Mr. Imran ul Haq is a government employee who shared his experience of getting a permanent family visa through Istiqdam. Salam all, Alhamdulillah I got the visa slip today. Since most of you are asking questions, let me tell you my story in detail. I came back from Pakistan in the last week of January. My wife did not update her passport there, neither my marriage certificate was attested; hence, I did not bother to book the appointment. Some friends told me that they went there in the morning after Fajr and they got the ticket for the appointment. Then, in mid of Feb, my wife's passport was updated and I asked my colleagues who recently brought their wives to guide me about the process. So, they told me that the Istiqdam office was not entertaining anyone without an online appointment, hence, I tried to book the latest appointment with Istiqdam. At that time, in the first or second week of Feb, I got the appointment for 24th March. I thought let's book this in case.[irp]
I got the letter from my company, did a translation of my marriage certificate and send the marriage certificate for MOFA and Saudi embassy attestation back to Pakistan, and got it back too. Yesterday I came to know, thanks to this blog, about the new Permanent Family Visa Online system. I thought it had to launch one day before the date of my appointment. I did not take the risk of applying through the online procedure.
Finally, I went today to the Dammam Istiqdam office around 8:30. There were two police officers who first checked the appointment paper for the appointment date, and after verifying they allowed me and others who were there to enter. After that, I submitted the appointment paper to one of the counters, and he put a no. on it and told me to wait. There were about 30-40 people there and the officials started slowly processing only one case at a time. But after about half hour, they opened other counters and started to process the cases quickly. When my turn came in about 1.5 hrs., I submitted the file containing all necessary documents as mentioned in this link “Apply for Permanent Family Visa through Istiqdam” After giving him the documents, he checked for about 2-3 minutes, then asked me to give him my Iqama and original degree. When I gave it to him, he checked it thoroughly (I think he verified some attestation code or something, either from Saudi Culture or Saudi Embassy as he was moving his eyes between the back side of the attested degree and his monitor). I was worried that he might ask for more things, but he gave me my Iqama and degree and after stamping the documents, he gave me the paper within 2-3 minutes.
I noticed that around 10 or 10:30 a lot of people came into the Istiqdam office. The manager came and told them something in Arabic that I could not understand. But as they complained he allowed them to sit in the back rows. Then some people went to him and asked him about their individual cases. He was very polite and helpful and answered their queries. I might be guessing here but I think he said that after the people who have today's appointment are entertained, they might get a change. ONCE AGAIN this is what I think he said.
With me, there was another Pakistani from a private company. He told me that he only attested his employer’s letter from COC. Apart from that, he did not attest from MOFA Saudi Arabia. But all his documents were attested from MOFA, Saudi Culture and Saudi Embassy in Pak. After he got the visa, I asked him if the official asked about any attestation for the stamp, he told me that he did not ask about anything. I thought I should share this info too.[irp]
Good luck to all of you guys. May Allah, help you and make things easy for you. I waited for about 2 months and it paid off. Have patience and things will become easier Insha Allah. I know that since I am a government employee. My story might not help, but I thought to share it since, I am reading this blog daily to hear about other people's experiences for the past 3, 4 months.
You do not need to pay a fee for the permanent family visa of your family as government employees are exempt from payment of such fee.