The response can be summarized in two words: as soon as possible. The issue of granting visitors visas to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a complicated process, which needs time and a detailed study. From the moment you suddenly came up with the idea to visit your loved ones, you might have started wondering how long will it take to get the family visit visa?Getting a visa is challenging whether you are an expat or a citizen of the country. For expats, the situation can be even harder. The most common case for expats is to travel with their family, therefore one of the most important and critical type of visa is Family Visit Visa. In this post, I am going to use Saudi Arabia as an example to explain how many days it takes to get Family Visit Visa in Saudi and how to prepare your documents.
How Many Days To Get Family Visit Visa In Saudi
First, you should find out if there are any restrictions that can apply to your situation. The length of time that family members must wait before being granted Visas will depend upon the country in which they live. You can also expect that your application will take longer if you do not have certain required documents and paperwork. If a person wants to enter the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on a visit visa, they must first obtain an invitation or sponsorship from a family member who lives in the country.
Saudi Arabia Visit Visa For Indians – Definitive Guide
With over 13 percent of the population in Saudi Arabia being Indians, Indians are bound to have family members living in the country. To visit your family living in the country, you will need a Family Visit Visa Saudi Arabia.
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 –
- The first step involves collecting all the necessary documents required.
- Once you have them, you can visit the MOFA Saudi website, and download the application form.
- 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.
- Pay the visa fees online to the travel agency. You cannot make direct payments to the embassy.
- 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 Tourist Visa – Normal||30 days||3 months||16500.0|
|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.