Friday, April 4, 2008

Bringing dependent parent into Saudi Arabia

I started this blog just as a hobby. However, at one point of time, work pressure and time constraints led me to stop writing. I have since been inundated with requests to keep blogging, which just proves how much scarce information is for potential expatriates planning to work in Saudi Arabia 8- So, I have decided to start writing again :) , although I would use discretion in answering questions from people.

One of the most popular posts in this blog seems to be that of bringing family on a visit visa to Saudi Arabia. I have been getting queries from people, particularly those planning to work in Saudi Arabia, whether it was possible to bring their dependent parents permanently to the kingdom. Answering this question could be quite tricky :-?

First of all, you need to convince your own sponsor that your parent(s) are completely dependent on you and that you would like to bring them at your cost into the kingdom on a permanent visa. The problem is that there is an unwritten rule which defines "family" as simply one's wife / husband and children. This definition does not include brother / sister / parents even though they may be your blood relatives ~X(
Once your sponsor has no objection to bringing your dependent parent, it would have to follow the same route as how your spouse / children are brought into KSA normally.
Whether the application would be approved or not is a big question, and it all depends on the mood of the officer who is approving the visa. The likelihood of bringing your parents permanently, if at all, is more bright to bring one's mother rather than father on a permanent visa. The logic (?) behind this is that there is a strong suspicion that the dependent father may start working illegally! True, this logic may sound as absolute rubbish, but that's how the system is #-o . As for bringing your dependent brother or sister, you can simply forget it.
Of course, it is much easier to bring one's parents on a visit visa. The procedure has been covered here earlier .
What I would advise the potential expatriate thinking of working in Saudi Arabia is to take into consideration all the above, before planning to relocate into the kingdom. Hope this post has been of some help to you.

47 comments:

സനാതനന്‍ said...

Dear expatguru,

I noticed this blog only now. I was searching to find some information regarding the formalities of ‘family visa’ in Saudi Arabia. This link was given by one of my friend. Before reaching here, I visited so many sites but believe me nothing was this much informative and helpful. I am sure that this blog will be a mater of discussion among the expatriates in Saudi Arabia (once it comes into there knowledge, and I am sure that will not take long time). Please continue the excellent work you are doing.

Cheers

Expatguru said...

Thanks for your comments. Glad to know thatI have been of some help. Do keep visiting this blog.

Anonymous said...

Dear Expat Guru,

I have spent almost 11 years in KSA. The information you are providing is exemplary. Let God bless you for this voluntary service!

Take care,

American Bedu said...

I am so very happy you chose to come out of retirement! Your blog provides a very valuable service.

I am ashamed to say I cannot find your email address from some of our earlier correspondence. I am moving forward now on that program I had emailed you about. If I can talk to you about it please email me soonest.

Regards,
Carol

Expatguru said...

Thanks, Carol. Would get in touch with you by email.

vijay said...

Hi Guru,

Its an excellent service thru wonderful writing done by you. I had a fair idea after reading ur entire blog and then got relocated to kingdom. I feel whatever you have written is 100% factual and very much informative. your madras tamilan blog is very good.

Being a bachelor, can i bring my dependent mum(father is no more). I m planning to get married later this year. In that case, can i bring my mum and wife together on permanent visa? or my wife on permanent visa and my mum only on visit visa? How is the rule here? please help. Thanks in advance.

Expatguru said...

Vijay,

Thanks for visiting my blog and for your comments. Unfotunately, you can only bring your wife on a permanent visa. Your mom can of course come on a visit visa. These days, visit visa is usually given for 3 months with 2 more extensions of 1 month each allowed. So, your mom can be with you for a maximum of 5 months at a stretch.

vijay said...

Guru,

Thanks for your immediate response on my query. Can i process visa for both my mum and wife together? or do i need to bring my wife to kingdom and then only to start processing for my mum?

Thank you,

Best Regards,
Vijay.

Expatguru said...

Vijay,

The two applications are independent of each other. You can start processing both of them together.

piyush06 said...

Hi Expat Guru,

This is an Excellent Blog and really helpful to us Expats who are in KSA. My query is on Permanemt Family visa procedure. In my Iqama, my profession is Mechanical Engineer and my employer has given me family status. Unfortunately, recently, my engineering degree has been misplaced. While applying for a permanent family visa do I need to show my Original degree to Saudi Consulate in India or Saudi authorities in KSA. Can u also elaborate on the Family visa procedure? In case you have covered this in your blog earlier, kindly give the link. Thanks!

Expatguru said...

Piyush,

Thanks for your comments. Please click on the dropdown menu in the calendar on the right side of this blog. You will get the various topics I have covered every month, below the calendar.

Ingie Zakaria said...

Hey...thanks for a very informative blog :)
My husband and I both work in KSA, each on our own separate visa, and my husband was thinking of getting his mom a permanent visa. He's an only son, and being a highly-paid business exec eliminates the technical difficulties concerning his iqama. His employer/sponsor is ok with the idea. She's 54, by the way.
According to your experience, do you see this happening??

Expatguru said...

Ingie,

Glad to know that you found this blog useful. Please check the profession mentioned in your husband's iqama. To the immigration officer, this is what matters, not his social status. Assuming a hypothetical situation that your husband's profession is mentioned as a "labor" in his iqama, it is impossible to bring his mother, however cooperative his sponsor is.
However, in most cases, it is a simple procedure as mentioned in this link

http://workinginsaudiarabia.blogspot.com/2007/12/family-visit-visa.html

Ingie Zakaria said...

Hey :)

I'm sorry if I didn't make it clear in my previous post. My husband's iqama says "accountant", and we were actually considering bringing his mom over on a permanent visa, not just a visit. What do you think? It's really cool that you know all that stuff, btw :)

Expatguru said...

Ingie,

Unfortunately, the definition of "family" by Saudi Passport Department does not include the parents, but only one's wife and children. It is impossible to bring one's parent(s) into the kingdom on a permanent visa. At best, you can settle only for a visit visa.

However, if your husband has enough 'Wasta' (influence) at the right place, maybe he can give it a try, but to my knowledge it is extremely difficult.

Anonymous said...

Hi Expatguru,

You are doing an excellent job. Thanks a lot. I like to know the procedure to bring my child here on a dependent visa. I am a degree holder andworking in a private firm as a lab technician. But the profession in the iqama is "Technical Labour". My wife is working in MOH as a staff nurse. Somebody told me that i can bring my 3 year old child as a dependant of his mother. Please tell me the procedure for getting such visa.
Thanks in advance


Saju

Expatguru said...

Saju,

I really feel sorry that you and your wife are away from your baby and I understand your feelings. However, with your current profession in the iqama as well as your wife's profession as a nurse, it is impossible to bring your baby here. But do not lose heart. You said that you are a degree holder. I would strongly advise you to immediately change your profession to technician or some other profession like "specialist" etc. The problem is with the word "labor". This should not appear.

Take your sponsor into confidence. It is a simple procedure. But before this, you must first get your degree certificate attested by the Saudi Embassy in India. Once this is done, it is only a matter of time before your profession is changed. All this talk of your wife sponsoring your baby is not correct. That applies only if the sponsor of the wife is the husband and clearly in your case it is not so. Do take steps as advised here. I pray for the speedy reunion of your family. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Dear expatguru,

Thank you for the great service you're doing!

We have an adopted child who is now 3 years old and me and my wife are his legal guardians. His birth certificate and passport also mentions the word 'guardian' after my name. I hope calling him on a permanent visa would not be a problem...?

Thankyou.

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

I am not aware of the legal issues involving bringing adopted children. As soon as I get some information on this, I will write a post about it.

Mohammed said...

Expat Guru,

Hats off to the excellent work that you are doing through this blog. Quite an effort.

I want to bring my wife to Saudi asap on a visit visa. I have already applied for it with the help of my sponsor company.

My query is that, do u have to send the documents to saudi embassy in bombay to get the visa stamped on her passport ? Cant I get the visa here and submit the visa at the airport (As in UAE). My intention is to get her here on the same/next day of getting the visa.

Expecting to hear from you very soon.

Thanks once again.

Expatguru said...

Mohammed,

Thanks for your comments.

Unfortunately, things are not so easy as in the UAE. You do need to send the passport to the Saudi consulate in Mumbai for visa stamping.

Anonymous said...

hi expat guru
u r doing really a great work n it is very helpful.i have a query regarding visa for my mother.i am a pakistani my mother is living in uae on resident visa now she will visit me in sudia n we will cancel her uae resident visa my question is after visa cancelation can i bring her directly to sudia from uae or first she need to go to pakistan n from there i can bring her in sudia
thanks

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Thanks for your comments. First of all, please note that you cannot sponsor your mother on a permanent visa. You can only bring her here on a visit visa, so please think twice before cancelling the UAE visa. Please see the archives for the procedure for sponsoring your mother on a visit visa. Click on the calendar, select a month and choose a topic below which I have written in that month. You can bring your mother directly from the UAE. Only please make sure you mention departure place in the online form as either Dubai or AbuDhabi (depending on where is is going to submit her visa application).

Anonymous said...

After bring dependant parents in KSA on Visit Visa ; can they perform Umrah Without any Legal restrictions.

RS

Expatguru said...

RS,

Umrah should not be a problem. There are restrictions only for Hajj.

cepeery said...

I am thinking about doing some medical work for a hospital in Saudi Arabia. I am a 29 year old female, married with two young children. I can find almost no information from people who have done this sort of thing, if I can bring my family, if I would have to pay taxes on my salary on coming home to America, if it is a good place for a family? Any help would be greatly appreciate, thanks.

Expatguru said...

Cepeery,

This is an extremely conservative patriarchial country. If you plan to bring your husband and kids here, first of all ensure in your contract that your employer is providing you with a "family status". Also note that your husband cannot work here, as he would officially be a "dependent". There are absolutely no taxes in Saudi Arabia, but I am not sure whether money repatriated from the kingdom is taxable in the US.

I would advise you to read this blog completely from the beginning (all the topics) to give you a clear picture before deciding to come here. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hi Expat Guru. I really appreciates the information that you have shared to us. It really helps a lot....

I would like to seek your advice. My wife & I are planning to bring her mother here in visit visa to see our daugther while we're working. My question is... is it possible that the visit visa will be changed into working visa over the 5 months period? I asked this because of possibility that my boss will sponsor my mother in law by giving her working visa as housemaid (She's 52 years old). We will have this arrangement in order my mother in law can stay with us much longer period and come to us in a yearly vacation. By the way, we will shoulder all expenses for this arrangement.

If this would be possible, what are the pros & cons of this arrangement? What are the proper processes to be needed and how much we will spend?

We are looking forward for your utmost reply. Thanks in advance.

Regards,

JR

Expatguru said...

JR,

It is impossible to convert a visit visa into any other visa. But if your intention is to keep your mother-in-law for a long period, then visit visa itself is adequate. She can be here for a maximum period of 9 months at a stretch, which I think is good enough. You can always bring her back on a fresh visit visa for another 9-month period whenever you desire.

imran Khan said...

Hi Expatguru;

First of all thank you very much for such a great information , i am sure there any many more who are taking benefit from your help.
I have done MBA and i am seriously thinking to move to KSA , i have my mother and sister in family and i have plans to bring them with me once i am there.
Right now i am getting not a supervisory visa , so what do you suggest can i go on that visa and change the iqma by showing my documents? once changing the profession can i call my sister and mother to KSA?
What other visa i should try to get?

Will wait for you reply.

Regards,
IMRAN

Expatguru said...

Imran,

You can bring your mother and unmarried sister(s) to the kingdom only on a visit visa, not on a permanent visa. Even for this, you MUST have a supervisory category profession in your visa. The days of getting a visa profession changed easily are long gone. It is almost next to impossible these days to transfer visas like labour, painter, carpenter, mason, etc., into supervisory positions. Try to get a supervisory visa first. Even then you cannot bring your mother and sister permanently, only your wife / kids, if applicable.

Anonymous said...

Hi Expat Guru,

I really appreciate your blog as it is very informative for expats. My mother is currently in KSA under visit visa status and I am working as a marketing specialist. I will be traveling outside the Kingdom on business trip for 10 days and I would like to ask if I can leave my mother in KSA while on business trip. Her visa will still be valid until the time I come back.

Looking forward to your kind feedback.

Kind Regards,
Anonymous

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Please fill in your query using the form through the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would give you a detailed personalized reply.

Anonymous said...

Dear Expat Guru,

I have a quick question, my parents are already in the kingdom, once I was under my father's sponsorship (as a student) now my father wants to quit the job but wants to stay with me under my sponsorship, my profession on iqama is computer engineer.
So is it doable, if yes then what is the process?

Best Regards

Adnan

Expatguru said...

Adnan,

Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized reply by email.

Qassim said...

I have been offered a very good job in the IT domain with a leading bank in Riyadh.
Can I get visa's for my mother and unmarried sister (who is a special needs child).
I know I can sponsor my wife and kids but need to be sure about my mother and sister.

Expatguru said...

Qassim,

Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized reply by email.

Rahil said...

My brother is working in Riyadh from past 4yrs & we all have born & brought up there but we all came to India in 2008 But my brother is working there as Personal Secretary & his profession is labor but he wants to call our mother & sister on permanent visa bcoz my father expired so is it possible if so pls guide us the way thank you in advance.

Expatguru said...

Rahil,

Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized reply by email.

mattphil said...

Dear Expatguru,
I had perused through your blog and found it has lot of information that very helpful to common man living in Saudi Arabia.
I need a help on the following that I had applied for visiting visa for my in-laws (my profession in iqama is computer programmer)
two weeks ago. One week after attestation at the Chamber of Commerce I got a message online to submit a copy of my visa and my wife' too at the Mofa office. I did that and still waiting for the reply. I still find the message that my request is submitted and when I enquired at the mofa office again they told me to wait 3 or 4 days more. But now I just applied again for just my mother-in-law an advice from a friend. Still not done attestation at CoC. Does applying twice affect the first application in any case, will they notice this?

Expatguru said...

Mattphil,

Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized reply by email.

Anonymous said...

dear expatguru;

is there a possibility of bringing my girlfriend here as family visa. we have a 2 years old daughter and thinking of bringing them here. your advise is truly appreciated

Expatguru said...

Anonymous

Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy which would get you a detailed, personalized reply by email.

Anonymous said...

Dear Expatguru,Thanks so much for this blog which is one of the best if not the best. I am a USA citizen got a job with Aramco through Al Hoty Group as an English Teacher. (grade11). I am the only son for my mother who has a slight dementia and I cant leave her behind. She can take take care of herself but she she doesnt speak English as she is a Jordanian citizen but has a green card in the USA. I was told I cant get her Iqama and I was even told that I cant bring her on a Family Visa since I am single. I have been told so many different things regarding this matter. One of the options was that I can go to Saudi and within 90 days if I find out while I am there that I cant bring her then I can just cancel my contract. I can leave my mother here for 90-120 days with my sister who can fly to here and stay with her for that period of time. Please I need your advice.
Kevin

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized reply by email.

Faiz F. Kazi said...

I am working as an IT programmer, and have same profession in iqama also.
My wife is bcom, b.ed. distinction with teaching experience.
How can she fins a job here in ksa from india?
Shall i bring her on family visa and then search for job here and then transfer to school or colleges sponsorship?
Kindly guide.

Expatguru said...

Faiz,

Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized and confidential reply by email.