There are two options to call your family to Saudi Arabia. The first option is to bring your family on a permanent visa and the second option is to bring them on family visit visa. If the stay is short term, family visit visa is a better option. Your wife, children, father, mother, father in law and mother in law can be invited on Family Visit Visa.
The requirements for Family Visit Visa in Saudi Arabia
1-You should have a valid original iqama with the validity of at least 90 days
2-Copy of Passport
3-Copy of passport of each member of your family you want to invite for family visit visa
4-Acceptable Profession to apply for family visit visa (See the list here) Unfortunately, if the profession of your visa is not listed in one of the professions listed in the list, you will have to go for a change of profession.
Filing online application: Here we shall provide you step by step guide to apply for family visit visa in Saudi Arabia. The first step of applying for Family Visit Visa is to fill an online application on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We have provided a detailed guideline of filling online application for Family Visit Visa of Saudi Arabia in this link.
I would recommend you to read it and fill out the application. In this way, you will be able to avoid many mistakes which cause the rejection of a Family Visit Visa application. “Guideline to fill online Application for Family Visit Visa in Saudi Arabia“
Submitting the Application to the Employer: Earlier, you had to print the application for a family visit visa applied, get it signed by your sponsor and then submit it to the Chamber of Commerce. We used to call this process “Tafeel”. However, now the procedure has been changed.
You just need to apply it online as per the procedure above, print it and hand it over to the Government Relations Officer of your company. He will authenticate the application online and it will be submitted to the MOFA. Chamber of Commerce offices are not accepting any family visit visa application now. After a while, your status will be changed on the MOFA website.
Note: This process has not changed in all the Chamber of Commerce offices all around the Kingdom. Some offices are still processing the visit visa applications and it is better you check with the office of your city.
Ultimately, it will change to the process described in the first paragraph under this heading. You can check the status using the guidelines provided in this link. Recommended: Check Family Visit Visa Application Status Online.
If Some More Documents Required: In some cases, your application for a family visa is not approved straightforward. They will ask you to submit the application along with some documents to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Now attach all the documents mentioned above with the application and submit it to the nearest office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. You should go to MOFA office at around 11 am. This is the time when the MOFA office will be least crowded.
The timing of MOFA office is 7 am to 2 pm with Duhr prayer break. If you will come in the early morning, you will find it very crowded. Continue the same process mentioned above for checking the online status of the application. Soon, you will see good news there.
If Application is Rejected? If an online application for the family visit visa is rejected, do not worry. Apply for it again and in many cases, it is accepted in the second attempt. Even if it is not accepted at that time, you should not lose hope, there is another way. You can apply for the Family Visit Visa through Istiqdam.
I have explained the procedure in detail in this link “Apply for Family Visit Visa through Istiqdam“. Application of Family Visit Visa for one of our friends was rejected 3 times than he applied through this way and it was accepted.
Submitting the Application in Saudi Embassy: If your family visa is approved, you need to send application number to the relative in your home country. It is better to contact some agent in this regard. He will charge you a little amount but your work will be eased out in your home country.
Normally agents who issue Umrah visas have some contacts in the Saudi Embassy and they can speed up the process of your family visa application. The visit visa obtained from the procedure mentioned must be stamped from the Saudi consulate or Saudi embassy of the respective country within 3 months of its issuance as per the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In some countries like Pakistan, the Saudi Government has established Etimad Centers. You do not need to contact agents in case Etimad Centers are established in your native country. You directly go to them. They will process the visa for you. Charges of Etimad Center are also the same as mentioned above. You will have to take an
You will have to take an online appointment at Etimad Center and the procedure of taking an online appointment at Etimad Center is explained in this link. Following documents need to be submitted to the Saudi Embassy.
- Original passport
- Copy of your Iqama (Remember you are the sponsor)
- Copy of your Passport
- 2-4 passport size photos
- If you want to apply for a visa of your married sister, an authorization letter from her husband.
- If you want to apply for the visa of in-laws. You need to present the marriage certificate and copy of the passport and Iqama of your wife.
Procedure to Check Family Visit Visa Application Status: Officially they say, it takes 3 days but normally it takes a week to process the visa. Even if it takes more than that, don’t worry. You are dealing with Saudi government department so you should build up some patience.
Go to this link, and enter your application number and Iqama number to get the status of your application. If everything goes fine, the family visa will be issued. I have explained them in this link the Procedure to Check Family Visit Visa Application Status. Moreover, the meaning of different messages sent by the MOFA to the applicants is also detailed in that link.
The validity of Family Visit Visa: Once the visit visa is issued, it can be stamped by the Saudi Embassy in your home country within 3 months of its issuance date.
Once family visit visa is stamped in your home country by the Saudi Embassy, it is valid for 1 month from the date when it is stamped.
Please make sure to read what is written on the face of the family visit visa before relying on the information provided on the blog.
The Fee for Family Visit Visa: A fee of SR 2,000 per passport is charged for the single entry family visit visa for 6 months. A multiple entry family visit visa for 1 year costs SR 5,000 and a multiple entry family visit visas for 2 years costs SR 8,000 per passport.
2 Years Multiple Entry Family Visit Visa: The visa will be initially issued for 90 days which will be extended for further 90 days during the stay in Saudi Arabia. The fee to extend the 2 Years Multiple Entry Family Visit Visa is SR 100.
After spending 180 days, the family visit visa holder will have to travel out of the Kingdom and come back again on the same visa. In other words, the stay at one time cannot exceed 180 days.
You don’t need to go back to your home country, you can go to the nearest border and perform the exit and entry procedure. However, you must be having a visa of that country to enter it.
Extension of Visit Visa: If visit visa is stamped for 30 days, it can be extended 5 more times. It means total stay in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be of 180 days in this case.
- If the visit visa is initially issued for 90 days, it can be extended 1 more time. It means total stay in Saudi Arabia will be of 180 days.
- We have published a detailed article about the process of extending the family visit visa in this article.
- Visit visa can be extended online as well. We have explained the process of extending the visit visa online in this article.
Do Not OVERSTAY: It is very important to mention here that expat living in Saudi Arabia on Iqama takes the responsibility of the family members entering the Kingdom. In the case of Overstay of any family member, even if the stay is of a single day, SR 25,000/- fine is imposed on the expatriate with Iqama.
In fact, you should plan the departure 3,4 days before expiry of the visa date. You never know, due to a flight problem you may have to stay at the airport or some other bad thing may happen to you. You can read about this topic in detail in this article, “What to do if Family Visit Visa Expires“