Saudi Arabia is said to be a dry place where there are limited options for outdoor activities that is why ‘single’ people who are living in Saudi Arabia are trying to bring their family in KSA to spend quality time with them. Once you are with your family here, your life will change into an interesting one.
There are two options in bringing your family here. First option is to bring your family through a permanent visa and the second option is through a family visit visa. If their stay is short, then the family visit visa is the best option.
Requirements for Family Visa in Saudi Arabia
- A valid Iqama with a validity of at least 90 days
- A certified copy of your passport
- A certified copy of passport of each family member that you would like to invite for family visit visa
- You should have an acceptable profession that is allowed to apply for family visit visa. If your profession is not on the list of acceptable professions, you need to change your profession first.
Following persons can be invited on family visit visa
- Brother that is under 18 years of age
- Sisters that is unmarried for they are easy to invite
- Father in law
- Mother in law
Step by step process to apply for family visit visa
- Filing online application – the first step that you have to do is to fill up the online application form on the website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Submitting the application to Chamber of Commerce – you must sign the application and put a date on it. Ask your sponsor to sign and stamp the application too. Make sure that the person signing your paper has an authorized signature in the Chamber of Commerce. Go to the Chamber of Commerce in the city where your employer is registered. Government employees should go to MOFA directly and submit the application. You need to pay the amount of SR 25 fro the application of visa and submit it to the Chamber of Commerce.
- If the family visa is approved, you need to send the application number to your relatives in your home country. The visit visa must be stamped by the Saudi Consulate or the Saudi Embassy of the respective country within 3 months of issuance as per the website of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In some countries like Pakistan, Saudi Government has established an Etimad Centers. There is no need for you to contact and agent if there is an Etimad Center in your country. You will directly go there with the report of medical tests. They will be the one to process the permanent family visa for you. The charges are also same as mentioned above.
The following documents are needed to be submitted to the Saudi Embassy:
- Original passport
- Copy of your Iqama (remember that you are the sponsor)
- Copy of your passport
- 2 to 4 photos in passport size
- Authorization letter from the husband of your sister ( if you will invite your married sister )
- If you want to apply for the visa of your in-laws, you need to present the marriage certificate and copy of the passport and Iqama of your wife
Once the visa is processed and stamped by the Saudi Embassy, the visa holder need to travel within three months or else, the visa will expire.
Procedure to Check Family Visit Visa application Status
They say that it will take 3 days to process the visa but normally, it will take you more or less a week to do so. You need to go to the website of MOFA first and select the “english” language fro the options. A new page will appear where you need to provide to check the family visit visa application status. Select the option “ application submitted to MOFA” and enter the application number given to you by the MOFA when you applied for the said visa. Iqama number is also needed to enter on the third box and image code on the fourth box. Once all information has been entered, click on inquire and wait for the message to appear on your computer screen. Please note that process (online mainly) may have changed as of this writing.
If some more documents required
Attache all the documents mentioned above with the application and submit it to the nearest office of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 11 am is the time where the MOFA office is least crowded. MOFA office time is 7am to 2pm with Zuhr prayer break. Continue the same process mentioned above to check your application status.
If Application Is Rejected?
If the online application for the family visit visa is rejected, don’t worry. Just apply for it again because in many cases, it has the bigger chance to be accepted. Even if it is not accepted for the second time, don’t lose hope for there is another way. You can apply for the family visit visa through Istiqdam.
Validity of Family Visit Visa
- Once visit visa is issued, it can be stamped by Saudi Embassy in your country within three months of it issuance date
- Once family visit visa is stamped by the Saudi Embassy, it is valid for one month from the date that it is stamped.
- Make sure to read what is written on the face of teh family visit visa
Extension of Visit Visa
- If visit visa is stamped for 30 days, it can be extended for five times. It means that the total stay in KSA will be 180 days in this case.
- If visit visa is issued for 90 days, it can be extended once.
- Visit visa can be extended online too.
Do not overstay
Expats who are living in Saudi Arabia on Iqama are responsible for the family members who enters the Kingdom. In case of overstay of family members even just for a single day, the expatriate with an Iqama wil be fined SR 25 000. So you should plan the departure 3 to 4 days before the expiration date of the family visit visa.