Important Changes in the Process
- Effective as of 6th November 2023, the Saudi Arabian embassy now requires all applicants that are applying for a Saudi Visa in the UK to attend to submit biometric details as a new part of the application process. The biometric details and applications are submitted at the Visa Application centre in London by appointment only.
- Upon receipt of the documents, Rapid Visas will contact the applicant in order to book the appointment. Rapid Visas will prepare the paperwork and legalise the employment support letters.
Important steps: Our staff member will meet the applicant at the Visa Centre to hand over the prepared paperwork required during submission including the legalised employment support letter. After the appointment our team member will then collect the collection papers issued at the centre so that we can collect the passport and visa the following day, and forward them accordingly. The visa processing takes 2 working days to be issued from the submission date at the appointment. The appointment date is dependent on availability.
Since 2013, seafarers need work and visitor visas if they wish to work in the waters of Saudi Arabia. Foreign seafarers cannot work just on the basis of their seaman’s passport or book. Sailors are allowed into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), based on the work specified on their permits. They will need to obtain exit visas, approved by their Sponsor Company, when they leave the Kingdom at the end of their employment. These new regulations were drawn up to streamline the entry/exit process for seafarers who work in the Kingdom’s waters but do not enter the mainland.
The sponsor company, employing the foreign mariner, needs to obtain authorisation from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), before the mariner can apply for a Saudi Arabia Seaman Visa. Saudi Visa Applicants also need a letter of invitation, issued by the company in Saudi Arabia, a letter of introduction / Employer support letter from their UK-based company and a valid marine passport or seaman’s book.
Single-entry Saudi visas are valid for a period of 90 days, while multiple-entry visas are valid for a period up to one year from the date of entry. However, applicants with an offshore profession are allowed to apply for a single-entry visa only. Thus, the invitation issued by the host company needs to be for a single-entry visa.
Requirements for a Saudi Arabia Seaman Visa
The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London, approves the visa based on the supporting documents and the application. Once issued, the visa cannot be changed or extended. Regarding this, the Embassy’s decision is final. The Embassy also charges a registration fee of £9.00 for visa processing. The visa application form needs to be accompanied by the following documents:
Applicants need to submit their original passport, which should be valid for at least six months beyond their entry date into the KSA, and have two blank facing visa pages. The document should be machine readable.
Two passport-sized photographs are required. The specified dimensions are 35mm by 45mm and the photograph should have been taken no longer than three months back. It needs to be a colour photograph with a white background, printed on high-quality photo paper. Make sure that your complete front face is visible clearly, your face centred in the middle of the photograph. Avoid wearing spectacles when the picture is clicked. Headwear should also be avoided, unless it is for religious purposes. The photographs do not need to be affixed to the application form. In fact, it should not have any adhesive or staples.
3. Letter of Invitation by the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)
The letter needs to include the following details:
- The applicant’s job title, which should match the one mentioned in the applicant’s seaman’s book
- If the applicant holds an engineering, consultant or technical position, the letter needs to mention “working visit.” Letters with “commercial visit” mentioned, in this case, risk rejection by the Embassy.
- The letter should have been issued within 6 weeks prior to the visa application date.
4. Proof of Travel Arrangements to Saudi Arabia
Details of flight bookings to Saudi Arabia and return bookings to the UK need to be submitted.
5. Photocopy of Application Materials
Clear, coloured photocopies of the applicant’s seaman’s book or mariner’s passport need to be provided. The job title of the applicant needs to be clearly mentioned in the document, which should match the letter of invitation, issued by the MOFA.
6. Saudi Arabia Visa Application Form
Make sure to fill the application form with complete and accurate information, while following the guidelines mentioned below:
- The form should only be filled in black ink
- The information should be written in block letters
- The form has to be filled by the applicant, not a third party
- Handwriting changes or use of correction fluid prohibited
- Lower sections need to be fully completed.
7. E-Number Application Form
Fully complete one E-Number application form, additionally printed on separate sheets of A4-sized paper. The reverse side has to be blank. The form should be signed by the applicant in original.
8. Formal Undertaking Form
A fully completed and signed Formal Undertaking Form needs to be submitted for all new stamping requests. The British Chamber of Commerce or Arab British Chamber of Commerce needs to stamp and certify this form.
Saudi Able Link can assist you with the certification by the British Chamber of Commerce. Please email your requirements to email@example.com., so that we may assist you further.
9. Saudi Visa Medical Insurance
The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia has made it mandatory for every applicant to purchase a visa medical insurance policy from an approved provider. Please complete the medical insurance form within the Saudi Able Link application pack. The purchase of medical insurance will be completed automatically, when we create your Enjazit application and make the requisite fee payment, after your documents reach our office. Please note that a registration fee of £9.00, in addition to the cost of the policy, is applied by the Saudi Embassy in London.
Please take note that any consular closings will impact the time taken for your visa to be approved and returned to your prior to the trip. Once, visa application is submitted to the Embassy, the process cannot be expedited or retrieved until completion. In emergency cases, the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London can return the passport upon a written application submitted by the applicant to Saudi Able Link. Passport will be returned to us within 48 hours, after that.
Applicants can hold only one valid Saudi visa at a time. Please see our visa policy rules. For the cancellation of a prior valid visa, a written application needs to be submitted to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, London. The decision of cancellation of valid visas is at the discretion of the Embassy.
Application Process for the Saudi Arabia Seaman Visa
Step 1: A letter of invitation has to be obtained from the MOFA. For this, your sponsor in the Kingdom, has to visit one of the MOFA offices to submit a request for a letter of invitation, along with your passport details. Once this is authorised, the letter will be faxed to the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, London. Once this letter is received, send it to our team for checking your visa status online.
Step 2: Download the Saudi Able Link Application Pack, and complete the application form. Compile all the needed documents. Please send scanned copies of all your documents to our consultants for a free pre-checking, so that we can ensure that they are in the correct order, before initiating the visa application process at the Embassy.
We can also assist with all legalisation requirements, through our contacts at different authorising bodies. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we may assist you.
Step 3: Courier the application package by Royal Mail Special Delivery to our address in London. You can also submit them personally by visiting our office. Please contact us at 0207 096 1985, if you would like to send a courier or visit us at our London address. We will commence the processing of the application immediately, once we receive the package.
Step 4: Your application will be submitted by our agents to the Saudi Embassy in London. You will be notified immediately, when the visa has been issued. Your approved visa will be sent to you via special delivery through a next-day guaranteed service. Once the courier is dispatched, a tracking number will be provided to you.
The Saudi Arabia Seaman Visa is a special visa for seafarers who intend to work in the Kingdom’s regional waters. Please note that applicants are required to have a valid Seaman’s Book or Mariner’s Passport to be able to apply for this visa.
Saudi Able Link will assist you with all the visa processing formalities and any questions that you may have. Our consultants will not only guide you through the requirements of the procedure but also take care of any document attestation or legalisation, needed for the visa application.
For any queries, kindly get in touch with us at 02070961985 or send an email to email@example.com. You can also fill this contact form, and one of our consultants will get in touch with you promptly.