No change in family visa rules Saudi Arabia-Official

This rule effect thousands of people who are living without their families

DAMMAM: Government officials have denied recent reports that there have been changes in visa rules for the dependants of expatriate workers. Reports in the English and Arabic media had claimed that high-earning expatriates working in the Kingdom on low-category work visas would be allowed to bring their families into the country on permanent resident visas.“Those reports are not true,” said a Dammam isteqdam official who requested anonymity.

“The family visa is very much linked to the profession on your iqama. We have issued and are issuing family visas to only those in white-collar jobs such as engineers, doctors and executives. The financial status of the applicant is only one of the conditions.”

According to him, nonprofessionals, such as those who are listed on their iqamas and work permits as laborers, masons, electricians and so forth, will have their applications for family visas rejected automatically. “The rules are clear-cut. Professionals — yes; nonprofessionals — no,” he said.

The general assumption in government circles is that those listed as laborers or drivers on their iqamas will not be able to meet the expenses of their families.

However, there are many expatriates in the Kingdom who are working in top jobs and are earning healthy salaries, yet are only classed as laborers or similar on their iqamas.

Take Abdul Kareem’s case, for instance. He arrived in the Kingdom from India in the late 1980s.

Armed with a bachelor’s degree in commerce, he took up a job at a prominent bank as a typist or tiba’a.

In the years that followed, he rose through the ranks and became a manager in one of the bank’s branches. However, he could not bring his wife and four children to the Kingdom because his iqama still classed him as a typist.

“I even produced a letter from my bank proving my salary to the isteqdam guys. It was more than SR10,000 then. They were sympathetic to my case but were helpless,” he told Arab News.

Abdul Kareem instead took the easier route of inviting his family over on Umrah visas. “The bank had shifted me to Jeddah, and that helped me reunite with my family on and off,” he said.

Like Abdul Kareem, there are hundreds of expatriates working in the Kingdom’s private sector in top jobs who have been designated by their employers as laborers to avoid penalties from the Labor Office for not meeting Saudization targets.

Low-category professions are exempted from rules that govern the implementation of Saudization or nationalization of jobs.

Expatriates in situations similar to that of Abdul Kareem have tried asking their companies to change their professions on the iqama. In many cases, they have succeeded.

“However, that option became too difficult with time. It is just not easy to change the profession on your iqama anymore. It is a very cumbersome process and needs a lot of wasta (influence) and money,” said Sarwar Shakoor, a Pakistani national working as an administrator at an Alkhobar-based IT firm. “I instead invite my family on visit visas.”

News from Arabnews


Published: Mar 19, 2010 23:21 Updated: Mar 19, 2010 23:21

Disclaimer: Many times at my blog I have explained that I am not a lawyer or legal adviser to anyone. I am simple person who is working in Information Technology field in Saudi Arabia. A lot of people are asking me questions in blog comments and I cannot say ‘NO’ to them or remain silent on their queries. I try to help them because I know they are suffering in their lives regarding their families. And to reply blog comments I have to spare a lot of time from my busy life. As I have gone through all this process, (1. Documents attestation from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, 2. Change of Profession, 3. Applying for a family visa, 4. Stamp visa to passport from Saudi Embassy and finally get my family here in Saudi Arabia) So I only can provide a guide-line or information. I am not affiliated with any Recruiting Agency, Travel Agency, General Services Agency or Legal firm. I cannot guarantee what information I provide here is 100% accurate as per Saudi Arabian law. I will not accept any claim of misguidance, fraud or any other thing of same kind. Thank you. (Author)

About Yasir Imran

Yasir Imran is a Pakistani living in Saudi Arabia. He writes because he want to express his thoughts. It is not necessary you agree what he says, You may express your thoughts in your comments. Once reviewed and approved your comments will appear in the discussion.
This entry was posted in Just-Shared, News and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

424 Responses to No change in family visa rules Saudi Arabia-Official

  1. Yasir says:

    Assalam o Alaykum,
    i want to ask that can a person apply visit visa or family visa from anywhere in saudi arabia or is it necessary that one could only apply to the city from where the kafeel belongs..

  2. Riaz says:

    Dear all,

    I would like to share my experiance in getting family visa in saudi arabia which is as under,
    i came to saudi arabia on a cooks visa in may 2012 I got my profession changed to marketing
    specialist through my companies personal dept, i was informed by them that i will get visa after one year from now,
    I wated for 2 months and went to istaqdam jeddah to apply for visa but they said that as my iqama is from khobar and as i have changed the profession recently,
    it is compulsory to apply from istaqdam dammam
    so i went to dammam in the second week of dec 2012 to apply,here the officer asked me to visit the mudir(head of istaqdam)
    i visited him he checked my papers,unfortunately my degree was not
    attested by vazarat e kharagia(ministry of foriegn affairs) so he asked me to get it attested i went to MOFA and get the same
    attested by paying SR 30/- then i went back to this mudir who accepted my application and asked me to visit the same officer
    i went to him he again checked all the documents and found that i had not attached the birth certificate of my daughter unfortunately
    i was not carring it with me so i asked my family back home to send the same through mail i got the print and went back to the officer
    who then ultematily issued the “yellow paper” Visa. the moral of the story is that if your documents are inorder you may apply for family
    visa immediatly and inshallah you will get the visa on the spot only thing is that you needs to visit the istaqdam of the city mentioned in your iqama.
    dont forget that every thing that happens, happens with allah s will.may allah accept all our prayers and all the people desparate to bring their families
    get their family visa soon…….

  3. Yasir says:

    Assaalam o Alaykum,

    I have always heard from every one and i also read on your blog that all technicians visas are eligible for family visa.. I have got Fanni Hasibulli ( computer technician ) aqama but i went to apply for family visa but they rejected and said that family is not allowed on this profession as well… can anyone tell me if there is any latest news about that ??


  4. Aju says:

    My iqama profession is kharbai aarm… i am a btech and PGDBA graduate and working as engineer.. without changing the profession to engineer, there is any chance to get family visa on this profession

  5. salman says:

    can i bring my mother on permanent & visit visa my iqama profession is kharbai amm . ? before i apply online visit visa at and they rejected . there is any other to apply manually visit visa for mother . plz help me m v.upset due to this issue .

  6. Masaud says:

    Dear Brothers , today 27 february my case for family permanent visa is rejected as only my profession on iqama is TELECOM TECHNICIAN , while working as ENGINEER 🙂

  7. M.S Ali says:


    I m Currently working in SAUDI BIN LADEN company as Document Controller to MD & I m Graduate.
    My profession on Iqama is ” NAJJAR MABANI AAM ” I want to call my family on visit visa or family visa ALSO I like to call my Mother on visit visa.

    Kindly advise.


  8. Nisar Ahmed. says:

    I have Iqama profession ” General system analyst” I am already intitled for family status from compay. My degree is not yet attested from Saudi Embassy. Is it need for Visa?

    • asim says:

      hi friend ,, please let me know the arabic translation for general systems analyst as per iqama

  9. sami says:

    I have my bachelor degree in Arts, I want to apply permenant visa for my wife, what profession on iqama are suitable with my degree. Currently it computer technician

  10. Bilal Ahmed says:

    Need your help plz,
    i arrived KSA on kharbai amm (electrician visa) in march 2014, i am doing job as a civil engineer in consultant company, i also have a 4 yr degree. so after a process i changed my profession on iqama from KHARBAI AAM to CIVIL ENGINEER. Can i bring my family to KSA? as my iqama profession is CIvil engineer , but visa on which i arrived in KSA is general Electrician.

  11. Faiz says:

    Being an IT programmer as profession in iqama, all my degrees are attested including marriage certifcate, still they say that my entry visa beofre 3 years in ksa, was of a driver so i wont get visa. Whats the issue I dont understand.Kindly guide.

  12. suhail says:

    Hello Sir,

    I am working as Electrical QC Inspector in Saudi arabia. But my education is ITI 2years. My question is with ITI certificate with same profession can apply and is it possible to get permanent family visa with ITI certificate?
    Awaiting your valuable feedback

    Thanks and regards

  13. Babu says:

    I am working as Quality Supervisor (Mechanical) in Saudi arabia. But my education is ITI (Mechanical) 2years. my IQAMA profession is Funny Mechanic can i apply and is it possible to get permanent family visa with ITI certificate as it as same as my profession in IQAMA?
    Awaiting your valuable feedback

  14. Kashif Khan says:

    Salam, I just need to know if I got transfer while my family visa is in process then what would be the impact, is it gonna reject or there is no impact of transfer during family visa process..
    seeking your urgent advice..

  15. Asad says:

    Can I get married in Jeddah my profession is saiq khas my feuncy ia also in jeddah and she is in her father kafala if I get married with her so that I can take her tnazil on my iqama or not

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s