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A Complete Guide to Saudi Visas
Organising your visa for Saudi Arabia can be complex and without expert knowledge it can be hard to know which visa is right for you. However, with the right support you can ensure you have the right visa for your purpose of travel and that you remain compliant. In this article we break down the types of Saudi visas, visa requirements and how to remain compliant.
Types of visa
When visiting the Kingdom, it is essential you are using the correct visa type for the purpose of your visit. Below we break down each visit visa type and what it is for.
- Commercial visit visas are used for commercial purposes such as conferences, negotiations, meetings, sales and investment talks. No on-site work can be done under this visa. This visa can be single or multiple entry and can be applied for 30, 60, 90 or 180 days.
- Business visit visas, also known as work visit visas, are valid for those visiting the country on a temporary work basis. The visa holder must have a sponsor from a business in Saudi Arabia who will issue them a Letter of Invitation (LOI) to use for their visa application. This visa allows persons to work onsite during their visit and can also be single or multiple entry and applied for 30, 60, 90 or 180 days.
- Female pre-approved visit visas are for women visiting the Kingdom for business purposes. The female must apply to visit the Kingdom, be a minimum of 30 years old and hold a commercial job title. The length of stay and number of entries are subject to the decision of the Saudi consulate.
Travelers to Saudi Arabia must have a valid passport with at least 6 months left before expiry, two facing pages and the appropriate visa. Those travelling to the Kingdom must not have any restrictions that prevent them from travelling to the Kingdom.
Exceptions to the visa requirements are those who are GCC nationals, passengers transiting in the Kingdom with valid onward or return documentation within 18 hours with no further stops in Saudi (certain nationalities are not eligible) and those with landing and re-entry permits issued by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Commercial and business (work) visit visa require the following documents for application:
- Completed application form (can be provided by Proven)
- Letter of Invitation (LOI) from sponsoring company (can be provided by Proven) and certified by the Chamber of Commerce or a copy of pre-approval for commercial visit visa issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saudi Arabia (refer to the Saudi mission as per point of arrival)
- Original and copy of passport
- Original and copy of residence permit (if not based in home country)
- Copy of ID card or renewal form (if not based in home country)
- Two photographs with white background
- Supporting letter from employer addressed to Saudi Consulate stating the reason of visit and duration required (NOC letter)
- Trade license copy of the employing company
- Only a machine readable passport is accepted
The business (work) visit visa also requires the following documentation:
- Supporting letter from the sponsoring entity in Saudi Arabia between themselves and the visitorís employer stating the nature and duration of visit and Certified by Chamber of Commerce in Saudi
- No objection letter from employer
Compliance is crucial to doing business in Saudi Arabia and visitors should always do their due diligence when visiting the Kingdom. It is important to know the difference between each visa; first, ensure the visa you are applying for is aligned with your purpose for travel.
Visa on arrival is not available in Saudi Arabia and visitors cannot obtain a Saudi drivers license, lease a residence, open a bank account or sponsor family to visit the Kingdom. To ensure your compliance, check your duration of stay, the number of entries allowed and the validity of your visa.
With the right support, applying for a Saudi visa can be made simple. The right partner will ensure that you have all your documentation, you remain compliant and will give you the highest chance of your visa being approved because of their expertise.