Saudi Arabia is a land of rich culture, history, and natural beauty.
It is also home to a large expatriate community, with over 13 million expats living in the Kingdom as of 2022 – Saudi Arabian Census.
For many expats, staying connected with their families back home is a top priority.
One way to do this is to apply for a family visit visa.
Recently, my immediate family members visited me and the procedure I’m going to state is what I did to bring them here in Saudi Arabia.
What is MOFA Family Visit Visa?
A family visit visa is a short-term visa that allows non-Saudi nationals to visit their family members who are residents of Saudi Arabia.
The single family visit visa is valid for up to three months and can be extended for an additional 1 month.
Whereas, the multiple family visit visa is valid for up to 1 year and can be extended for an additional 3 months.
Note: Exit / Re-entry is a must after 3 months.
In a significant policy change, expatriates with any Iqama profession, including labor and domestic workers, can now apply for a family visit visa.
This means that even if you hold a lower-paying job, you can still let your family members to visit you in Saudi Arabia.
Who can I bring to Saudi Arabia on a family visit visa?
The following family members can be brought to Saudi Arabia on a family visit visa:
- Siblings and their families (spouses and children)
- In-laws (siblings of the spouse)
Please note that the term “spouse” encompasses both wife and husband, while “siblings” encompasses both brother and sister.
Additionally, “in-laws” refers to the siblings of the spouse, regardless of gender.
Application Procedures to Apply MOFA Family Visit Visa
- Visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Click on Citizens and residents then select ‘Resident’
- Enter Iqama number.
- Fill details like visa type, border number.
- Select single or multiple visa.
- Fill details of sponsor, visitor information and relationship.
- Fill in the form and submit
- Once done, MOFA will generate an application number.
- Save and take a printout of the application.
- Submit your application to HR of your company for the Chamber of commerce
- Pay them 35 SAR fee of visa application rectification from Chamber of commerce (COC).
MOFA Family Visit Visa Check
Now you can easily check family visit visa status online on MOFA website.
It may take a week or more to process your family visa.
Be patient and check on the status regularly.
- Go to the MOFA website.
- Choose application submitted to MOFA.
- Enter your application number, Iqama number and image code.
- Click inquire.
- If it is showing “Visa Document” it means your visa has been approved and if it’s showing red color background with Arabic text, it means either it’s rejected or under process.
- If rejected, they’ll show the reason, just translate from Arabic to English.
- If the application is rejected re-apply.
- It may take up to four applications to receive an acceptance, or you may receive an acceptance right away.
Send a copy of the visa document to your family member and direct them to start the visa stamping.
In case of Pakistan, you need to visit Tasheer, here is the complete guide on it: How to Book a Tasheer Appointment to Stamp Saudi Visa 2023
Family Visit Visa MOFA Validity
Once you receive the Family Visit Visa MOFA Approval, you must complete the stamping process within 90 days from the date of approval.
Failure to do so will result in the invalidation of the visa approval, and you will need to reapply for the visa.
Please note that the stamping process is the final step in obtaining the Family Visit Visa.
It involves submitting the approved visa application along with the necessary documents to the Tasheer or Saudi Embassy in your country.
Once the stamping is completed, the visa holder can travel to Saudi Arabia.
Obviously, you need to book a return ticket! 😛
MOFA Family Visit Visa Stamping Fees
The total cost for a Family Visit Visa is approximately SR 1200, which is broken down as follows:
- Visa Fee: SR 500
- Insurance: SR 200
- Other Charges: SR 500
Please note that the fees mentioned are approximate and may vary depending on the specific circumstances and location.
It is advisable to contact the relevant authorities for the latest and most accurate fee information.
Required Documents for Family Visit Visa Stamping
- Saudi Iqama: A copy of the visit visa requester’s Iqama (residence permit).
- Marriage Certificate (if applicable): If the visa holder is the spouse of the requester, an attested marriage certificate from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) is required.
- Birth Certificates (if applicable): If the visa holders are children, attested birth certificates from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) are required for each child.
- Passport Copies: Copies of the visit visa requester’s passport and the passport of each visit visa holder. The passport of the visit visa holder must have a validity of at least 6 months.
- Visa Document Printout: A printed copy of the visa document obtained from the online application portal.
- Passport-sized Photographs: Four passport-sized photographs with a white background for each visit visa holder.
- National ID Card: A valid national ID card of the visit visa holder, with at least 6 months of validity remaining.
What is the difference between a family visit visa and a tourist visa?
A family visit visa is specifically for non-Saudi nationals who are visiting their family members in Saudi Arabia. A tourist visa is for non-Saudi nationals who are visiting Saudi Arabia for tourism purposes.
Can I work in Saudi Arabia on a family visit visa?
No, you cannot work in Saudi Arabia on a family visit visa.
Can I bring my children to Saudi Arabia on a family visit visa?
Yes, you can bring your children to Saudi Arabia on a family visit visa.
What if I lose my passport while I am in Saudi Arabia on a family visit visa?
If you lose your passport, you will need to contact your nearest country’s embassy or consulate to apply for a replacement passport.
Family visit visas provide a valuable opportunity for expats residing in Saudi Arabia to strengthen their family bonds and maintain close connections with their loved ones back home.
Also, it is the most affordable option, isn’t it?
The application process is straightforward and accessible, and the fees are relatively affordable.
With careful planning and preparation, you can successfully bring your family members to Saudi Arabia and enjoy the Kingdom’s rich culture, warm hospitality, and endless experiences.
I hope, the article above helped, if yes, why not share?
Till then, Masalama!