The Saudi government announced on 9th of August 2016 that they are going to increase visa fee for some categories of visas from Oct 02. 2016. Now the new visa fee has actually been implemented. We have written detailed articles about the new visa fee and you can read them in the below link. Today many of our readers have reported that they had been issued Visas from Istiqdam or MOFA in Saudi Arabia when their families approached Saudi Embassies or Etimad centers in their respective countries, they refused to process their visas. I have reproduced their comments below. I will be sharing all comments related to this topic in this article, so please stay tuned.[irp]
Development on October 07, 2016: Syed Atiq: One of my friends submitted the yellow slip (prior to issued 1st Muharram) to Etimad office Pakistan. They accepted and issued E# without fee hike 2000 SAR, they charged only 4500 RS for an online appointment. his case only for residence permanent family visa, let’s hope for the successful result.
Development on October 06, 2016: Syed Atiq: My Friend just called Etimad Office in Islamabad and they said that they just received instructions from Saudi Embassy that they will process the visas issued prior to 1st Muharram. I told him that my wife has an appointment in Etimad Office by tomorrow, so he said no problem. Bring all the documents and they will process it. Let’s hope for the best.
Development on October 05, 2016: Syed Irtiza Haider: On Etimad Website the following news is appearing “IMPORTANT NOTICE- In effect from1-Muharram 1438 corresponding to 02 October 2016. As per the instructions from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, invitation letters dated prior to Sunday, 02 October 2016 will not be accepted for processing new visa requests. Travelers are requested to obtain a new invitation letter to process their applications. An invitation letter is mandatory for application processing.”
Syed Hafeezullah: I got my family visa from Istiqdam (yellow slip) a couple of days before Ramadan, being the only son I tried to get my mother's visit visa so I can get my mother too with my family, well I got my mother’s visit visa on 17th Dhul Hijjah and submitted family as well as mother's visit visa on 26th September (before Muharram) yesterday as of 3rd October my mother’s visa status on etimad's website was [[[Your passport (Enjaz No E*********) is ready for collection at the Visa Services Center, Karachi on 03-Oct-2016. If you have opted for Courier service, please await further SMS.]]] than today got a call from Etimad, that your visa is rejected and you need to pick up the passport and fill refund form.
Development on October 04, 2016: SIM: I got the information from one of Mumbai direct agent of Saudi consulate. Saudi consulate in Mumbai is not accepting any passport for stamping because the staff of consulate themselves is not sure about the exact changes and charges. They are also clueless about these changes.
Shakeel Ur Rehman: A new development is noted today, my family went to Etimad center today for processing Permanent Family visa with yellow slip issued by Istiqdam (yellow slip was issued one Month ago), The Etimad center has refused to process it and told that all the visas issued by MOFA KSA (Permanent or Visit) before 1st Muharram 1438 are considered invalid, they further told me that I will have to go again for renewal of the visa to Istiqdam. I went to MOFA Riyadh today, they also told me that wait for a couple of weeks, the system is upgrading only after that you will have a clear idea how to proceed further.
Syed Atiq: I got the information from Pakistan that Saudi Embassy is not stamping any type of visa until their website updated, I believe it will be regularized in a couple of days. All passport for visa stamping were returned due to system upgrading as per new fee hike, if somebody has any information please do share. My family medical is done and they went to the Etimad office. Unfortunately, they are not accepting due to the system not showing proper guideline of the fee hike.[irp]
HamzaSK: I have new information for you. One of my Egyptian friends got a visa from Saudi Arabia before Oct 2. Yesterday his family gave visa for stamping in Saudi Embassy but they refused. They told that the visa is not valid. You can apply for a new visa in Saudi Arabia.
Politik: Agent from the Philippines told me that all applications were rejected because of the new fee and they were a shock of the new fee.