Saudi VISA Information:

Important details:
- Foreigners need a visa to be able to exit the country.
- Every foreigner in Arabia has a sponsor that is responsible after him. That also means you need permission from the sponsor to be able to enter/leave the country or to attend Hacc. KAUST is the sponsor for the members of the university.

Beginning September 8, 2013, Ministry of Interior has cancelled the use of the printed exit/re-entry visas. According to the announcement, there will be no need to carry a visa printout attached to your passport.

How to get a visa
Recommended way is to send an email to GASC asking for the requirements: they will respond with the list of the documents required and will attach the appropriate form to the reply.

How to Check the Validity of your Visa?

Single Exit/Re-entry Visa
Since it can be issued by GASC here at KAUST, it usually takes around a day to be processed.

Multiple-Entry VISA

This page will contain information about the VISA process in Saudi Arabia, with which you are allowed to leave the country.
Ideally you will want a "6 Month Multiple-Entry VISA" or a 12 month one after you get your work/residence permit (iqama). It will take 3 days after your application. Email after your arrival to learn the details.

Family Visit VISA Procedure

- download the 'Family Visit Request Form' from the KAUST google site
"UR - Government Affairs" : Family Visit Visa Request.docx
- fill in the form, print it, take it to HR and get a signature
(HR does not see the point of this but it is required by GASC)
- scan the form with the signature
- print your basic salary statement from portal : Salary Certificate (Basic Only)
Email everything to, including:
- the filled, signed and scanned request form
- the filled request form document for legibility
- copy of your iqama
- copy of your passport
- copy of all visitor's passports
In one week (+/- 1 day) you will get an email with the approved visa in a PDF document.
The visitors have to print and take it to the embassy/consulate in the country stated in the application.

Important: The family visit visas are always single entry (exceptions to that are done at the embassy, not in Saudi Arabia). The document says that visa "Duration in days" is 30. It means in practice that the passports have to be stamped, i.e. visitors have to arrive to KSA, within 30 of the approval date AND that visitors can stay 30 days. If your visitors want to stay longer, you have to apply the extension through GASC when the visitors are in the country and while the original visa is still valid (at least expiry date minus one

THANKS to -Heikki and Minna

And, What is the definition of "Family"?

The original restrictive list we were given was:
  • parents
  • spouse's parents (in cases where the spouse lives at KAUST)
  • siblings
  • children

Heikki and I both work at KAUST, so our situation might be different to yours. I was told I can get a visa for my son-in-law, my brother-in-law and my nieces.
You can get the definite answer from HR or government affairs. I emailed my visa question to and was sent a reply by Sarah AboKhodair
mailto :|]]

Please contribute here, if you know details of the process, and how to do it at KAUST. Or email to