family visit visa saudi arabia

Family Visit Visa Saudi Arabia - Definitive Guide

With over 13 per cent of the population in Saudi Arabia being Indians, Indians are bound to have family members living in the country. Couple this with the beauty of the red deserts, green oases, archaeological sites, there is no reason why one wouldn’t visit the country. Due to the absence of the Saudi Arabia Tourist Visa, people have found the Family Visit Visa Saudi Arabia as the closest to the tourist permit.

What is Saudi Arabia Family Visit Visa?

For people other than those from the GCC countries, and from a few other visa-exempt nations, everyone requires a permit to enter the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. However, if you are visiting a first-degree family member, you can apply for a Saudi Family Visit Visa. Valid for a maximum of 90 days, or as per approval by the Ministry of External Affairs in Saudi. This permit allows you to visit the country for the purpose of meeting family, and thereby can even take part in tourism activities. The visa comes in the form of a vignette in your passport. 

How to Get a Saudi Arabia Family Visit Visa?

The process of applying for the family visit permit is quite different from other countries. The process although available online, for Indians, the mode is offline. Not just that, the Saudi embassy does not accept applications submitted directly. As a result, you will have to contact a travel agency to do it for you. Now before applying, ensure that you check the eligibility criteria for the visa. Once this is done, you may proceed to make the application as follows - 

  1. The first step involves collecting all the necessary documents required. 
  2. Once you have them, you can visit the MOFA Saudi website, and download the application form. 
  3. Proceed to fill in the form. You can either type it and take a print, or print it and write it by hand. You should also keep in mind to affix your photographs, and sign wherever necessary.
  4. Pay the visa fees online to the travel agency. You cannot make direct payments to the embassy. 
  5. With the application form, attach the documents and send them to the Saudi Embassy via the travel agent.

Please ensure that you fill in the correct details and that you submit the original documents. Any wrong information or forged documents can lead to a visa rejection. A denied permit is considered as a black mark in your travel history.

Eligibility for Saudi Family Visit Visa

To be able to apply for the visit permit, you will have to meet the following criteria - 

  • You must hold a passport valid for at least 6 months from the date of departure. 
  • The family member you are visiting must be of the first degree such as children, parents, siblings, or also, spouse, in-laws, etc. You cannot apply for a family visit permit if they are your uncles, aunts, etc. 
  • The person inviting you must hold a valid family visit visa invitation letter approved by the MOFA in Saudi Arabia. 
  • The person inviting you must hold a valid Iqama (residence permit) 
  • Your sole purpose of the visit must be to visit your family. 

When You have this Visa

When you receive your visit permit, keep in mind the following key points to ensure a hassle-free journey - 

  • Make a note of the vis expiry date. You will not be able to stay in the country beyond this period. If you do stay, it is considered a criminal offence, and you will be fined and deported.
  • You cannot engage in work activities while you are on a visit permit.
  • You must strictly abide by the rules and regulations of Saudi while you are in the country. You must also respect their culture and traditions. 

Documents Required for Saudi Family Visit Visa

The list of documents as per the Saudi family visit visa requirements, that are necessary for the application are mentioned as follows - 

 

  • An original passport that is valid for at least 6 months from the date of travel. Any old passports need to be submitted as well
  • 2 photographs as per regulations.
  • Family Visit Visa Invitation letter approval from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, KSA
  • Copy of Iqama of the Sponsor
  • Passport copy of the sponsor 
  • Travel insurance issued by the Saudi embassy as per your application
  • Proof of relationship with the relative inviting you.

Photo Specification of Saudi Family Visit Visa

  • 2 identical passport size photos
  • Recently taken
  • Coloured, with a white background
  • Dimensions: 35mm X 45mm
  • Face should cover 80% of the photo
  • Facial expression - neutral
  • Head in a central location
  • Eyeglasses are not permitted
  • Headwear - permitted in case of religious reasons

Saudi Family Visit Visa Processing Time

Due to the lower volume of applications, the family visit permit is generally issued in about 4-5 working days. However, depending on a few factors such as the time taken to get the invitation approved, a higher volume of applications, season, etc, this may take longer to be approved. 

Saudi Family Visit Visa Fee

The total fees depend on several factors such as the number of entries, service charges by the travel agency, etc. Since the fees can change without prior notice, it is necessary to confirm the amount before you make the application. 

Entry Stay Duration Validity Fees
Entry Tourist Visa - Normal 30 days 3 months 10830.0
visit Single entry Normal 90 days 3 months 16000.0

How to Check Saudi Family Visit Visa Status?

Once you have submitted your visa application, you will receive it back via your travel agent within the stipulated processing time. In the meanwhile, you can check your Saudi Family Visit Visa status by contacting the agency, or by emailing the embassy directly with your application number. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Renew My Family Visit Visa in Saudi?

You cannot renew it, but you can definitely extend your visa easily. Unlike a lot of the other nations, the Saudi government accepts a visa extension request. In most cases, you can get an extension up to the total duration of your current permit. If the visa is of 90 days, you can get up to another 90 days. However, keep in mind that you will have to apply for it at least a week before your current visa expires and that you can only stay in the country for a maximum of 180 days as a visitor.

Can I Get a Family Visit Visa Without Documents Such as a Birth Certificate of the Child, Marriage Certificate, etc?

No, you cannot apply for it. A vital part of the documents required for the family visit permit is proof of the relationship. A birth certificate or the marriage certificate can be used to prove this. Without these, there is no evidence that the person you are visiting is your relative.

Can I Work in Saudi Arabia if I am On a Family Visitor Visa?

No, you definitely cannot. While you are on a visitor permit, you are strictly prohibited from working or engaging in work-related activities. The primary condition for which the visa is issued is that your purpose of visit is only to visit your relatives. You can also take part in sight-seeing and tourist activities while you are on this. 

After Expiring My Saudi Arabia Family Visit Visa, How Long Can I Stay?

You cannot stay any longer after your visa is expired. You are expected to leave the country on or before the date of expiry. Staying back after the period is considered as an offence and you may face penal charges. However, you are free to apply for an extension if you want to stay in the country.

What is the Medical Test for Saudi Arabia Family Visit Visa?

Since it is a short term permit, there is no requirement of a mandatory medical test. However, for the long-stay permit such as the family visa, you require a medical check-up to be done. Either way, it is suggested that you get a health checkup done before travelling to any country for the sake of your own safety. 

Can I Convert My Saudi Arabia Family Visa into a Work Permit?

No, the short term visas cannot be converted into another type. Once your visa expires, you will have to leave the country. However, if you wish to get a work permit, you can apply for jobs in the KSA and find a sponsor. Then, once you return back to your home country after the visit permit expires, you can apply for a new work permit.

 

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