Though spiritual tourism still rules the industry, lately there has been a substantial increase in the number of travelers to Saudi Arabia for business purpose. This is one country where the applicant has to face a lot of issues in the visa processing due to lack of correct knowledge.
Let us understand the visa process for Saudi Arabia in brief along with the important points one needs to carry in mind while processing the visa.
The visa for Saudi Arabia can be applied through only registered agents. Saudi Arabian Embassy has authorized some agents and only they can apply for a visa directly at the Embassy. While you start the visa process you need to first know your category of visa from the enticing organization. The business visa mainly has 2 subcategories – Commercial Visit Visa & Working Visit Visa.
The designation of the traveler plays a vital role in deciding the category. Applicants with a higher designation in the Indian company have to apply for commercial visit visa and applicants
with other designations might have to apply for a working visit visa. The embassy relates the designation with the purpose the applicant can serve while in Saudi. Let us understand this with examples –
“XYZ” company’s Managing Director is traveling; his application will be done under the Commercial visit visa category. An engineer working with “XYZ” company is travelling, his application will be done under the working visit visa category.
Once you understand your category ask your inviting company to send you the invitation letter bearing the MOFA stamp along with the company’s registration copy. This is one of the most important documents and is also one of the reasons why all the confusion in the application might happen. The letter is in Arabic language and most of the visa details depend on this only like duration of the visa, category of the visa, the visa will be single entry or multiple entries, etc. This letter is an approval from the MOFA (in Saudi Arabia) and we only need to apply for the stamping from here in India.
Once you receive the letter, you will then have to prepare other documents from your side like a cover letter on Indian company’s letterhead, passport and photographs. The commercial visit visa also has an extra requirement of Chamber of commerce letter for the visa. While preparing the documents you need to mark the below points and keep a check on the same –
1. The Designation on the cover letter and invite letter should match exactly.
2. The Indian company’s name in the invite letter (Arabic letter) should be mentioned correctly.
3. The issue date of both the letters should match.
4. The Chamber letter and cover letter should have company’s round seal on it.
5. The letters should be addressed to the Embassy of Saudi Arabia, New Delhi only. This is because the business visa does not get approved for any other center.
The Embassy might ask for extra documents sometimes like a degree certificate for an engineer, or if the above points are not taken care while preparing the documentation. Once the visa process is done the Embassy from its side will get the Travel insurance for the applicant processed for the duration of his / her stay.