Saudi Arabia Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)
Who are the Saudi Arabian MOFA
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Saudi Arabia, is responsible for handling the country’s international relations. This includes political, cultural and financial issues, the functions of which are carried out in the Kingdom’s diplomatic missions worldwide. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has approximately 100 embassies and consulates around the world, assisting its citizens overseas as well as foreign citizens who wish to visit the country.
Created in 1930, by a royal decree issued by the late King Abdulaziz Al Saud, the MOFA is one of the first ministerial bodies to be formed in the newly unified Kingdom. King Abdulaziz established foreign diplomatic relations by receiving delegates from other countries into the KSA, as well as by sending representatives from his own country.
In 1926, he established the first Directorate General for Foreign Affairs in Mecca, which was later elevated to the status of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1930. King Abdulaziz’s son, King Faisal, became the first foreign minister of the Kingdom.
In 1926, the UK became one of the first countries to recognise the KSA as a sovereign state. London was one of the first places where Saudi Arabia established its diplomatic mission, after Cairo, way back in 1930. Over the years, both countries have established strong ties, spanning educational, cultural, political, military and business issues that benefit their citizens. The UK is home to many Saudi expats, including 15,000 students who work, study and live in the country.
The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is an important executive branch of the KSA government, which dictates the laws regarding visa requirements to the Kingdom’s embassies all around the world, including the one in London. To travel from the UK to the KSA for any purpose, a traveller needs to possess a letter of invitation, issued or verified by the MOFA, Saudi Arabia, before their visa application can be processed.
Services Provided by the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia plays an important role in handling diplomatic relations of the country. It is involved in foreign policy making as well as implementation, based on the Kingdom’s principles, in order to protect its national interests and maintain international peace and security.
The ministry formulates all visa regulations, pertaining to entry and exit from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and relays it to its embassies and consulates all around the world.
One of the first things required to apply for a Saudi Arabia visa is a letter of invitation, issued by the MOFA, Saudi Arabia, stating the purpose of travel and the duration. Pertaining to this, the services of the MOFA can be listed as follows:
- Permission for Entry into the KSA: Processing requests for entry visas from the Kingdom’s diplomatic missions abroad, through the Enjaz company website. This includes requests for student visas as well. This takes around 3 to 5 working days for processing.
- Inviting Foreign Diplomatic Organisations: This is to request a person or a group to visit a KSA government agency, foreign diplomatic mission in the KSA or a KSA-based company. This could be a foreign government agency, charitable organisation, diplomatic mission or team of foreign experts in various fields. This can take around 3 working days to be processed.
- Online Passport Registration and Flight Data Services: Providing online services to Saudi citizens abroad to apply for or renew their passports. Dealing with re-issuance of passports, in case of theft or losses. Issuance of emergency travel documents.
- Online Payment for Passport Services: Saudi citizens abroad can pay passport and visa fees, including fees for health certificates, online through the Enjaz portal.
- Visa Application Amendments: The MOFA enables Saudi citizens abroad to amend details in visa and passport applications.
- Enquiry about Visa Status: Visa applicants to the KSA can enquire online about the status of their visa application and validity.
- Providing Information on Saudi Arabian Diplomatic Passports: Information about Saudi diplomatic and private passports can be obtained through the MOFA.
- Certification Services: Legalisation of documents including educational documents, marriage contracts, commercial documents and certifying letters issued by accredited institutions in the UK, to be used for various purposes in the KSA. The MOFA receives requests to authenticate documents through its website.
The MOFA has branches in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam. Its office address in Riyadh is:
Unified Call Centre Number in the KSA: +966 920033334
In London, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be reached through the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia located at:
30 Charles Street,
Mayfair W1J 5DZ
The United Kingdom
Phone: +44 20 7917 3000
Business Hours: Monday to Thursday, 9am to 4pm; Friday 9am to 3pm
Address for the Consular Branch: 32 Charles Street, London W1J 20 7917 3000
Bus route numbers 2, 38, 9 and C2 pass via the embassy office in London. The nearest tube stations are Jubilee, Piccadilly and Victoria.
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