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KSA Entry Regulations For Yanks

 
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Buddhabelly



Joined: 10 Apr 2004
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 9:35 pm    Post subject: KSA Entry Regulations For Yanks Reply with quote

I'm currently caught in a real confusing situation as far as the KSA work visa.
One company is telling me that as an American I have to get all my paperwork done by the consulate in D.C before being allowed to enter the Kingdom-yet another recruiter is telling me that I can get papers from them that would allow me to get an entry visa from any Saudi consulate in the world and then take care of the official work permit once in the KSA.
Can anyone let me know which is the case these days?.
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Mark100



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 441

PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It all depends on whether it is a residence visa or a work visa.
Most people come over on residence visa and you must get these in your home country with all the lab tests and police checks.
You can get a work visa at any Saudi consulate but you will not have an iquama and the visa needs to be continually renewed.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12169
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 6:07 am    Post subject: influence Reply with quote

I have colleagues who are US citizens who came to the KofSA straight from theoir country of residence which is NOT the USofA.

But you should be aware that in the Middle East things do not always work the way you expect. Everything is negotiable and everything depends on "wasta". Everything !
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shebab



Joined: 17 Sep 2003
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe it is a lot easier, less costly, and less time consuming to just go back to the US to get the paperwork done there. I was enquiring about getting medical exams done in the UAE so I could leave to Saudi directly from here, and I was told by an agency it would tack on another 3 or 4 months of processing before it would have enough stamps on it to be accepted by the Saudi Consulate in the US (which in any case would have to issue the actual visa if it's a "block visa")
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Bindair Dundat



Joined: 04 Feb 2003
Posts: 1123

PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark100 wrote:

Most people come over on residence visa and you must get these in your home country with all the lab tests and police checks.


According to the staff at KFUPM, you can get a residence visa in any country in which you are already a legal resident (or at the nearset KSA consulate to that country); it doesn't have to be your country of citizenship.

Didn't you get your residence visa in Turkey, Scot47?

I got a pre-residence entry visa for the UAE in Jordan when I was living there; didn't have to go through any of the foolishness that my UAE-bound American compatriots went through in the States. I'd guess that KSA has a similar system.

It's been my experience that this situation applies for visas to the USA, too: If you are a legal resident in any country, you can apply for a US visa in that country.

I must sound very naive, suggesting that KSA might conform to any international standard. Very Happy Very Happy
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12169
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 12:30 pm    Post subject: visas Reply with quote

Well.................................................

I am not a USAnian. Subject of Her Britannic Majesty, me !

But I did get my entry visa in Turkey.

Depends on your employer I think and what system they have for getting visas and dishing them out.

Ask Stephen Jones on this forum. He is the specialist.
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dmb



Joined: 12 Feb 2003
Posts: 8397

PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not only is Stephen the specialist. I think he actually approves visas.
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Mark100



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 441

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well anything is possible in the magic kingdom but in the majority of cases to get a Saudi residence visa you need to do the paperwork in the country where your passport was issued.
A work visa can be obtained in theory at any Saudi consulate.
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Bindair Dundat



Joined: 04 Feb 2003
Posts: 1123

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 6:27 am    Post subject: Re: visas Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
I am not a USAnian.


Heavens, Mr. 47! I was not suggesting that you were! I swear, the thought never entered my mind.

BD
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12169
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In these troubled times one does not wish to be mistaken for a citizen of God's Own Country. It could have fatal consequences.
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Buddhabelly



Joined: 10 Apr 2004
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:39 am    Post subject: Iquama Reply with quote

Thanks for all the posts (especially the first half which were actually helpful Rolling Eyes ).
I would like to ask mark100 to give more info about the iquama-can you also be more clear on how often a work visa must be renewed inside the kingdom?.....You make it sound like it has to be done at various times over a year.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12169
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:52 am    Post subject: USAnians and Others Reply with quote

The residence permit (igama) is valid normally for two years (Islamic Years - ten days less than Gregorian). Some peple may get an Igama for one year.

A business visa is different.

Once you have an Igama you are legal but you need an exit visa to leave KSA. Some employers give multiple exit visas. Most do not.

I do not think there are special rules for citizens of the US. You imply in your question that there might be. As far as I know the rules apply to all foreigners, except for citizens of GCC states.
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Mark100



Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Posts: 441

PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The business or work visa needs to be renewed every couple of months but even this is not fixed as it often depends on the whim of the consulate sometimes they give you a three months visa and sometimes only a month.
If you are an English teacher i suspect you will be on a residence visa as the job title on the visa would not let you get a work or business visa.
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 4124

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is the situation as far as I can tell.

You can get the visa in any country in which you have legal residence. Hoever the company has to apply for block visas, and it normally will ask for them to be issued from the home consulate.

The actual issuing of a block visa can take up to two or three months, as the positions have to be advertised for Saudi Nationals first.

Now, if for example your employer has block visas for the USA and you live in Bangkok, with legal residence there, the company can apply for one of the visas within the block to be transferred to the embassy of the country you are resident in. This has to be done through the Foreign Office and they will require certain paperwork, such as the official residence visa. They may put forward other objections (I honestly don't know) but even if they don't they will have to forward the paperwork to Riyadh, who will request it from the Embassy in DC, who will send it to Riyadh, who will then send it to the appropriate embassy. As the diplomatic bag often only travels once a week this can take time.

Another thing that can be done is for the employer to request the visas to be available at the embassy in Bangkok for example, when they make the initial request. This should be quicker, but there is the problem that if the Thai based applicant turns down the job there is a valuable work visa sitting around looking idle, so employers are most reluctant to do this.

I hope I have made the matter a little clearer. To muddy the waters there is also the gray area of poeple being hired on visit visas as Educational Consultants. I can only speak as to work visas.

Incidentally, the Saudi Embassy in Washington does appear to move fast. We had an American who arrived recently who flew into DC on Monday morning and was flying out to Saudi, with the visa, on the Thursday of the next week. If you are trying to do it outside of NY or DC however it can take longer.
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