How to apply for permanent family visa in 2020?

In 2020, you can apply for the permanent family visa in Saudi Arabia either online or by filling an Istiqdam form, paying the fee and submitting all the required documents. In this article, we have described the online and the Istiqdam procedure to apply for a permanent family visa.

Eligibility Criteria

If an expatriate meets the following criteria, he can apply for a permanent family visa in Saudi Arabia.

  1. The iqama validity should not be less than 3 months at the time of applying for a permanent family visa.
  2. You need to have an acceptable profession.
  3. You can apply for a permanent family visa for your wife and children only.
    • However, the visa cannot be applied for the sons above the age of 18 years.
    • The visa can be applied for only one wife at a time.
    • You cannot apply for a permanent family visa for your mother or father (parents).
  4. The minimum salary requirement for permanent family visa in Saudi Arabia: SR 3,500. 

The Jawazat asks applicants to bring GOSI Certificate to check the minimum salary rule. If your employer is filing your GOSI return with less than SR 3,500, your visa application will be refused.

Pay the fee

If you meet the eligibility criteria and have all the documents required to apply for the permanent family visa in KSA, you should make the payment for the visa. The fee for the permanent family visa in Saudi Arabia as of 2020 is SR 2,000. Recommended: How to pay for the permanent family visa?

Apply for permanent family visa online

As we have mentioned earlier, you can either apply for a permanent family visa online or by visiting the Istiqdam office. We have detailed the procedure for both of them below.

The online application for the permanent family visa is available to the people with a few selected professions only. As per our experience, expatriates with the following professions have been able to get the visa through an online application. If you have a different profession, you can still try your luck as it costs nothing.

You need to have an Absher account to apply for the permanent family visa in Saudi Arabia. If you already have one, log in to your account and click on the “My Services” tab. https://www.absher.sa/.

On the next screen, click on the “Expatriates Services” out of several options given.

In the next step to apply for the permanent family visa online in KSA, a new page will appear containing the instruction for the visa. You will have to click on the “New Family Visa Application” after reading the instructions.

In the next step, a new page will appear containing your full details including Full Name, Iqama Number, Passport No., Passport Expiry Date, Religion, Mobile Number, Nationality, Iqama Expiry Date, Passport Issue Date, Passport Issue Place and Profession on your Iqama.  It will also be containing information about your sponsor.

Just make sure that the details fetched by the MOI System are correct and click on the tab “Apply for Family Visa”.

If you are eligible to apply for a permanent family visa online, this application form will appear on your computer screen. You will have to fill the details such as;

  • Amount of Salary in SAR.
  • Level of Education.
  • Date of receiving the highest level of education and;
  • Major subjects studied.

family permanent visa fees online application

After filling out this information, you will have to add the name of the dependents, passport number, age, religion, relationship with you and Port of Boarding. Port of Boarding means the city in which your family will stamp the visa on their passport.

  • In case the second and third name of the dependent is not available, you just need to write “-” in the second and third name.
  • The name should be entered as per the passport.

family permanent visa fees online application

Post Application Process

  • After submitting the application, the Absher system will give you an option to print the application. Sign it and handover to the HR of your company to sign and stamp.
  • Submit this application to the Chamber of Commerce within 30 days of visa application. 
  • The status of the application will change to “Approved” and now you can see the visa number. You will receive an SMS notification on approval of your Istiqdam Family Visa Application with visa Information.

family permanent visa fees online application approved

Once you get the visa number, you can send the application to your home country for visa processing. Recommended: How to stamp a permanent family visa from Etimad Center?

Reasons behind the rejection of the online application

“Your application cannot be processed because it does not fulfill Istiqdam e-service business rules.”

In case, your profession is not eligible to apply for a permanent family visa online or you already have a wife in Saudi Arabia, the system will ask you to visit the Istiqdam office with the following message. 

“Your sponsor is not added for the family visa application. please visit istiqdam for more info.”

If this message appears, it means that your employer’s commercial registration, chamber of commerce or Maktab Amal account has expired. This message also appears if your employer is in the red nitaqat category.

Apply for permanent family visa through Istiqdam

The second way to apply for a permanent family visa in Saudi Arabia applicable in 2020 is through the Istiqdam. First of all, you need to book an appointment with Istiqdam

Required Documents

The following documents are required to be submitted to the Istiqdam to apply for a permanent family visa in KSA as per the latest update in 2020. 

  1. Istiqdam Form for a permanent family visa with the company seal & authorized signature. 
  2. Iqama Copy.
  3. A copy of the Saudi visa stamped on your passport.
  4. Passport copy of all visa applicants.
  5. Attested degree certificate matching your iqama profession along with Arabic translation.
  6. Attested Marriage Certificate along with Arabic translation.
  7. Birth Certificate of children along with its translation. (no need for attestation from the Saudi Embassy).
  8. Family Visa request letter. We have given the format of the family visa request letter here. The letter needs to be stamped by the Chamber of Commerce.
  9. GOSI Certificate mentioning your salary in GOSI return.
  10. Professional certification for doctors, engineers, technicians, accountants, and auditors
  11. Commercial Registration and Zakat certificate of company you are working in. (rarely requested)

Istiqdam Form

You can download the PDF copy of the Istiqdam Form for the permanent family visa from this link. The entire Istiqdam form needs to be filled in the Arabic language apart from the portion of the names of applicants.

istiqdam form for permanent family visa

Visit the Istiqdam

Now you need to locate the Istiqdam office you need to visit in your city to apply for the permanent family visa.

  • If you are living in Jeddah, you need to go to Istiqdam Jawazat Office situated in Rehab District.

Arrange all the required documents to apply for a permanent family visa in KSA in a file and visit the Istiqdam office at the time of the appointment. Submit the documents to the officer at your turn.

Yellow Slip

After around 30 minutes, you will be called again at the window and if everything goes fine, you are given a yellow slip.

  • Make sure that the names on the Yellow Slip are correct.
  • If any information in the yellow slip is not correct, you can go back to Istiqdam within 3 working days to make any changes.
  • The validity of the Yellow Slip or the permanent family visa issued by the Istiqdam is 1 Hijri Year from the date it is issued. It means that now you need to process the visa in your country within one year.

Post Application Process

Finally, you can send the visa to your home country for processing. Your family should hire an agent to do the job. In some countries such as Pakistan, the Saudi government has authorized Etimad to do the job. Recommended: How to stamp a permanent family visa from Etimad Center?

Cancel Permanent Family Visa

In case you change your mind to bring your family to Saudi Arabia, you can always cancel the permanent family visa and get a refund of SR 2,000.

Required documents to cancel the permanent family visa

  • Letter from your sponsor addressed to the Jawazat officer mentioning the reason you need to cancel your permanent family visa. This letter needs to be authenticated by the Chamber of Commerce as well. 
  • The Original Iqama and along with a copy.
  • The Original passport along with a copy.
  • The original Yellow Slip or copy of the visa issued by Istiqdam.

Visit the Istiqdam

Now you need to visit the same Istiqdam office where you visited at the time of applying for the permanent family visa.

  • They would give you a form to fill. If you don’t know Arabic, you can seek help from someone who knows it or takes it out of the building and gets it filled by some agents for SR 15.
  • Submit the form along with all the above-mentioned documents to the visa officer and he will cancel your permanent family visa.
  • The visa fee of SR 2,000 will be fully refunded to the same account which was used to pay it initially.
  • In the case of one of our readers, it took him around 1.5 months to get the refund of the permanent family visa.

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.