If you wish to move to Saudi Arabia, you will probably have to apply for an appropriate visa. Here is a list of available visas and related procedures.
If you intend to move to Saudi Arabia, whether to work or settle there, it is best to inquire on all travel conditions and formalities beforehand. You will probably need a visa according to your specific condition and the reasons of your trip to Saudi Arabia.
Types of visas
You can choose from different types of visas to travel to Saudi Arabia:
- work visa
- resident visa
- transit visa
- diplomatic mission visa
- special visa
- seasonal work visa
- goods delivery visa
- extended return visa
- trade visit visa
- government visit visa
- temporary work visa
- accompanying visa
- missions and organizations visit visa
- personal visit visa
- work visit visa
- family visit visa
- religious visit visa
- business visa.
First of all, foreigners wishing to travel to Saudi Arabia have to register on Enjazit, which is the Saudi Ministry's official website. Beware! This website often shut downs for maintenance, so you have to monitor it closely.
Moreover, some visa specialists often offer to take care of all formalities on your behalf. But you have to be very careful about that. Make sure to provide all requested information so that your visa application is not denied. Note that children traveling to Saudi Arabia also have to register on Enjazit.
You are advised to submit a complete file during your visa application so as to avoid denial. Any missing information will count. Hence, regardless of the visa you are applying for, you will have to produce the following documents:
- your original passport (valid for 6 months following your return date with 2 free pages face to face or front/back and especially without any visa or stamp of Israeli origin)
- 2 color original passport-size photos (scanned photos will not be accepted)
- the original of the duly filled and signed visa application form in which you are required to specify your religion (you can choose between: Catholic, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, etc. Atheists' application will be rejected by the Saudi consulate or embassy in your home country)
- a copy your residence permit if you are a non-European Union national.
Additional documents may be requested in the case of the following visas:
The service visa:
- your service passport
- a verbal note
- medical certificates for adults
- an invitation letter mentioning the names of all family members
- work permit
- a copy of your airline ticket or itinerary.
The extended return visa (to be requested before your current visa expires):
- a copy of your Iqama
- an entry and exit authorization issued by your sponsor in Saudi Arabia
- a copy your air ticket.
The student visa:
- a clear criminal record (original)
- an invitation letter issued by the Saudi Ministry of Education
- an acceptation letter issued by your university
- copies of your diplomas
- your medical examinations results*.
The business, commercial visit or work visit visa:
- the original mission statement issued by the company which has sent you to Saudi Arabia (this document is mandatory, regardless of the type of invitation letter; moreover, it should be must be signed, stamped and certified by the Chamber of Commerce)
- the invitation letter issued by the Saudi Ministry or "Visa Approval" for government visas or an invitation letter issued by a Saudi company; both should be legalized by the Saudi Chamber of Commerce
- less than 35 years old women must produce the original invitation letter produced by the company that sends in Arabia
- your bank statements for the last 3 months or a bank certificate stating that your current bank account is up to date.
The family visit visa:
- the invitation letter
- a copy of your host's Iqama
- a copy of your family book.
The transit visa (to be requested preferably before departure)
The transit visa in Saudi Arabia has several conditions. If you are traveling with Saudi Airlines, you can spend 18 hours in the country. Other airline companies will provide you with an 8 hours stay without a transit visa. Noe that in the second case, you will have to submit documents regarding your final destination, including a possible visa.
If you are traveling with another airline company, you will have to apply for a transit visa to be able to spend between 8 and 18 hours in the country. In addition to general documents required, you will also have to produce your airline tickets.
The work/residence visa (Iqama):
- 4 original color identity photos (scanned photos will not be accepted)
- a signed employment contract
- your complete medical examinations records*
- your original criminal record (Bulletin No. 3) having been issued less than 3 months earlier
- certified copies of your last diplomas (in line with the profession to be exercised) or related experience certificates issued by your past employers (mentioning posts you have occupied and the term referred by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
- an invitation issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (this document is valid for 1 month)
- the copy of your children's health record if they are going to accompany you, along with a copy of the page containing his identity and vaccination details
- a copy of your diplomas (for doctors and engineers) legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Culture Office.
*Medical records should include:
- a good health medical certificate
- a BCG vaccination certificate or a certificate of non-contamination by tuberculosis,
- a blood for hepatitis B, C and HIV (conducted not more than three months before).
The visa application in Saudi Arabia can be quite costly and time-consuming. The fees and procedures length usually vary according to your home country. Thus, you are advised to inquire well in advance on all related formalities before proceeding.
Good to know:
Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar nationals do not require a visa to visit Saudi Arabia.