Saudi Arabia Visa Policy Rules
Given the large range of Saudi Arabia visa types, there are many rules and policies involved in the application process dependant on many factors. Please see an overview list for the most common and important rules and policies regarding a Saudi Arabian Visa application upon completion.
Please note that the rules and policies as above are the main rules we are asked about and during the Saudi visa application process, and the most important for clients. This list is not exhaustive, and on many occasions if we do not know the answer, then we will query this at the Saudi Arabian embassy in London on your behalf. If your question is not covered, then please liaise with your visa representative agent who will aim to assist.
Please read the information below and see which rules are applicable to your application.
Important Information Prior to making your Saudi Arabian visa application:
Nationality and Residency Proof for Non UK Nationals
Applicants looking to make their visa application at the Saudi Arabian embassy in London, who are not UK passport holders need to provide proof of residence for the UK. This can vary based on the applicant's nationality.
If the applicant is an EU national, then proof of residence can be in the form of a utility bill from the last 3 months, with the applicant's full name and UK residential address on it. Bank statements are also possible but not to be older than 3 months. Personal details on the statements such as financial history and bank details can be marked out by black pen.
If the applicant is a non EU national, then the proof of residence can be eg an indefinite leave to remain, UK work visa, and other approved immigration documents. A photocopy will suffice.
Please note that if you are looking to apply to another KSA embassy around the world, and not a national of the same country, the same rules may not apply. You are advised to contact the embassy or a visa agency in that country. Please see our Saudi Arabia embassy directory.
Visa Medical Insurance Policy
It is important to note that when we generate the enjaz document for your Saudi Arabia visa application to be submitted to the embassy, this will also generate a visa medical insurance document which will be printed and sent back to you with your passport and visa.
Many applicants state whether this bypassed as it incurs an additional charge. Unfortunately this is not possible, even though most travel insurance policy documents will cover medical insurance cover, the government in Saudi Arabia have introduced since 2015 mandatory visa medical insurance cover for all applications in case any self purchased policies do not provide reliable coverage. Although an additional expense, this does however ensure that all travellers are covered with full coverage of their travel.
Israeli Stamps inside your passport
If there is an Israeli stamp inside the passport of the applicant, the visa will be rejected. Therefore it is advised to apply on eg a second UK passport that will not contain the stamp. This rule is important, and there is a checklist in our application pack which requests this.
Making travel bookings before obtaining your Saudi Arabia visa application?
It is advised by the Saudi Arabian MOFA that applicants should obtain their visa and passport back before they proceed to make any travel plans bookings, be it in the form of flights, hotels or meetings. This rule is in place in the event of Saudi visa rejections or delays. Although the embassy gives an approximate turnaround of 2 days, based on the quantity of applications received and internal operations, further consideration of cases and so forth, delays can occur.
In the event that you wish to make bookings, it is advised to make your bookings that have a cancellation element.
Bahrain-Saudi Arabia Causeway
When making your travel arrangements, please note that applicants are able to fly into Bahrain, then cross the causeway bridge and head over to Damman or another part of Saudi Arabia. There are no longer any restrictions and the older rule no longer applies where the first visit must be directly into Saudi Arabia, even if a multiple entry visa is helped.
Having the correct visa type for your travel to Saudi Arabia
The Saudi Arabian ministry of foreign affairs are strict in terms of their requirement for applicants having the right visa type for the purpose of their trip. Upon arrival at the airport, this is queried to ensure consistency of the application.
A Saudi online visa is available to those travelling for religious pilgrimage, an event, or holiday purposes. This visa has limitations in terms of its durations, frequency of visits and potential length.
If an applicant is intending to visit for business purposes, then the correct visa type must be obtained.
Note that the working visit visa is no longer available, therefore undertaking manual type tasks that are assumed can be undertaken by a Saudi Arabian nationals are no longer valid. Please see our Saudi business visit guideline page.
During the Visa Application
Retrieval of the passport from the Embassy during the application
Please Note that the majority (99.6%) of applications made via our company are completed within the timeframe advertised, which also includes any Saudi embassy legalisation and attestations from the FCO, ABCC (Arab British Chamber of Commerce) and submission and collection from the embassy. However on the very rare occasion there are delays with applications, which might be for example due to delays internal, further analysis of the visa application. Whatever the reason, unfortunately the passport cannot be retrieved once it has been submitted, therefore clients are advised that if intending to make a Saudi visa application, that sufficient timeframe should be kept to factor in any delays.
Having a second UK Passport is a backup option which we can facilitate if requested in order to provide flexibility if this rule causes issues for your other travel plans
Visa Applicants that already hold an existing Saudi Arabia visa
If an applicant holds an existing Saudi Arabia business visa (even if it is close to the expiration date) and wishes to make a new visa application, they must first cancel the existing visa. This can be done whilst submitting your new visa application by providing a visa cancellation letter addressed to the embassy in London, stating the reason for rejection, the applicant's full name, passport number and making a cancellation request.
Please contact our team for our inhouse template of this cancellation letter.
Upon receipt of the Saudi Arabia visa back
“Not Permitted to Work” in Saudi Arabia Visa
This is one of the most common questions regarding a Saudi visa.
Most visas will state “Not permitted to work” at the bottom of the visa. This statement often confuses business travellers by giving the impression that they cannot undertake their business and commercial activities with their Saudi counterparts during their visit. Please note this has two dual meanings
1. An applicant cannot use it as a previous working visit visa (now redundant) therefore they are not able to carry out various activities (see our invitations page for more information). These include site managers at construction, manufacturing, arts and so forth. However normal business visits are fine
2. This also means that the visa cannot be used for those looking to reside, work and find employment in Saudi Arabia, and the visa will not allow one to get an Iqama, rent a flat, open a bank account officially as a resident.
Saudi Arabia Visa Extension
Please note that business visas for Saudi Arabia cannot be extended. Once the visa has expired, a fresh application with a new invitation from the Saudi Arabian chamber of commerce needs to be made. Visa extensions for iqama’s and residential visas existing, however not for commercial visas. Please contact our team for more information.
Re-entry into Saudi Arabia with Visa
In the event that applicants leave Saudi Arabia, be it to visit another Arab neighboring country, be it UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Iraq or Jordan, if the applicant holds a multiple entry visa, then this visa type will allow an unlimited number of back and forth trips into the Kingdom. If the applicant holds a single entry visa, then this will not be the case and reentry will not be permitted after exit. Upon exiting the immigration border, the visa will stamp making usage no longer valid.
Transfer of visa from one passport to another
If an applicant's existing passport expires (with a valid Saudi visa inside it), and there is more than 6 months validity left on the Saudi Arabian visa, then based on the visa type, nationality and other details on the visa, please contact our team of visa consultants who will advise on whether you can they will be able to travel with both passports, be able to transfer the visa from one passport to another, or have to cancel the existing visa and reapply for a new visa.
If your visa application query is not answered above, please contact our Saudi Arabia visa team who will assist accordingly.