Family Visit Visa to Saudi Arabia!

Well! I thought to write this blog to help anyone who is applying for Visit Visa to Saudi Arabia:

I am a Pakistani national who is studying in a college in U.S. My mother is working in Saudi and so I decided to pay her a visit during my summer vacations. When I started with the process, I did not know anything about the process. I went to Saudi Embassy website and got these details. Here is the link to that website http://www.saudiembassy.net/services/family_visit_visa.aspx :

 

Family Visit Visa

Family visit visas do not grant the applicant the right to work or reside in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


Requirements:

  1. A passport valid for at least six months, with at least two (2) clear visa pages adjacent to each other. The passport must be acceptable to enter both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the applicant’s next destination.
  2. One (1) recent passport size color photograph with a white background. Photograph(s) must be full-face shots in which the applicant is facing the camera directly.  Side or angled-views are NOT accepted. Guidelines for accepted photograph for Visa.
  3. A completed application form filled-out with a black ink pen or printed. Application forms  can be downloaded from the website at http://www.saudiembassy.net/. Please include your email address on the application.
  4. A reference note showing the number and the date of the visa issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or any of its branches in Jeddah or Dammam.
  5. Proof of kinship: for spouses, a copy of the marriage certificate; for children, a copy of the birth certificate.
  6. For non-U.S. citizens, a copy of the green card or documented proof of legal residence in the U.S.
  7. A money order or cashier’s check made out to “The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia” in the amount of one hundred and eight U.S. dollars ($108.00) for U.S. passport holders; for non-U.S. passport holders, a money order or cashier’s check in the amount of fifty-four U.S. dollars ($54.00) for a single entry and one hundred and thirty-four U.S. dollars ($134.00) for multiple entries. Cash and personal checks are not accepted.
  8. Log on to https://enjazit.com.sa/ . Click on “Apply for a visa to enter the Kingdom by individuals.” It is important to record the request number on the application and present it to the Consulate. Guideline for enjaz online application.
  9. Mailing Passport: We would like to bring to the attention of all applicants who send their passports by mail that from this time on, anyone who includes a RETURN Federal Express, DHL, Airborne Express, UPS or any other airway bill, should also include a MONEY ORDER made out to the company the applicant will choose. No cash, credit card or personal check will be accepted. Any package without such payment will be on hold until the payment is received. It is applicant’s responsibility to include the EXACT amount according to the weight of the package. Washington DC Location: 601 New Hampshire Ave, N.W., Washington, D.C.  20037 – Tel. (202) 342-3800.

Notes:

  • Visitors should not overstay the time granted by the visa.
  • Visitors to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia must abide by the country’s Islamic laws and regulations and respect its society’s values and traditions.
  • The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s laws against drug trafficking are strictly enforced. Violators are subject to severe punishment, which may include the death penalty.


Basically If I summarize there points then the requirements for applying for Saudi Visa are

  • Passport valid for six months 
  • One passport picture with white Background.
  • an Application form which is on there website. Here is the link to it:  http://www.saudiembassy.net/
  • A note showing visa issued by a consulate in Saudi (To further explain this point, Your family member needs to apply for your visa in Saudi. When that is done, they will send you that copy of that Visa reference which you will attach with rest of your application. You see, there are two prongs to this application process. First your family needs to apply there in Saudi and then you will apply here in States or wherever you are)
  • A proof of kinship. (For example I needed to prove that the lady who was calling me from Saudi was my mother. I could do this by showing my Birth certificate. If your husband is calling you then you can show a marriage certificate, if someone else is calling you then you need to ask the embassy, what you can show as a proof of your relationship).
  • If you are a non U.S citizen like me then you would have to show that you are legal here in States (How i showed this was by sending my I20 and also a letter by my international advisor saying that I am a student at this university in good standing etc)
  • There is then application fee depending on who you are (U.S or non U.S citizen) and how many times you will enter Saudi (one time or multiple). [ for me, I was non-US citizen and did one time entry so it costed me 54 Bucks. You can go to your nearest postal office or your bank and they can make money order for you]
  • Then There is Enjaz online application
  • Mailing documents [ If by any chance you live very close to consulate for example in DC or NY then you can drop off your papers and pick it up from consulate or embassy but if you happen to be far away like me then you would have to send it via mail. When you send the mail then add a prepaid label for return in that mail.]

 

Some the items were easy to figure out. Some were difficult:

I basically did not know what Enjaz was and how would i get it?

ENJAZ: 

Enjaz is basically an online application which is in arabic and there are special authorized travel agents listed in Saudi Embassy website who do the process for you. Here are the lists of offices you can call and which will help you with the  Enjaz application but you have to pay them certain amount. My travel agent charged me (60 dollars to do the work:  http://www.saudiembassy.net/services/visa_offices_registered_with_enjaz.aspx.

To complete Enjaz, my travel agent asked me for these documents via email:

  1. He told me to complete online application http://www.saudiembassy.net/services/Visa_Application_Forms.aspx. Either of DC or NY, depending of which location is close to you.
  2. He told me to scan and send him a picture of me which i will attach with the visa application later.
  3. He told me to scan the first page of my passport and give it to him (I also scanned my student Visa as i am studying in states and sent it to him just in case)
  4. He wanted my telephone number and also cell phone number of my mother.
  5. He also told me to ask my mom for Invitation letter( Like i said before that this is a two prong process. Your family member need to do some processing and send you an invitation letter. It has a e-number which is then used by your travel agent to fill the Enjaz application online )
At the end of the process, he will call you and will ask for your credit/debit card details and then after you give him that and he make the payment. He will email you these document (which has Enjaz number) and you sign it and will later attach this Enjaz online application with rest of your visa application.
After you have gained this Enjaz online application, you attach the rest of documents and send your passport along and then WAIT =D
THINGS TO REMEMBER: 
  • NEVER TO FORGET TO SEND A PREPAID LABEL. YOU CAN GO TO USPS and send another prepaid label package with rest of your documents.  Fed-Ex does not send a prepaid label package from their office. You actually have to go to their website  online and make an account, free of charge, and then you will fill a shipment label and pay online and then print that label and send it to them with rest of your application. When i went to Fed-Ex office, they told me to write my credit card number in the return package and my credit card will be charged, if that return package is used. This is a NO NO!!! I Was called again by the embassy saying that this is not prepaid package. I need to send a prepaid package. That embassy guy told me to print the label of the Fed-Ex website and then fax that label to him. When i called the Fed-ex people, they said that you cannot fax labels like this. I did not really understand why would the embassy people ask for faxed labels, when Fed-ex itself does not allow it? I am still confused about that.. Need to figure that out… However for now, What i did was got another USPS pacakage, put another prepaid label pacakage and sent it to them via mail. Was such a pain! No idea…
  • If you are a Pakistan citizen or any citizen for that sake, and if you need to send your Birth certificate. Then it should be in English. I thought that it does not matter as my mother has already done that in her side of processing so i do not need to send birth certificate… but sadly, I got a call saying, i need to send them English birth certificate. I freaked out because my birth certificate was in Urdu. Luckily, I was in NY then and went to Pakistani consulate, found a person near by who translate in English from Urdu and then went to embassy and got it attested. It took a day but was finally over with.
  • Also remember that the mailing address should be clearly labelled for ‘Visa department, Saudi embassy in DC. ‘
These are some slight advice! Hope it helps!~ if you need further explanation then comment, Hopefully i might be able to help a little bit. =D Happy applying for visa and please start early! I know it does not take that much time but if by any chance, you need to further send some documents, it gets very prolonged. i had to delay my flight two times..Gosh! was such a pain..Atleast learnt my lesson.. a hard way.