Keep up the good work. Wishing you a all the luck for this wonderful site.

Expatguru said...

Sanjay,

What your agency says is rubbish. The HRD does attest your professional diploma certificate. But you must go there personally, as they do not entertain any agent. Just follow the steps given here. Regarding the time period, it is difficult to say, but once you get your professional certificate attested, generally it should not take more than a month (unless of course if is Ramadan period).

Anonymous said...

Hello,
I have always found your blog very much of help in many of my personal difficulties here.I have one doubt on one matter so I thought of asking u for advise. I am an Expat working here in Saudi since a couple of months and planning to bring my wife and child here.All the procedures for their arrival have almost completed but I wish to know on one matter I wish have a visit to my home to bring them here as my child is very small.I will have to take a reentry visa for that I guess.what measures should I undergo for the same and does it take any delay and I also need to return in a matter of 3-4 days .Is it possible and is the procedure too costly.

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Glad to know that my blog has been of some help to you. If your iqama is ready, you just need an exit/reentry visa which would cost you SR200. If your employer has agreed to release you to go home, then there should be no problem.

Zakaria said...

As Salaamu Alaikum,

This is Zakaria again. I just received my Iqama. My situation is mentioned again here as below.

I am Indian Passport with U.S. Permanent Resident.

I am a Computer Network Administrator with a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from the USA (Authenticated by Saudi Mission Culture in Washington, D.C.).

But my visa is Electrician (Kharabai Aam). I could change my profession to Computer Programmer.

Should I get my profession changed and then apply for my wife and son or is my Electrician visa qualified to bring my wife and son to the kingdom?

Also, I have just arrived in Saudi three weeks ago and received my Iqama today. Would I be able to apply for my profession change right now or would I have to wait for a certain period?

Should I use the services of my company to get the profession changed or use an outside service to speed up the process?

If I had to apply for my family on my current Electrician visa without profession change, would my employer have to write my profession as Electrician or Network Administrator to go with the application?

Jazakallahu Khair for all your help.

Expatguru said...

Zakaria,

I am rather surprised because your sponsor should be able to answer all of these questions. In fact, he is the one who has to do all the ground work, not you.

The first step is to get your profession changed from electrician. For this you need to show proof of your degree certificate (which you have already got authenticated). Ask your sponsor to get the required form from Passport Office, attach all the required documents and submit the same through your sponsor, after getting all of them translated in Arabic (those in English) and attested by the Chamber of Commerce in your city. Your sponsor is the one who should go to the Passport Department, as expatriates are not entertained there. Dont waste your time and money getting this done through any agent, as anyway your sponsor's approval is required. Sadly, only after your profession is changed can you bring your family. How long it would take to get this done, is purely dependent on luck and probably to a certain extent on the amount of influence (wasta) your sponsor has. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Expatguru,
Yours is a great blog with a wealth of information.
One friend of mine from India has a unique problem. He is a doctor working with MOH. He and his wife have separated but not yet divorced officially. He being a Muslim, is planning to remarry. But his passport has the name of his first wife. After submitting the Arabic translation of his Nikahnama, can he call her with him to Saudi Arabia, as more than one wives are legally permitted in Islam and Saudi Arabia. Is it necessary for the second wife's name to be listed in his passport? Can you please guide the process in this regard.
Thanks,

Anonymous said...

Hi expatguru

My profession in Iqama is metal painter, i just want to know that am i able to apply for Residence or Vist visa for my wife and kids

Regards

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

I am unable to answer your queries as it seems to be too complicated. I suggest your friend should consult a legal expert or some official of the Indian Embassy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Expatguru

My profession in iqama is "dhahan mabani" may be it is building painter, i just would like to know that can i bring my wife and my mother on visit visa.

Thanks

Haleem

Expatguru said...

Haleem,

Unfortunately, for this category you will not be able to bring your wife or your mother. If you are professionally qualified, try changing your profession. Good luck!

amina said...

Great blog! I'm glad I came across it. I am considering working in ksa and looks like this place will be a good resource.
A question about family.. I am to teach at the university there and have kids. I just realized that the hiring agency has only asked for copies of my passport (& my husband's since he should be working too) but not of my kids. Are children issued visas based on their parents' status? should I be concerned?

Also, I wanted to bring my mother along with us so that she stays with the kids while we work until they get acclimated to the environment and people there. Is it possible to start her paperwork now from the States so that she can come with us directly or very soon after?

Expatguru said...

Amina,

Glad that you liked my blog. You must undertand the following:

1. If your children are over 18 years, they cannot be brought into the kingdom as your dependents. If they are below 18, then you must definitely submit their passport copies to your agent. However, note that usually it takes about 3 months for your kids to join you, because the first step is for you to join and get your resident visa ("iqama" as it is known here). Also, it is not clear whether you are on your husband's sponsorship or if your university is providing you a separate sponsorship.

2. Unfortunately, Amina, the term "family" as defined by the Saudi immigration authorities means only the spouse and the kids, not the parent(s) of either of the spouses. At best, your mom can only come on a visit visa. This also can be achieved only after you get your iqama. Check out in this blog elsewhere the procedure for visit visa (click on the drop down menu of the calendar on the right hand side of this blog and choose a topic which appears below).

3. I suggest you read my blog completely, from the first post, to get a clear picture, and then make your own decision.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

its really nice to see your site, infact it helped me alot just by reading this post, infact bringing families is the biggest chalange in saudi arabia, iam about to do the same for myself, iam working as an accountant and i have Associate degree from USA in science. someone told me that i need to have some accounting related degree or atleast a bacholer in order to bring my wife on permonent visa ( on my iqama) i really need explanation ( details )in this regards, is this really a must in order to live with your wife in the kingdom. do you think i need to go back to usa and complete my bacholers if i need to work and live with my wife in KSA.

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Glad to know that you found my blog useful. It doesn't matter which job title you currently have, what matters is the profession mentioned in your iqama. As a thumbrule, if it is mentioned as "Labor" or any such non-supervisory category, you would not be able to bring your family, so please first check your profession mentioned in your iqama, which is not necessarily the same as the job you are in.

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Glad to know that you found my blog useful. It doesn't matter which job title you currently have, what matters is the profession mentioned in your iqama. As a thumbrule, if it is mentioned as "Labor" or any such non-supervisory category, you would not be able to bring your family, so please first check your profession mentioned in your iqama, which is not necessarily the same as the job you are in.

Anonymous said...

hi..your blog is such a great help to most expatriates especially to those who have unanswered queries regarding visa problems. I am a computer engineer/programmer by profession but in my iqama i worked as a machine operator. is it possible for me to bring my mother-in-law under visit visa? my wife is currently working in the kingdom also.thanks a lot for your time.

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Thanks for your comments. With your current iqama profession, unfortunately you will not be able to bring your mother-in-law. There are two options for you. Try changing your profession, if your sponsor is cooperative. The second option would be to make your wife sponsor her mother, in case you are not her sponsor.

Anonymous said...

i have doubt ,is it possible to work in any company on dependent visa,if company agreed to give job,what is the rule of dependent visa.

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Don't even try it. If caught, you could be jailed. You need a work visa to work in the kingdom.

Zakaria said...

As Salaamu Alaikum,

I was told by my company that Profession Change can be done only if the person has lived in the Kingdom for at least one year.

Is this the law or is my employer trying to avoid getting my profession changed?

Anonymous said...

Hi Guru,

First of all congrats on maintaing such a great blog.

My case is that, I brought my my mother-in-low on visit visa on Feb., 2007. Two times I renewed here 2 months visit visa during her total stay of 5 months. But during the last renewal got delayed for 4 days, they charged 100 SR extra.

She left the country on mid july 2007 and after that I went on vaction also made couple of GCC visits. Two weeks backup I was suppose to go for vacation and requested for exit-reenttry visa, then came to know that there is a 10,000 SR fine. I have seen a post from you dated june 1, 2008 that these new rules are implemeneted recently, then I am not sure how I am impacted on this case which was happened on mid of June 2007. Also tell me what should I do next.

Waiting for your comments.

thanks... Saleem Latheef

Expatguru said...

Zakaria,

Your employer is talking nonsense. I personally know cases where the profession has been transferred as soon as the iqama was issued, i.e., within 3 months. Try negotiating with him or maybe you need to change your job!

Expatguru said...

Saleem,

You must involve your sponsor in this urgently. Do you have the receipt of SR100 which you have paid as penalty? You have a strong case in that the rule was implemented only in 2008 and secondly you have already paid the fine, so you cannot be punished twice for the same offence. Ask your sponsor to go personally to the passport office (he may need "wasta" too) along with the original receipt of SR100 and get this offence removed from the computer in passport office against your name. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi Guru,

I dont have the original receipts of 100 SR fine, but I can submit the copy of passport, which contains the 200 SR stamp.

What I came to know that the 100 SR fine is for renewing the expired visa and 10,000 SR is for the sponsor on accmodating the over stayer. Also now my residence permit renewal is nearing.

thanks... Saleem Latheef

Expatguru said...

Saleem,

In this case, your sponsor needs to have a very good 'Wasta'. Take his help and try to get the fine reduced. First try to reason with them that this overstay happened much before the new rule came into effect. If they are not budging, then atleast try to reduce the amount of fine by using the wasta. Do not go yourself, take the help of your sponsor with a good wasta.

Anonymous said...

hi,
my iqama is comp programmer, but my certificate is mechanical engineer (no hrd and saudi attest done so far). I have my marriage cert attested and translated. Will these docs suffice to bring my wife and 5yr old son in saudi.

Thx
A Shaik

Expatguru said...

Shaik,

If they are coming on a permanent visa, you definitely need to get your degree attested. If they are coming only on a visit visa, just follow the steps mentioned here.

Anonymous said...

hi, I just want to ask if it possible for me to apply for a visit visa for my mother-in-law. I am working in a company as a programmer but my profession in iqama is machine operator. My wife is working in the kingdom but she is holding her passport only and doesnt have an iqama. She is pregnant and she want to give birth here in saudi arabia. Is it possible for me to apply a visit visa for her mother under me with a letter from the hospital and other related documents?My company was telling me to fill up the form in mofa website and process to chamber of commerce and submit to mofa office with related documents. is it possible?

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

The title "Operator" is in the list of professions who cannot bring their families. In your case, your wife is already here, which is really your good fortune. You can try your luck. Just follow the instructions given here. You will know the results within a week. In case you are not successful, request your sponsor to help you change your profession in your iqama. Good luck!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
baqaullah said...

hello sir,

kindly put sum light on the relation between ones 'profession in iqama' and ones educational qualification. Does it necessary to match both. in a situation if it doesn't match then also a person is able to get his permanent family visa or not?

Expatguru said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Expatguru said...

Baqaullah,

Please read this link

http://workinginsaudiarabia.blogspot.com/2007/09/visa-profession.html

baqaullah said...

dear sir,

i am writing this to u again specifically in order to know whether there is any relationship between once "profession in iqama" and once "education qualification degree/certificate" in order to bring his family here on permanent visa. i have telecom technician profession in my iqama and i have Bachelor in Science degree(Botany,Chemistry). i would like to know whther authorities will except my request or not because of profession in iqama and degrees which are not maching

Expatguru said...

Baqaullah,

I thought the link clarified your doubts. Anyway, to give a specific reply, a "technician" as per iqama is eligible to bring his family. It doesn't matter about your specialization. In fact, in your case you have a degree certificate, even though it has nothing to do with telecommunication. Don't worry, just go ahead and bring your family. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi. I am a Filipina. My husband is working in Saudi but up to this time, he is still holding a visit visa. Can I go to Saudi since his company promised to sponsor me for a visit visa? What are the requirements that I need to prepare because as far as I know, I have to prove that I am married to him. Do i need trscription of the Philippine Marriage License to Arabic? If so, can any arabic school do the translation? How long will be the processing of my visit visa in Saudi? Please let me know...

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Your husband's company is taking you for a ride. Please note that your husband himself is a "visitor". He cannot sponsor someone else as a visitor. The basic requirement of a sponsor (i.e., your husband), is that he should have an iqama. Your husband's company cannot sponsor you because you are not in any way related to your company's sponsor! So, all the rest of your questions do not arise at all.

Anonymous said...

Dear Expatguru,

My baby was born in saudi arabia one month back. I've got certificate from hospital, Saudi ministry and even got passport issued by Indian Embassy. Very soon, I'm planning to travel to india and my baby may not come back to saudi. In this situation, is it mandatory to include my baby in my Iqama?? If so, where should i get it done and how? Thanks in advance.

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

You must definitely include your baby's name in your iqama to get an exit visa. I am planning to write a separate post on the procedure for this shortly.

JanZ said...

I must say its a great blog.answers are informative,useful and to the point.An excellent effort!!
my question is i have accepted an offer as a Sr. Telecom Engineer(grade 13),i would like to ask if i could take my wife and two kids with me to SA since i can't leave them there (in Pakistan).if that is not possible then could their residence be processed from Sharjah till the time i get my iqama?(which is not the country of origin).
Secondly could you elaborate what this Grade 13 means?

i have discussed the same with my Employer and awaiting their response.

Any information/Suggestions would be highly apriciated

Expatguru said...

JanZ,

Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comments.

First of all you must be clear about one thing. Immaterial of what your designation is, what really matters is the profession mentioned in your iqama. Please read this link which should answer your queries:

http://workinginsaudiarabia.blogspot.com/2008/08/permanent-family-visa-for-saudi-arabia.html

JanZ said...

such a prompt response :)thank you!!
what they'll do is yet to be seen,but since its a reputed company i am sure they'll apply for my iqama as an Engineer,my question is if i leave my home country alone and after getting my iqama could my family's residence be processed from a country that is not my home country?

Expatguru said...

Janz,

Your family must necessarily go to your home country for their visa to be processed. It cannot be done from a third country.

Hammad said...

Hi,

Your advices are very valuable. I am being offered a job of Business Development Manager in a Multi Billion Dollar Construction & Power Company. The offer given is totalling SR26,000 per month (plus Comprehensive Medical Insurance) inclusive of everything (i.e. house allowance, Paid vocation, Return Tickets, Transport allowance).

I have two questions, i) Is this package considered a good one for a 34y old finance professional with one wife and two kids (4y and 7months)
ii) what professional should I insist to put on my Iqama?

Regards,
H

Expatguru said...

Hammad,

Thanks for your comments. Whether the package is "good" or otherwise totally depends on you and I cannot comment on it. Each individual's needs vary and there is no general yardstick which is applicable. What applies to one need not apply to the other.

However, please note that house rentals are skyrocketing in the kingdom, so if possible try to get a company-provided furnished house rather than a House Rent Allowance.

By the way, you have no control over the type of visa you get. In fact, you cannot insist on anything - remember you do not have any rights whatsoever. What you can do though, is to "request" for an engineer visa or a manager visa. You must definitely get your visa profession translated into English from some Arabic-knowing person, to be on the safer side. See this link:

http://workinginsaudiarabia.blogspot.com/2008/08/saudi-expatriate-expectations.html

saami said...

Hi, thanks for this great informative service!
My brother in law just got a teaching job and visa for Saudi. My sister is pregnant and the work agent has told them that she can't get a visa to stay with him while she is pregnant. He says she will have to apply to join him in Saudi after she has delivered. How can this be true?

Expatguru said...

Saami,

There is no such rule from the immigration point of view. The problem may come from the airline who may insist on getting a no objection certificate from an authorized hospital. Usually, if the pregnancy is in the last few months, airlines do not encourage such passengers.

Anonymous said...

Hi, This blog is very useful for expat. Thanks to moderator.

I have bring my mother in "family visit visa". Is it possible, i can take my mother to makkah for performing Umrah. I have heard from my company muaqqab that Umrah is permitted only for "Umrah Visa" and not for "Family visa". Please clarify. If you can post a goverment link with regards to this law, if any, will be more helpful. Thanks
Mohamed Abooabcker Siddique

Expatguru said...

Mohamed,

Thanks for your comments. Your company is absolutely right, a person on visit visa will not be permitted to do Umrah or Haj. There is no government link for this rule, to the best of my knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Hello expat guru,
I am an engineer employed here since last 6months ..my family visa procedures are being ready ..iwould like to know if there would be delay in issuing the visa due to the ramadan period here...i had applied for the same last month but there seems to be no progress in the procedures...my company is doing the whole procedure for me..so i am unable to know of its progress does it take much time for the visa issueing or is there anything wrong...my families passport copies were not submitted and they asked me to submit it soon some days back and so i did.was it the reason for the delay.will it require months for the process to get ready...kindly advise.

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

It is common knowledge that things do not work at normal pace during Ramadan and Hajj periods. I understand your anxiety but you have no choice but to just wait!

Anonymous said...

Expatguru said...

Mohamed,

Thanks for your comments. Your company is absolutely right, a person on visit visa will not be permitted to do Umrah or Haj. There is no government link for this rule, to the best of my knowledge.

----------------------------------

No, you are wrong there. I twice brought my mother over on a family visit visa and she was able to perform Umrah without any problems. In fact, I once came to Saudi on a business visa and although the visa page stated 'Not Valid for Hajj or Umrah' again I was able to make Umrah without any problems.

Expatguru said...

Mohamed,

I have to verify the above statement made by an anonymous reader. I decided to publish the same, though I am yet to verify it and take no responsibility for it. I do not know how he managed to do Umrah "without any problems" despite the visa page clearly stating to the contrary. I will shortly write a post on this after verifying the same, but for the moment, I stand by what I said.

Anonymous said...

A person on visit visa is not permitted to perform Umrah or Hajj.
It is a different story if the law is not enforced most of the time.

If a visitor is caught performing Umrah or Hajj, legal action could be taken against him/her.

Even residents (Iqama holders) are required to apply for a Hajj permit.

Anonymous said...

i am an IT engineer working here since some months .Ihave one doubt,my iqama profession is civil drafts man ,is this title eligible to bring my family.
secondly my degree certificate is of bachelor in arts (history) ihad applied for permanent family visa but it was rejected saying my degree certificate does not match my iqama profession.Is that really a problem.
Finally i would like to know whether these barriers exist in taking of a visiting visa also
kindly advise.

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Let me answer your last question first. Yes, these barriers do exist for visit visa also.

You have not mentioned whether you have a professional diploma certificate in IT, as you say that you are an IT Engineer. Obviously, this was why your earlier application for permanent family visa was rejected. There is only one solution. Get your professional IT Certificate attested by the Saudi Embassy in your home country and then change your profession from draftsman to computer engineer or specialist. This way, your papers would be clean and you would then be eligible to bring your family on both permanent or on visit visa. Good luck!

Imran said...

Salam,
I just came in KSA on a Computer Enigineer visa and working in same capacity also but i do not have regular degree in IT. I have done Civil engineering and IT certication courses. Initially i had trouble in getting my visa stamped from Pakistan embassy becuase my degree did not macth with profession on visa. But my employer used his refernce and get my visa stamped.
Now my question is, do i have to present my degree here while applying for my wife and parents visa.
Please explain.
Thanks.
Imran

Expatguru said...

Imran,

You must get your IT certificate stamped from the Saudi Embassy in Pakistan. Only then will you be allowed to bring your parents and wife into the kingdom. Do not produce your civil engineering degree, as the request will get rejected.

Anonymous said...

I have gone through your blog and found it greatly helpful.

I have been offered a job in Riyadh within Financial sector and
expected to move in November subject to getting the visa.

I am a British national living in Pakistan at present. My wife is
Pakistani and holds UAE residential status. The employer suggests that he would apply on my British visa as things move quicker.

Can you guide me

- If employer applies on my British passport, do I need to get it stamped from KSA embassy in the UK or can get it done from KSA embassy in Pak?
- What is the best way to apply for the family visa after wards, i.e.can family visa be processed from UAE or it has to be from Pakistan since her passport is Pakistani?

Also, I have heard that if you do not hold masters degree or equivalent then one can't bring the family, is it true? Although, your blog suggests that only thing important is the profession on the Iqama.

Appreciate your assistance, as I need to make a decision soon.

Regards,
Ali

Expatguru said...

Ali,

Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comments.

You are a British passport holder, so your visa has to be processed only by the Saudi embassy in London.Your family visa can be processed in either the UAE or from Pakistan. In case of UAE, it would involve written permission of your wife's father.

You do not need to hold a Master's or a Bachelor's degree to bring your family. Just make sure that you are going on a visa having supervisory cadre profession, i.e., it should not be labor, mason, carpenter, etc. Also note that your professional certificates have to be attested by the Saudi Embassy in whichever country you did that particular course, so it makes sense if your wife joins you from Pakistan rather than from the UAE (as a matter of convenience), so that she can follow up the formalities in Pakistan.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks Expatguru.

One further question, how long does it normally take to bring family to Saudi. Can it only happen after completion of probationary period or employer should be able to support application earlier? What would be absolute minimum in your opinion :)

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Usually, from the date of issue of the 'yellow slip', it takes about 40 days for the family to arrive in the kingdom. However, it is preferable if the family joins atleast 3 months after an expatriate arrives in the kingdom, so that he would be comfortable enough to support his family. Also, during this time, he would have settled in a house and put some basic furniture in it. This is the reason why most employers prefer to wait until the probationary period is over, although technically, it is possible to start the process as soon as the iqama is ready.

Anonymous said...

Nice to read your blogs. I would like to know if a person is from india and if he marries in another country and gets marriage certificate from that country. Will the saudi government accept such marriage certificates. And whats the rule for men who wish to bring second wife to the kingdom?If already first wife is here, thanks.

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Where you get married is not an issue. However, remember to get your marriage certificate translated in Arabic and attested by the Saudi Embassy. The rules for the second wife is the same as those applicable for the first.

Anonymous said...

HI can some one let me know how to read a visa and understand it which is stamped in your passport for an non-Arabic person to understand basic information such as when it expires, when to exit and re-enter etc. A simple visa image and points the various fields with their meaning would be good. Thanks in advance.

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Blogger server does not have a provision for attachments. However, the following points would be useful. The date of expiry is usually mentioned in English. In fact you will find the words "Allowed to leave within three months from XXXXXX & re-entry within yyyyyyyyyyyyy from departure date". In the place marked xxxxxx, there is usually a rubber stamp in English. In the place marked yyyyyyyyyy, usually the Gregorian date is written. Sometimes, they write it as 2M, 3M, etc., the "M" meaning months. In such cases you have to be careful as it means that you have to return within the months mentioned. And remember, the calendar followed is Hijri, not Gregorian, so make sure that you arrive in the kingdom before the expiry date. For converting from Gregorian to Hijri dates and vice versa, you may use the tool given in this blog on the left hand side.

Nabil said...

Dear Expat Guru,
Highly appreciate your work here, it's very informative indeed. I have a question if you could shed some light on it. I am working in a company as an Electrical Engineer, profession on my Iqama is also of Elect Engineer. I have recently got my Iqama - Is it possible to get my wife and her younger sister (my sister-in-law) on visit visa to KSA?? I have the attested marriage certificate in Arabic ready.
Awaiting your response. Takecare.

Expatguru said...

Nabil,

It is usually difficult to sponsor someone who is not your blood relative or your spouse. The generally allowed people are the parents of either the husband or the wife, the children and the spouse. You may still give it a try. If you are able to produce some medical certificate for your wife, it may help your case, but anyway it all depends on the mood of the officer.

rafeeq said...

Hi! I am working in Saudi Arabia from last 10 months, My Proffession is "Fanee deccor", (Deccoration Technition), What i can do to bring my family here, am not completed my graduation, so i have no degree certificate, can u pls explain the proceedure to get family visa.

Expatguru said...

You must have atleast a diploma or a certificate which proves that you are qualified. This must be attested by the Saudi Embassy in your country, without which you cannot bring your family.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

What is the differnce between the Family VISIT VISA issued by MOI and Family VISIT VISA issue by MOFA?

Which one is easir to get?
Espically one someone wants to bring his parents in saudi arabia.

Regards
ASK!

Expatguru said...

ASK!

I have no idea about a family visit visa issued by MOI. All I know is that if you are an expatriate and wish to sponsor a visitor, you will have to approach the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as per the procedure given here.

sj said...

Dear Experts,

As always your comments are very much interested and helpful. I would like to seek your help on the process of Visa/Passports etc. of a new born baby in KSA. Please guide me as I have no idea and I am expecting a baby very soon (InshAllah)!

Thanks!

Expatguru said...

sj,

I will shortly write a separate post on this.

Ali said...

Hello ExpatGuru,

I am back with more questions !

Employer does not have the permanent visas and wants me to start on visit/business visa until he sorts out the permanent visa from the ministry. Is this usual?

Employer has been kind enough to send visa for my wife too !

We went to the travel agent as advised by the employer, and were sent to get vaccinated and was told that my wife, since she is 2 months pregnant should not get the vaccination, but more importantly, told that family visa for her would not be possible until after the baby is delivered. I found this utterly ridiculous, but reading your blog here suggests that nothing is unexpected in Saudi! Can this really be true? I saw another blogger raised the same issue earlier on, not sure if he has any luck with the consulate!

The way I understand the whole thing is that, we both will initially go on visit visa until permanent visa is applied. We will come back to our home country, I will get my work visa stamped and go back, get my Iqama to start family visa proceedings. Once I have the magic ‘yellow slip’ will send to my wife who would get her visa, which she won’t be able to until baby is born.

Expatguru said...

Ali,

Please note that you could be jailed if caught working while on a visit visa. I presume that you have been given a "Business" visa not a "visit" visa. If not, you must straightaway reject the offer as you are taking an extremely big risk!

Issuance of permanent family visa has got nothing to do with the state of pregnancy of your wife - all that you heard are just nonsense! People do bring their pregnant wives here and their babies gets delivered in the kingdom. Issuance of a permanent family visa depends on whether you have a valid iqama (residence permit) with a profession which allows you to bring your spouse. In other words, unless you yourself are on a permanent visa, you would not get an iqama and hence would not be able to bring your wife on a permanent family visa.

imdad said...

Salam Alikum...
I need few information related to profession change of my Iqama.Actually I m an M.B.A.( Finance ) working here as Accounts Executive.Present Iqama Profession AAMIL AADI...I want to bring my family here,and get attesetd all my degrees from India as well Saudi.My company has also started the procedure to change my Iqama and company conveyed me that we have changed yours labour card to MUHASIB AAM from labour department and now your details are with passport/jawazat Dept.for further proceed.First I want to know that what is the procedure of changing it,to get sure that my company is saying me rightly or only playing with me.
Second after changing the profession to MUHASIB AAM ,can Iqama be easily renewed or not and on the basis of new profession i can bring my family over here or not.
Please do Advise me,as these things worrying me since last few weeks.
Regards.
Imdad Khan

Expatguru said...

Imdad,

Your new profession translates into "General Accountant" which is eligible to bring your family. However, for this you need to submit your present iqama to the Passport Office after getting the form filled in by your sponsor. The form has to be attached along with your qualification certificate which must have been translated and attested by the Saudi Embassy in your country. If you have not done this, it means that no work has started for profession change and that your company is taking you for a ride.

imdad said...

Greatttttt Expats Guru....such a prompt response at your side..i am thankful to your kindself...
Let me tell you few things here which need your attention please.
I have done all my certificate attestation from india as well here with translation,after which my company submitted it to the concern Dept.Now company is saying to me that we have already changed the work permit into MUHASIB AAM from labour dept.and now for further process it is submitted to the Passport Dept.with all details.I just and just want to know that the procedure they are saying to me is worth or not.
Secondly,i need to know that after change of profession into MUHASIB AAM,will i get any problem in near future while renewing the iqama as heard that this profession is fixed for Saudi Nationals Only.
Thats all....
Please please....do Advise me again.....
Thanks

Expatguru said...

Imdad,

Is the iqama still with you? If you have submitted it already for profession change, then you need to wait. It is Hajj period now and things will take its own time. If your profession was reserved for Saudis only, then they would not allow a profession change to this category, so dont worry. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I want to call my wife on visit visa, as iam working here.

Any how you had already mentioned the process i think i want to make sure....the documents which are essential or not as follows:

1. Marriage certificate attested from Embassy ( iam calling only wife not in laws, this certificate needed or not )

2. How about education certificates, my profession in Iqama (AC TECHNICIAN), does it require relevant certificate or not or any degree certificate....because both i dont have.

just tell me..if iam eligible to bring my wife here in Saudi arabia without this.
Thanks ton.

Sameer.

Expatguru said...

Sameer,

If your iqama profession is an ac technician, you must definitely provide a diploma or a degree certificate or educational certificate and get it attested by the Saudi Embassy in your country. Otherwise it is impossible to bring your wife. For other procedures, read what I have mentioned above. It is quite clear.

Shah said...

Thanks for all the information..

Can I issue visit visa for my brother?My proofession is computer engineer ..

Regards,
Shah

Anonymous said...

Finding information on Saudi rules and regulations is so hard! I appreciate your work. My husband, (US citizen) just started working in Saudi. He has an iqama and I have a residence visa. I will be going to Saudi in December. My question is how long do I have to stay in order to obtain residency before I can exit and return home? I am trying to complete a project at my job in the US that will not be completed until August. So, is there a minimum amount of time in order to establish residency?

Jeremiah said...

hi great blog, i am about to sign a 1 year contract to work as a english teacher in ksa and would like to bring my wife and child. please could you tell me what they may put my iqamma profession as?
Also my wife would likely give birth in the ksa do you know if she can easily be seen at a hospital or do we need to pay?
and lastly how long will the whole process take to bring over my wife and child?

imdad said...

Hi,Expats Guru,
once again i m here for your kind suggestion.As i said you earlier that my Company is changing my profession so that i can bring my family here,and allahmdullilah right now i have received my iqama and passport mentioning profession change to "MUHASIB AAM",with Govt. stamp and other things.
I want to know that is this profession in my Iqama now(MUHASIB AAM)does not effect while renewal of Iqama,as i heard that this profession "MUHASIB AAM" i.e (General Accountant)is only for Saudi National.
Please do advise me as this is worrying me a lot.
With this, please do advise me also that,what is the procedure of applying Visa.
hoping prompt response at your end.
Thanks & Regards
Imdad Khan

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Thanks for your comments. Sorry for the delay in replying as I was out of town. If you are thinking of a quick addition of your name to your husband's iqama, then December is the wrong time. I would strongly advise you not to come until the last week of December or first week of January, because you cannot expect anything in Government offices to move during this period due to Hajj season. Though Hajj would be over by the second week of December, the backlog of work would be so much in the immigration office that your file would be last under the pile.

Once your name has been added to your husband's iqama (usually it takes about 3 to 4 weeks during 'normal' periods), then you are free to leave by the next available flight. Note that you must return atleast a month before expiry of the iqama. Be careful that all dates referred are not gregorian but Hijri dates. You may use the calendar given in this blog for converting from one to the other. Good luck!

Expatguru said...

Jeremiah,

It depends on whatever visa is available with your sponsor. You ought to be extremely careful with this. The Principal of an International School resigned because he could not bring his family, as he was on a painter visa. He was a double doctorate!! Please get your visa translated by someone who knows Arabic before arriving in the kingdom! If it is any non-supervisory profession (eg., labor, mason, painter, etc.) it is impossible to bring your family.

If you are on family status, the company will take care of all the maternity expenses, otherwise it is an expensive affair here. Usually it takes about a month from the date you submit your family visa papers, to bring your family (provided it is not Hajj or Ramadan period).

Expatguru said...

Imdad,

Don't worry. If it had been under a category reserved only for Saudis, they would never had changed your profession in the first place.

Expatguru said...

Shah,

You cannot sponsor your brother on a visit visa if he is above 18 years old, as he would be considered as a potential job-seeker in the eyes of immigration officers.

Anonymous said...

One month before, I have done change of profession and changed my profession from labor to engineer. Now my present company gave me local release and new company wants to hire me. But problem is my new company visa relation person told me that there is new rule in Saudi Arabia that you cannot change your company for at least 3 to 6 months after you do change of profession. Is it true? If yes then what is the solution?
Please advice me. Thanks a lot.

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

I personally know people who have changed their companies immediately after their professions have been changed. I am not aware if there is some new rule, but please ask your new employer to verify this once more.

Anonymous said...

HI Expat Guru, Thanks for your incredible work that helps so many. I need your help to understand the visa process as thsi would be the first time that iam moving out of India. I have got an offer from one of the leading company in Saudi Arabia. The designation on my offer letter is mentioned as "HR Specialist " and thats my profession. My recruitment company in Mumbai had asked me to get my degree certifacte attested through HRD, MEA , and Saudi embassy. The recruitment company also offered to get these attestation done on my behalf for Rs 8,000 per certificate, whcih i agreed for and paid the amount. I was under the impression that the attestation would take atleast 15 - 20 days from each of these depts. However to my surprise, in 5 days time, the recruitment firm confirmed that they have submitted my passport to consulate for visa endorsement. On checking with the recruitment firm , they said they have submitted my passport for visa endorsement and have not yet got the certificate attested. Need your advise to let me know what does visa endorsement mean and for whom is the certificate atttestation requried? Is certificate attestation a requirement by the saudi govt to enter saudi on work visa or is it just a requiremnt from the company who is hiring.

Can the visa get endorsed even if i had not attested my degree certificates and would i have any problems because of the same.

Also as per the recruitment firm , the visa for me is an Engineer Visa however my qualification is post graduate diploma in Human Resource and Bachelor of commerce. Can i end up in trouble because of difference inthe visa category and qualification

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