Updated last month

If you wish to move to Saudi Arabia, you will have to apply for the appropriate visa. Here is a list of available visas and related procedures.

If you want to relocate to Saudi Arabia, the most important and mandatory step is obtaining a visa. All foreign visitors with the exception of GCC nationals require some type of visa to enter and stay in the country. According to your specific condition and reasons for your trip to Saudi Arabia, you will probably need a visa.

Types of visas

There are different types of visas available:

  • Work visa
  • Resident visa
  • Transit visa
  • Diplomatic mission visa
  • Special 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.

If you intend to move to Saudi Arabia, whether to work or settle there, it is best to inquire about all travel conditions and formalities beforehand.

 Good to know:

Saudi Arabia has now started issuing tourist visas.

Registration

Enjazit is the official web portal that all prospective visa-obtaining visitors must be registered to before applying. This website is where the request and status of the visa application can be tracked.

It's helpful to note that mostly all Saudi Embassies worldwide require you to use an appointed visa processing office for applications.

Procedures

You will most likely use a visa processing office to submit your application to the embassy. They will guide you through the process for a fee (which should be reimbursed by your Saudi employer, if applicable), simplifying the whole procedure.

All applications have certain required documentation; make sure to check that your application is complete upon submission, to avoid visa denial. 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 without any visa or stamp of Israeli origin)
  • 2 colour 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)

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 acceptance letter issued by your university
  • Copies of your diplomas/degrees (must be attested)
  • Your medical examinations results* (originals only, no copies)

The business, commercial visit or work visit visa:

  • The original mission statement issued by the company that sponsored you to come to Saudi Arabia (this document is mandatory, regardless of the type of invitation letter; moreover, it 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
  • Your bank statements for the past 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 travelling with Saudi Airlines, you can spend 18 hours in the country. Other airline companies will provide you with an 8-hour stay without a transit visa. Please note that in the second case, you will have to submit documents regarding your final destination, including a visa if applicable.

If you are travelling 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 colour 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 test for hepatitis B, C, and HIV (conducted not more than three months before)

 Important:

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 and Oman, do not require a visa to visit Saudi Arabia.

 Useful links:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Visas
Enjazit
Saudi embassies worldwide

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.