Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Update on family visit visa

My earlier post on family visit visa has now been updated. Please click here to view the same. The changes are mainly in the online link of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also, now you do not need to choose the option of "family visit" as before. You would directly get the page in Arabic. The rest of the procedure is the same.

52 comments:

sa said...

can sister in laws be sponsored under this category for the visit visa if yes then what will be the criteria for that too i mean if i wish to visit my sister in saudi arabia wht will be the docs that i need to get submit..........kndly if u could elaborate this in detail

Expatguru said...

sa

Sisters-in-law cannot be sponsored under family visit visa.

PaJAY said...

nice topic expatguru...

but can i ask you re: health insurance?..

im currently working as Architect here in qatif (eastern province)...i was diagnosed with bronchopneumonia and possibly a tumor in my chest...(i was cleared and did not have this sickness before i came here)..my doctor is recomending a CT scan and a Biopsy to examine my condition which is very costly...

do i need to pay the expenses on my own? or shall i demand my employer to pay it for me under medical insurance that we are paying monthly (salary deduction)?.

hope ill get some answer regarding these matter expatguru..

Thanks..

Expatguru said...

PaJAY,

There is no reason why you should pay for this. Don't even offer to pay as this is the responsibility of your insurance company. What you should be worried is the competency of the doctor who is going to treat you.

S.Iyer said...

I am a Canadian passport holder (but originally from India) and I have a possible job offer from a British company for their Saudi office.

1. What is the typical "western salary" (hate the term, but it is true, isin't it?) for an Engineer with 7 years experience in the oil industry? I also have a Masters degree from North America.
2. I have heard that accomodation is scarce and I better ask the company to provide one. Is this true?
3. Should I negotiate for a company car too?
4. I have also heard that I can keep my passport since it is a "western passport". Is this true?

Sorry if I sound rude, but I have heard that pay and facilities in the middle east are decided by the passport you hold. Thanks.

Expatguru said...

Iyer,

You need not be apologetic about it, you just stated a reality. All over the Middle East, salaries are decided based on your passport, not necessarily by merit or qualifications. To answer your queries point-wise,

1. This is totally negotiable and depends on the individual. Since you are 'lucky' to have a western passport, NEVER EVER EVER undersell yourself.

2. You MUST ask for a company-provided FURNISHED accommodation. Dont make the mistake of taking a housing allowance, as rents are increasing exponentially.

3. Company car is usually provided, if not ask for one.

4. Usually the sponsor keeps your passport. Please negotiate with your employer before-hand that you would be keeping your passport with you.

Sorry to say this, but skin color DOES matter here, so it is quite likely that your employer may not agree to this unless you insist. By the way, even if you have the passport with you, don't imagine that you can leave the country whenever you like, because you would need an exit visa in your passport which inturn needs the concurrence of your employer.

KR said...

Hi Expatguru,

Thank you for your valuable inputs from time to time. I am an Indian working for a small audit firm in Riyadh. My sponsor does not have any Government relations officer or does have much of idea about the rules & regulations. My Iqama is nearing expiry this month end. Though it is responsibility of the sponsor, I am afraid about his slow way of working. Kindly outline the procedure for renewal of Iqama in detail. My profession is Accountant & also I have my wife with me on Iqama. Do we need to undergo medical tests again? No finger printing has been done before, is it required now? Also I was told that dependent wife will get only single entry visa! is it true. I generally get a Multiple exit re entry visa, but always my wife is stamped with single entry. Many thanks and All the very best.

Expatguru said...

KR,

Unfortunately it is your sponsor or his authorized Government Relations Officer ("Mundoob") who is supposed to do all this work. There is no online link. Your sponsor has to pay the required fees in either Riyad Bank or Al Rajhi Bank website and take a printout of the receipt as proof. This has to be attached with your current iqama, 2 photographs of yourself and one photograph of your wife (and kids if applicable) along with the Arabic form duly filled in and submitted to the passport office in Riyadh. There is no need to undergo medical tests. Once you get your renewed iqama, you are free to apply for a multiple exit/reentry visa for your wife also. Don't apply prior to this, because all exit/reentry visas would automatically get cancelled when the iqama is renewed.

For your wife's multiple visa, you will have to pay SR500 through the website of either Riyad Bank or Al Rajhi bank, take the printout of the receipt and submit it along with the filled-in form to the passport office. Alternatively, you can also handle this through the numerous agents who will do this for a fee.

Finally, if you are going to the passport office for any of the above, do give your fingerprints at the same office in another counter. (Not required for your wife).

SNSD said...

Hi Expatguru,
Greetings!
I am currently holding an Iqama, under the profession of "Funny Decor". I got Iqama on 1st week of March, 2009. I am having Diploma in engineering. My marriage certificate & diploma certificate are already attested by Saudi embassy from my country. My questions are:
1. Is it possible to change the profession in Iqama to Assistant engineer?
2. Is it possible to apply for & bring my family to KSA, under the current profession of " Funny Decor"?
3. When will the Original Attested certificates be required for submission?

I have been following your Blog for quite sometime now & it is a source of great knowledge to all expatriates like us.

Expatguru said...

SNSD,

I have asked several Saudis and none of them are aware of the meaning of the profession you have mentioned. Maybe you heard it wrong. In general, you will not be able to change your profession if it is a non-supervisory one, viz., labor, painter, carpenter, mason, etc.

rohit said...

I am working in Riyadh. My sponser is having manufacturing plant in Dubai also. So, if he wants can he transfer me from Riyadh to Dubai.Is intracompany transfer possible from riyadh to dubai?

Expatguru said...

Rohit,

Your employer must provide you with a valid UAE work visa.

S.Iyer said...

Thanks for you help and advice. You are doing a great job.

Anonymous said...

Hi Expatguru,

with regards to the query posted by SNSD on March 18th i believe he is referring to the profession of Decor(ation) Technician (Funnie).

Anonymous said...

Dear Expatguru,
Thanks for your valuble post. Now I am middle of a problem and needs your help. I have got an family visa for my wife and daughter. Last year she went for her second delivary and she could not reach on time. So her and my daugters family visa was expired. Now can i apply again. I have profession(Engineer) and certificates. Can i apply directly. Pls help.

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

There is an easier way to do it. Follow this link

http://workinginsaudiarabia.blogspot.com/2007/11/exit-reentry-visa-procedure-after.html

Note that the above is possible only if your iqama was not renewed in their absence. Otherwise, you can apply for a fresh visa.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Expat Guru... I would like to ask if is it really true that the application for visit visa for my mother-in-law has a slim chance to be approved compared to my own mother? Would you comment on this.... Thanks.

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

No, it's not true. Those days are long gone. As long as you have all the documents in order, there should be no problem in bringing your mother-in-law.

Anonymous said...

I have just got visit visa approval for my mother and mother-in-law for 60 days stay. I want to ask what is the validity of visit visa to get stamped from embassy? Is it two months?
(Adnan)

Expatguru said...

Adnan,

This is still undefined, but usually upto 3 months there is no objection. What is more important is that the visitor must arrive in the kingdom within 30 days from the date of stamping the visa in the passport.

CC said...

Hi! I just got my family visit visa approved today, but my wife's First Name and Middle Name is only given, Family name is not mentioned. Need to know whether this is a problem for getting visa stamped on Passport in India by Saudi Embassy.

Expatguru said...

CC,

Forget it, as long as the visa number is okay, everything's fine.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I got family visa for my wife but she got declared medical unfit back home while applying for visa stamp. Now can I bring her on visit visa? keeping in mind that her family visa is already been issued.
Please suggest the best possible solution. Thanks

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

The best way is for her to get treated and be completely cured. She has to give one more medical test and pass the fitness exam. Note that her passport number would already have been entered on the system and she may not be issued a visit visa s she has failed in the medical test.

Anonymous said...

Hello Expat Guru,
Could you please inform me my profession is a General Cook am I entitled for a Family visa.

Expatguru said...

Unfortunately, you cannot bring your family.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I would like to confirm where should I submit the required documents after I have applied online visit visa - in nearest Jawasat or MOFA Riyadh? I am confused at this time because our Govt. Relation Rep. advised me to submit the documents to MOFA Riyadh after Chamber of Commerce stamped it. He said that this is a new procedure. Could you please comment on this regard? Thanks...

mohd said...

Hi expatguru,

I have 2 question:

1)I already get a Calling Visa for my wife. May I know the Calling Visa validity time. The Calling Visa date is 1 April 2009.

2)Visa stamped date in the passport will follow the date of visa stamp or the date of Calling Visa?

Thank you.

regards.

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Your Government Relations Officer is right. As per the new rules, it must be in MOFA. However, renewal of visit visa is still done in the nearest Jawasat office.

Expatguru said...

Mohd,

I didn't understand your questions. Do you mean "visit" visa when you say "calling" visa. The validity will be mentioned in the yellow slip. This is the number of days the visitor is allowed, from the date of landing in the kingdom.

Anonymous said...

Hi Expat Guru.... The submission of documents must be done within 3 working days from the day that the visit visa online application was made. Is this still applied in the new rules? I made my application last Monday and planning to go to MOFA on Saturday (same week). Is my application still valid? Thanks.

Jasper

Expatguru said...

Jasper,

The 3-day rule is still valid. You must submit the application within 3 days from the date of online application.

Anonymous said...

i had applied and submitted the visit visa on 5th April, and its now 12th April still same form i can see , i cant see the yellow slip does it take so much time to process or what . please i am very worried

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Dont worry. Usually it takes about a week to get the yellow slip. Just go to the same link again and check. You will get a message in Arabic saying that it is under process.

Anonymous said...

Hi Expatguru,

My profession on Iqama is Computer programmer (mabr mig hasib al ali)... I applied the visa online for my mother and sister attested from chamber of comerece and then submitted yesterday and today i got the message on website like this .....

تتقدم الوزاره اعتذارها عن تحقيق طلبك – ع.ح

Can you please guide... what does it mean...

If its a rejection message as i heared... does it make sense to go to MOFA and get the reasons for that or if they need any clarifications.... your kind and urgent help will be higly appreciated...

Thanks and Regards
-Yasir

Expatguru said...

Yasir,

I don't know Arabic. Please get this translated from someone who knows Arabic. Usually, if you check within 2 or 3 days after applying, it is normal to get a message in Arabic saying that the case is under processing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for you quick reply. Yesterday when I submitted the application message was different...Like...

Complete application received on date 13/4/2009....

But today noon message is changed to this...

Anonymous said...

Dear ExpatGuru,

What is the link to know the result of my Family Visa. I already submitted my papers a month ago and I would like to know the result.

Thanks.

Expatguru said...

If you are talking about a family "visit" visa, then the link is the same which you had applied. For permanent visa, there is no link, you have to just wait.

Ranjith Sebastian said...

Hi Guru, I am currently working in Bahrain and is planning to move to Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Company is giving me a Marketing Specialist visa. Can you please help me on:

1) What is the procedure flow that I have to follow ?

2) When I went to get my certificates attested, i am facing problems with my educational certificate attestations. I was informed that the Saudi Consulate is not doing it any more. So how will I complete the process. This is a new development and was informed that this is happening for the past 2 weeks. Are you aware of the same ? Will I be able to complete the employment visa stamping / family visa stamping without Saudi Consulate attestation on my educational certificate.

Expatguru said...

Ranjith,

This is a new development, it appears. Without attestation by the Saudi consulate / embassy, it is impossible to get an employment visa stamping and also to bring your family. Please find out what other alternative the consulate has done, if they are not doing the stamping. Would you be kind enough to share that information here, for the benefit of other expats? I would gladly publish it.

Ranjith said...

Dear Guru,

The status is still the same. It seems NORKA ( the official attestation agency in Kerala) , EUROGULF ( Another huge attestation agency) - all have stopped the saudi consulate attestations. 1) Do you know of anyone who completed this in the last 15 days ?? 2) I was informed that my employment visa can be stamped even without the degree certificate - but to bring the family you need the attestations to be complete. Is this true ?
3) I also read in your blog that all attestations have to be done by us personally. However i think now HRD, MOFA and MEA attestations can be done through agents which I and currently getting it done. However are the agents backing out because we have to go personally for Saudi attestations ??

Can you give your views on the above.

Expatguru said...

Ranjith,

I write here based on my own experiences and the experiences of fellow expats. I am rather out of touch with what is currently happening in India, particularly on the attestation issue, and hence cannot comment on it. I guess a professional recruiting agent, based in India, might be able to guide you better on this.

Anonymous said...

Dear Guru,
I have been experiencing the same issue that I could not get my certificate attested despite trying it to be done through agents.The ansers were the same that we need to go to the consulate personally.
Sharing of any new development whcih you are aware of ,is highly appreciated.

regards,

MBM.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I have something to confirm with you about renewal of visit visa. The renewal of visit visa can be done only twice and can be given only by 1 to 3 months extension. This mean that, if I can get 1 month visit visa for my mother, she can stay here minimum of 3 months (1 month per renewal)and maximum of 7 months in case 3 months extension will be given for every renewal. Is my understanding correct? The 9 months stay at the stretch would be possible only if 3months visit visa will be given on approval of visa's application? I hope you could clarify. Thanks.

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Your understanding is correct.

Anonymous said...

HI Expat Guru,

I am new to saudi arabia came last month on a work visit visa for 6 months (Single entry), which means i cannot go back to India before six months or else the visa will expire. Incase if i want to have multiple entry & exit in KSA, what is the best visa type- multiple work visit visa or Work permit. In case of work permit, can i go back to india any time as required & come back. Is there any thing apart from this Visa. Basically my intention is to frquently visit India during my stay at KSA to meet my family. Pls advice what is appropriate work permit or multiple entry visa.. need you help pls guide

Thanks & Regards,
MIB

Expatguru said...

MIB,

Please submit your query through the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for this, which would give you a personalized reply and also help me segregate spam from genuine requests.

Anonymous said...

Greetings Expatguru,

I am working in Riyadh as an IT Consultant and want to call my mother-in-law for my wife's delivery in December. I have heard that mofa stops issuing visit visa to the kingdom around that time of the year.

However, is it possible to apply for the the visit visa with a special case of delivery. Please let me know how to go about this.

regards,
Suheb
0535068289

Expatguru said...

Suheb,

Please fill in your query through the link in the top right corner of this page. I charge a nominal fee for this which would give you a detailed personalized reply.

afreen said...

I am on lecturer visa under ministry of higher education. i would like to bring my own sister on visit to Saudi Arabia. is it possible or not, if yes.. what are the requirements. please let me know.
regards
Afreen

Expatguru said...

Afreen,

Please fill in your query through the link in the top right corner of this page. I charge a nominal fee for this which would give you a detailed personalized reply.