Nationals of Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the
UAE are not required to get visas. All other nationals should obtain visas from Saudi Embassies or Consulates abroad. Applications via trade associations, Chambers
of Commerce etc, are recommended, supported by an invitation From the host company in Saudi Arabia.
visas in passports valid for at least six months are required for
entry. Visas can be obtained for business and
work, to visit close relatives, for religious visits, and lately for
tourism. Most visas are single entry and allow
for a maximum six-month stay.
obtain a visitor's visa for business purposes, each foreign company
representative must have a letter of invitation from the sponsor in
Saudi Arabia. This letter must be in Arabic, the applicant must
have the original copy (no faxes allowed), the letter must be on
sponsoring company letterhead, and must bear an authenticating stamp
of the local Saudi Chamber of Commerce.
letter should name the visa applicant, passport number, company name
and address, approximate dates of visit, and reason for visit (e.g.
business meetings). The visa applicant may
hold the letter for up to 60 days prior to making
application. It is recommended that the applicant's company use the company's letterhead when requesting the
Saudi Embassy's/Consulates' cooperation in issuing the
visa. Once the visa is
stamped on the passport, it must be used or officially canceled
before a subsequent visa will be issued. The visa
may be extended at the discretion of the Saudi Embassy or Consulate
prior to the expiration date.
visas also are available through a separate process.
working in Saudi Arabia generally must surrender their passports
while in Saudi Arabia. The sponsor (normally the
employer) obtains a work and residence permit for the employee and
for any family members. Family members of those
working are not required by law to surrender their passports, though
they often do. Residents carry a Saudi residence
permit (Iqama) for identification in place of their passports.
to Saudi Arabia generally obtain a meningitis vaccination prior to
arrival, especially during the annual pilgrimage
rituals. A medical report, including an AIDS
test, is required to obtain a work and residence permit.
This includes a medical certification.
residing and working in Saudi Arabia may not depart the country
without obtaining an exit permit prior to leaving and an
exit/reentry permit if they intend to return to Saudi
Arabia. The Saudi sponsor's approval is required
for these permits. One-time visitors on a single
entry visa do not need an exit permit. A married
woman residing in Saudi Arabia with her husband must have her
husband's approval to receive an exit permit. The
father must approve the departure of any children.
business centers of Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam/Al-Khobar/Dhahran
have an international airports served by a variety of international
airlines. Air travel is preferred for domestic
travel with public service restricted to the sole national airline,
Arabia has a good highway system and rental cars and
taxis/limousines are available at all airports. One rail line carries
passengers and freight between Dammam and Riyadh.
Jeddah and Dammam are the main international seaports for
moving containerized and bulk cargo.
communication facilities are available including telephone, fax,
Internet, telex, and courier services.