Visa to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Posted on Jul 29, 2008 12:30 AM by

This post provides general information regarding visa to Saudi Arabia.

Visas to KSA are usually issued for short periods and the visit must commence within a month of the visa’s date of issue. Its best not to apply for the visa much earlier for it might expire before you set out.

A newbie coming to work in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should have a temporary visit visa arranged by his sponsor. In this case the sponsor should either be
• A Saudi national or
• A company registered to do business in Saudi Arabia.

The following papers should be submitted to support your Residence visa application:
• A medical certificate that is attested by a recognized authority.
• Certificates verifying your educational qualification that is to be translated in Arabic.
• Passport size Photographs with white background.
• You’re Passport.

The application takes around 4-6 weeks for processing, after which the residence visa can be collected from the Saudi embassy, or an associated agency in your country of origin.

Being on a residence visa entitles you to apply for an identity card, namely IQAMA.
The IQAMA is to be carried with you at all times. The IQAMA gives you the privilege to apply for a family visa; this procedure should not take more than a month. With the IQAMA you can also apply for your driving License. According to the current system, an IQAMA is to be held by every member in the family.

If you wish to leave the country for a business or leisure trip, you will require an exit/re-entry visa. This visa can be obtained for you by your sponsor. Passports are usually held by the sponsor and on your departure it is usually exchanged for the IQAMA.

You can even go for a multiple exit/re-entry visa, which permits you to make several visits over a six-month period, these are sometimes difficult to obtain. Please note, In case of a multiple exit/re-entry visa it is required that you make at least 1 exit within the first 3 months; else you will be charged a good sum of 500 Riyals as fine.

A single or a married woman must be met at the airport by her sponsor or representative.

Restrictions apply in case of bringing a pet with you. Saudi is cautious about the health of animals imported to the kingdom. Usually an up-to date vaccination record and an attested health certificate are required.

Check with your local Saudi Arabian consulate or embassy for updated information regarding visa procedures.

Browse to the following website for a visa application form: Visa To Saudi Arabia

Come visit Saudi Arabia, the land of creativity and enjoy your stay :)

P.S: The author has no commercial interest in any of the companies mentioned.
The information is as up-to-date as possible at the time of writing.



  1. Dear Anita

    Could you please advise teaching profession is eligible for family status. My wife got teaching visa in Riyadh..Can she bring our kid with her ?

    Your help is highly appreciated.

  2. i want to visit saudi arabia for business promotion of an Indian company. The saudi company has organised my visit visa. how can I check the visa

  3. Thanks for great sharing post. Its very comprehensive information for everyone, very important to know about Saudi Arabia family visa

  4. My husband has got the offer to work in Riyad, KSA in one of the organization and he is planning to move to Riyad in next 2-3 Months. He has got sponsor visa for Self and family.

    I am also working lady and needs to continue my career so I would also like to continue the JOB in Riyad, KSA. I would request you please let me know in case of suitable opening in schools in Riyadh so that I can also have a sponsor VISA instead of dependable VISA, As I have heard that we cant work on dependable VISA in KSA. Also Can we live together if we have different sponsor VISA's

  5. Now Saudi Expatriates can able to apply for family visit visa online through Ministry Of Foreign Affairs website. Once applied check regularly for status update, and wait for your approval. Saudi Expatriates Blog explain a guide about that here.
    Online visit visa for Saudi Expats

  6. I have read this blog, and got to know much more about it. Keep sharing.


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