General Question

manolla's avatar

How to get a visa to Saudi Arabia?

Asked by manolla (795 points ) June 7th, 2011

Well my boyfriend works there and he suggested that I go check it out and maybe I can work there too and honestly I’m a bit concerned because he’s been a bit depressed lately and I want to check on how he is, but I wanted to know if there is a way that I can go for a visit and see how I will like it there before I actually sign a contract with some company?

I checked several websites and it sounds like getting a visa is almost impossible.

Does anyone have experience with this?

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5 Answers

Bagardbilla's avatar

I’m not sure if much has changed since I live there in the mid 70’s, but you had to find employment via agencies or directly through the various companies, and then they would apply for your visa. If you are Muslim you can apply on religious grounds (wanting to go on a pilgrimage), or find a sponcer. If you merry the guy (even just on paper), you should be able to apply for a visit visa via the Saudi embassy.

zenvelo's avatar

Be aware there is little work available for western women. And the Saudi’s don’t invite non-Muslim tourists; Muslims can visit during the Haj.

manolla's avatar

Thanks for your input guys, actually my boyfriend knows a friend who’s company there that would be willing to hire me, and if I sign a one year employment contract with them, they will take care of the visa processing, but I am trying to find if there is any way that I could get a visa on my own and visit the place before I do that, because I can’t decide yet if I want to spend a year there.

I’m not a muslim so the Haj visa doesn’t apply to me, and I’m not married to my boyfriend so he can’t send me an invitation as his wife either.

I’m just suprised to find out that getting a visa is that impossible, I’ve been to Egypt, Dubai and other Middle East countries and thought that its the same thing to get a visa to visit Saudi.

bob_'s avatar

Apparently, they no longer issue tourism visas.

These are the type of visas that the Saudi embassy in Washington issues.

Bagardbilla's avatar

@zenvelo actually there is a religious deed called Umrah (a smaller version of Haj) which is and can be performed at any time of the year. So many people get an Umrah visa and go there throughout the year, (and not just during Haj).
I’m sure that’s not what you meant, but your answer made it sound as thought Muslims are only allowed during Haj. :)
@manolla go for a year. It’s a short period, you just might like it. There are many westerners there, and if your bf’s company houses it’s expatriot employees in a compound (as most companies do) you’ll have many priviliges and benifits which really make it worth while. Do make sure you get married (even if just on paper), it will allow you two to live together, and go out in public places without being hassled by the religious police (the ‘Shourtah’s).

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