As a foreign resident, what is my status in your country?
It depends on the kind of visa you are holding.
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What kinds of visas are available?
You will need one of the following visas to enter Saudi Arabia:
Business visit visa – For this, you will need an original cover letter from a registered company, based in the US, indicating the name of the Saudi Arabian company, the nature of the applicant’s visit, length of stay and financial responsibility. The letter must bear the company’s stamp or seal.
Family visit – Your sponsor or relative in Saudi Arabia must apply for the invitation through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. You will need to show proof of relationship with the sponsor (i.e., copy of marriage certificate, or copy of a birth certificate for a child).
Transit visa – You will need to show a confirmed ticket for your time in the country, which shouldn't exceed 48 hours.
Employment visa – Your employer will need to apply for your work permit with the proper government body (Interior and Labor & Social Affairs Ministry).
Residence visa - Residence permits (iqamas) are issued to an authorized worker and the family of the worker. Dependents are given residence visas, which do not allow them to seek employment.
Exit visas for leaving the Kingdom are required for holders of residence visas.
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What is required to obtain these visas?
To acquire any of these visas you will need the standard documents, such as a visa application form, a valid passport (at least six months validity), photographs and the required form of payment (money order) for the application and processing fees ($50 - $150).
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Are spouses permitted and/or likely to find work?
Spouse are permitted to work, but finding a job might be difficult.
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What are the main forms of identification and how does a newcomer obtain them?
A foreigner/non-Muslim resident must have a national ID card and a resident identity card (iqama).
The card indicates religion (Muslim or non-Muslim) and status. Only Muslims can be citizens of Saudi Arabia.
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Are there any other important permits I must obtain, or places where I must register right away?
It's helpful to get a driver's license and you can register with the embassy for your home country.
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What items should I avoid bringing into the country?
The laws here are much different from other countries, so do some research. You cannot import alcohol products, weapons or any items that are held to be contrary to the tenets of Islam, such as pork products and pornography. Animals require a veterinary health certificate and other special permissions for entry into the country. Feel free to contact Crown Saudi Arabia for more information.
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Is there anything else I should know about entering and remaining in the country legally?
Religion plays a big role in everyday life. Prayers are said several times each day and shops and offices close for prayer.
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Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.