Recently, I invited my father to visit us in Saudi Arabia, but after asking people about it, I realized that the procedure to obtain a Family Visit Visa has changed so much that I had little idea how to apply for it. So, I decided to some research and went to speak to the experts at the local Saudi passport office in order to get acquainted.
What is a Saudi Family Visit Visa? A visit visa is intended for immediate family members based outside Saudi Arabia allowing them to visit their loved ones who are normally resident in the kingdom. Two visit visa options are available; Single entry or Multiple entry. The first is for up to 30 days ONLY and is not renewable. The second is for up to 90 days ONLY. Then, the family visitor must leave and can reenter the kingdom for a further 3 months, up to 4 times.
The Saudi visa application system was recently upgraded and streamlined. This means that all visas including the Family Visit Visa are now processed online, from start to finish.
The Application Process- 6 Main Steps
The following shows the 6 main steps required to obtain the Family Visit Visa. These 6 steps are explained in a bit more detail in the article:
Step 1. Iqama Holder Applies For Family Visit Visa at MOFA Online and Prints a Completed Form
Step 2. Iqama Holder Takes the Form to Sponsor to Sign and Stamp and if needed to the local Chamber of Commerce
Step 3. Iqama Holder Checks MOFA Online To Confirm Acceptance And Sends Form/Visa Number To Visitor
Step 4. Iqama Holder/Visiting Family Member Registers, & Pays for Visit Visa at the Enjazat Website
Step 5. Visitor Submits Passport & Documents To Local Agency Dealing With Saudi Embassy
Step 6. Visitor Collects Passport/Documents plus Issued Family Visit Visa From the Saudi Embassy
How much does a Saudi Family Visit Visa cost?
The cost of Single Entry and Multiple Entry Family Visit Visas are fixed at 300SR. Payment is made at the Enjazat website.
The application process for the Family Visit Visa involves both:
- Sponsor -The Iqama Holder Normally Resident In Saudi Arabia.
- The Visiting Family Member (s)- Normally Resident In The Home Country.
The Iqama holder’s dependents cannot themselves apply for a visit visa application using their own Iqamas.
What Are The Conditions For Use Of The Family Visit Visa?
|Visa||Duration||Valid After Issue Date|
|Single||30 days||3 months|
|Multiple||90 days Up To Renewable 3 times||1 year|
NOTE: With a Single Entry Family Visit Visa, the visitor (s) can stay for up to 30 days in Saudi Arabia, but it must be used WITHIN 3 months of the issue date in the passport.
Note: For a Multiple Family Visit Visa, the visitor (s) can come and go to Saudi Arabia every three months up to 1 year. Family visitors must leave the kingdom on or before 3 months expires. It should be used WITHIN 1 year of the issue date in the passport.
Who is Eligible for the Family Visit Visa?
The following are the eligible categories:
First Line Relatives
- Father in Law/Mother in Law
- Orphans (discretionary)
- Brothers/Sisters of foreign wives/husbands married to Saudis
Who is NOT eligible for a Family Visit Visa?
The following categories are not eligible for a Family Visit Visa.
- Aunts/Uncles etc
However, family members in these categories can apply for a new Saudi eVisa Tourist Visa provided they have passports from the eligible countries. Failing this, they could apply for a Hajj or Umrah Visa.
Click here to read the article The One-Stop Guide To The Saudi eVisa For Tourists for more about how to get a Saudi tourist eVisa, eligibility, how to get it, the cost, insurance, the visa conditions and much more.
The Resident Iqama Holder Applies For Family Visit Visa at MOFA Online and Prints a Completed Form
Documents required BEFORE applying:
- Resident Iqama Holder’s Valid Residency Permit i.e. the Iqama
- The Iqama With At least 4 month’s Validity
- Copy of The Applicant (s) Passport-i.e. Visiting Family Member (s)
- Valid Profession of Iqama Holder
The application procedure for the family visit visa begins at the gateway to the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) portal. Click here for the MOFA homepage.
- First, choose and click on E-Services
- Click on Residents
- Select Family Visit Visa
- Read the Service Details
- Click on Start The Service
Now, the MOFA homepage instantly directs you to its Visa Services Platform.
- Choose Individuals
- Then, select Resident
- Click I Agree if you agree to visa terms and conditions
- Enter Iqama Holder’s Residency Number (Iqama Number)
- Select Single or Multiple Entry
- Print the Form
For a complete breakdown of the steps of the Family Visit Visa application process at the MOFA website and for useful application tips click through to the following link.
Iqama Holder Takes the Completed Form to His/Her Sponsor to Sign and Stamp And If Needed to The Chamber of Commerce for Attestation
Once the MOFA online visit visa application form is completed, printed and signed by the Iqama holder, it is then handed to the sponsor for further signing and stamping.
The sponsor then signs and stamps the document. If required for private company workers, the Saudi Chamber of Commerce can also attest it. Go there, pay 35 SR and get a printout.
Iqama Holder Checks His/Her MOFA Account To Confirm Acceptance And Sends Completed Form/Visa Number To Intending Visitor
A day or two after the sponsor’s attestation, the Iqama holder logs in to MOFA to see if the visit visa application has been granted and is ready for processing. It can take up to a week.
- Select Application
- Enter Application Number
- Enter Iqama Number
- Enter Image Code
- Click Enquire
- Check Family Visit Visa Status
If yes, the Iqama holder sends a scanned copy of the completed, signed and stamped application form to the family member who is applying for the Family Visit Visa in his/her home country.
If it’s not ready, just wait. If it’s rejected, try again!
Iqama Holder/Visiting Family Member Registers, & Pays for Family Visit Visa at the Enjazat Website
At this point in the process, the visitor applicant must create an account at the Enjazat Website to process and pay for the Family Visit Visa.
For this you need:
- The Application Number
- Intending Visitor Passport Number and Applicant’s Bio Data
- MasterCard or Visa
- Intending Visitor Passport Size Photo
To see a complete breakdown of the steps of how to pay for the Family Visit Visa at the Enjazat website and for useful payment tips click through to the following link.
Family Member Visitor Submits Documents To Local Visa Agency Dealing With The Local Saudi Embassy/Consulate
There will be a local Visa Agency in your country who charges you to submit your passport and documents to the Saudi Embassy to complete the process of issuing the Family Visit Visa.
In some cases, you can do it yourself to avoid the agency fee. Embassy staff may allow you to submit your passport and documents personally at the Saudi Embassy. It has worked before for some people! Try your luck!
A list of visa application agencies is with the Embassy perhaps even on their websites.
Documents Required For the Applicant:
- Abshir Paper And Date Of Iqama Expiry
- Print out of Family Visit Visa
- Valid International Passport (Minimum 7 months validity remaining)
- Copy Of Sponsor’s Passport With 6 months validity
- Copy of Sponsor’s and Wife’s/Husband’s Passport
- Copy of Sponsor’s AND/OR Wife/Husband’s Residency Permit, the Iqama
- 4 passport size photos
- Certified Sponsor’s Marriage Certificate IF Applicant (s) is an In-laws (Attested by MOFA + One Copy)
- Certified Copy of Birth Certificate Of Son/ Daughter if Applicants (s) is an In-Laws (Attested by MOFA + One Copy)
- Original B Form (Attested By MOFA And One Copy)
- Certified Copy of National ID Card of Applicant
- Family Book If Necessary
- Certificate of Unmarried Female Above 18 years of Age (if required)
First, get your proof documents stamped and attested. Check how to do that in your country.
After compiling all the correct documents and checking your passport validity you can pay the agency fee and deposit your passport and documents at the Visa Agency.
The Saudi Embassy says the Family Visit Visa will be ready in up to 3 days under normal circumstances. Delays will involve requests for additional documents and/or checks
Visitor Collects Passport/Documents plus Issued Family Visit Visa From the Saudi Embassy
The local visa agency you are dealing with will arrange an appointment for you to come to collect your passport with issued Family Visit Visa and the documents. It can take up to 3 days or more depending on each individual case. They can also deliver it to you by post.
Family Visit Visa renewals, Insurance, and Penalties for Overstaying
Can you extend a Saudi Single Entry Family Visit Visa?
No, it is only valid for 30 days. On or before the 30 days have expired your visitor must return to his/her home country and begin the whole Family Visit Visa application process from scratch.
Can you extend a Multiple Entry Family Visit Visa?
No! For either the Single of Multiple Family Visit Visas, the visitor can only stay a total of 3 months after which they have to leave the kingdom.
However, multiple visit visa allows visitors to reenter Saudi Arabia using the same visa for up to 3 times, but not exceeding 1 year.
How do you check the status of your Family Visit Visa Insurance?
To get a status update on your Family Visit Visa insurance at the MOFA website you simply enter:
- Application Reference Number (Family Visit Visa)
- Sponsor’s Iqama Number
- Captcha Code
The status of the visit visa status will be shown to you.
Do You Need Health Insurance For A Family Visit Visa?
Health Insurance is required for a Single and Multiple Entry Family Visit Visas. For the second, it can be extended. The cost of the visa insurance depends on age, sex and medical background of the applicant. Currently, the prices are between 30 SR and 100 SR.
To read a full guide of how to obtain visit visa health insurance, how to make a claim and which hospitals to attend in case of emergencies, click and read the following Insidesaudi Guide to Health Insurance For The (New) Saudi Family Visit Visa
Who Provides Health Insurance For A Saudi Family Visit Visa?
There are a limited number of insurance companies authorized by the Ministry of the Interior to sell health insurance for the purposes of a Family Visit Visa.
- BUPA Arabia
- Arabian Shield
- AXA Cooperative
- Allied Cooperative
- Al Rajhi
- Saudi United Cooperative
Compare insurance company offers before you buy the Family Visit Visa insurance to get the best offer.
What does a Family Visit Visa health insurance cover?
It is travel insurance that only covers treatment for emergency cases. You can use it in the case of emergencies, traffic accidents, repatriation after death, dental, dialysis, problems of pregnancy and injuries through accidents, etc. However, the costs of childbirth must be met by the family visit visa holder.
Costs are covered for expenses up to a maximum of 100,00 SR. Policy limits are set in the contracts for cases of hospitalization, room, doctor and nursing services, and life support limited to 600 SR per day. Medication is NOT included in the policy. Conditions are given in each individual the insurance policy.
|Treatments Covered||Coverage Cost|
|Maximum Claim||Up to 100,000 SR|
|Emergency Treatment||Up to Policy Limit|
|Hospitalization||Up to policy limit|
|Hospital Cost||600 SR a day in a shared room |
with care and treatment
|Patient’s Escort||Up to 150 SR a day|
|Dental Emergency||Up to 500 SR|
|Maternity Emergencies||Up to 5,000 SR|
|Traffic Accidents||Up to Policy Limit|
|Kidney Dialysis||Up to Policy Limit|
|Medical Evacuation Abroad||Up to Policy Limit|
|Body Repatriation After Death||10,000 SR|
Treatments NOT Covered
|Buying Medicine, Drugs, and Aids|
|Childbirth without Complications|
How much does health insurance cost for a Saudi Family Visit Visa?
There is a criterion for insurance costs depending on the age, sex and medical background of the visitor applicant. Currently, the prices are between 30 SR and 100 SR.
How do you apply for the Saudi Family Visit Visa health insurance cover?
You apply online for travel insurance for the Family Visit Visa to any one of the Health Insurance providers on the list authorized by the Ministry of the Interior. Click on the following links to compare quotes for the Saudi Family Visit Visa.
- BUPA Arabia
- Arabian Shield
- AXA Cooperative
- Allied Cooperative
- Al Rajhi Insurance
- Saudi United Cooperative
How Do You Register with Your Choice of Insurance Company?
For complete details of how to apply for Health Insurance for the Family Visit Visa at your choice of insurance companies and for useful application tips click through to the following link.
- Enter Your Personal Details
- Enter Visitor Passport Holder Number
- Enter Family Visit Visa Holder Number
- Enter the Border Number in Passport
- Pay the Fee
Your Family Visit Visa Insurance will be issued to you! If later you wish to extend the coverage for a Multiple Entry Family Visit Visa you can log in again to the Insurance company website and click through to process the visit visa extension.
How do you check for Medical Insurance Validity for a Saudi Family Visit Visa?
Details about your travel insurance for a Saudi visit visa including the terms and conditions are held at the official Saudi government insurance regulatory and control body called the Council of Cooperative Health Insurance (CCHI).
To check the validity of your Family Visit Visa policy, you click through to the CCHI website.
This is how you do it.
- Choose Inquire About Visitor Insurance
- Then click Service Link
- Enter Visitor Passport Number & Captcha Code
What happens if you overstay on a Family Visit Visa?
Overstaying your Family Visit Visa is a serious matter. If you fail to extend your Family Visit Visa or if you remain in Saudi Arabia after your final extension has expired, the ministerial authorities will impose harsh penalties.
- Imprisonment in Detention Centre
- Pay expenses for repatriation
- Possible Ban on reentering Saudi Arabia
|2nd||25,000 SR||3 months Jail|
|3rd||50,000 SR|| 6 months Jail|
Overstaying your Family Visit Visa can easily be avoided by allowing time for delayed or canceled return flights out of the kingdom. Plan to leave the kingdom a few days before the expiration date of the Family Visit Visa. If this is not possible and you have to stay longer, then you should renew the Visit Visa as soon as possible.
Can any Residence Permit Holder (Iqama) apply for Family Visit Visa? There is a list of more than 300 professions that are eligible for the visit visa. However, only jobs involving unskilled labor and services are exempt. Check your eligibility by logging into your Abshir Account.
Does everyone need to have medical Insurance to visit Saudi Arabia? No, people coming for Hajj & Umrah, people on Diplomatic visas and Diplomatic mission do not need to apply for the mandatory visit visa health insurance.