It is the general practice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia that they stop issuing Family Visit Visas before Ramadan. There is no predetermined date but normally they stop issuing visas, one month before Ramadan. This year, the first of Ramadan is on June 06, 2016. Keeping in view this date, I was expecting them to stop issuing family visit visas and this is what they have done. Many people have commented on this blog that their family visit visa application has been turned down by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a message that they need to apply again after Hajj Period.[irp]
Can I process Family Visit Visa already issued? The issuance of family visit visas has been stopped from Ministry of Foreign Affairs but the people to whom visas have already been issued can still process them and bring their families here. I would recommend you to start the process of stamping the family visit visas already issued on your family's passport now. The processing of family visas during Ramadan and Hajj season slows down due to a heavy workload in Saudi Embassies. They may stop extending visas even before Ramadan. I cannot comment about it until the time any announcement is made by Ministry of Interior.
When will Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia start issuing Family Visit Visas again?
Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been rejecting Family Visit Visa applications with the following message in Arabic which means “Please fill up new application after Hajj season”.
نأمل تعبئة طلب جديد بعد موسم الحج
Hajj season does not end with the completion of Hajj. Normally Hajj is performed by the mid of Dhul-Hijjah. But even if you apply for the family visit visa after Hajj is performed, they will reject the visa application with the same message. To be successful in this regard, I would suggest you apply for the family visit visa again after mid of Muharram. Based upon experiences in the previous years, I think they will start issuing family visit visas after 1st of November 2015.
Has Saudi government also stopped issuance of Permanent Family Visas during Hajj season? Fortunately, NO! Saudi Government does not stop the issuance of permanent family visas during Hajj season. They will continue to issue permanent family visas. However, the stamping process of permanent family visas on the passports can be delayed due to heavy workload on the Saudi Embassy in your country. It is important to mention here that there are following two ways of applying for a permanent family visa.
Why does Saudi Government stop issue Family Visit Visas during Hajj? Now let me come to the point why do they stop issuing family visit visas before Ramadan. Well, Saudi Government allows you to bring your families here on Family Visit Visa throughout the year. You can bring them even in Ramadan and they can perform Umrah (although it is illegal). You don’t need any visa to perform Umrah. However, you do need a visa to perform Hajj. It has been noticed that many people who call their families on Family Visit Visas go for Hajj without Hajj Tasreeh. All of us know that there is limited space available to perform the duties of Hajj and Saudi Government decides only for the people who come to Saudi Arabia on Hajj visa or get Hajj Tasreeh (for Saudi Residents). People who come to perform Hajj without Hajj Tasreeh are a burden upon the system. They eat from the plates of those people who have spent heavily to get Hajj Tasreeh. Saudi Government stops issuing Family Visit Visas during Hajj season just to minimize the number of unauthorized Hajj performers.