This time for our stay in Makkah we chose Makaram umul Qura hotel in Makkah as we went there for Umrah. It was recommended by a friend. It is located on Ajyad street. We booked this hotel from Booking.com. It has 7.5 rating on Booking.com and after watching pictures online, it looked pretty nice. When you enter the hotel, it has this spacious feel to it. It looks very neat and tidy. Continue reading
MANDATORY MEDICAL INSURANCE As mandated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saudi Arabia, all Applicants travelling to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are required to obtain a Council of Cooperative Health Insurance (CCHI) approved Medical Insurance Certificate from the Visa Application Centre. The cost of the insurance is generated upon receiving the application and has to be paid at the time of the appointment.
As the news of new visa fee structure was circulating the Saudi media & expatriate community for quite some time now. Today, on 2nd October 2016, affecting immediately, the fees has been applied. Etimad Pakistan, company dealing with stamping of visa, has updated the new fee structure on their website. As so many Pakistani settled in Saudi Arabia, call their loved ones to kingdom on visit visas each year, so this news of increase in visa fee is substantially important for the audience.
As it was stated that 1st Muharram i.e. 2nd October, 2016 will be the starting date of application of new visa fees, so as the first thing in morning, I turned towards Etimad Pakistan website to check the status and I found this:
So, from now on for Family visit visa (for each person), you will have to pay 62,921 PKR (Pakistani Rupees) for a normal package and 67,680 PKR for a lounge package. Earlier the normal stamping cost was 10,000 PKR and 15,000 PKR for lounge package. The visa fee applicable to both packages for family visit will be 58,600 PKR which is almost 10 times of the previous fee (5,870 PKR).
IMPORTANT NOTICE- In effect from 01 Muharram, 1438 corresponding to 02 October, 2016. As per the instructions from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, invitation letters dated prior to Sunday, 02 October 2016 will not be accepted for processing new visa requests. Travelers are requested to obtain a new invitation letter to process their applications. Invitation letter is mandatory for application processing.
Following are the highlights of the applied changes related to visa for KSA:
- One time entry visa fee now is SAR 2000 (excluding the stamping charges). KSA government will bear this cost for the people that are performing Hajj or Umrah for the first time. For the second time people performing Hajj or Umrah SAR 2000 will be charges as visa fee (excluding the stamping fee)
- The exit/re-entry visa fees is:
- SAR 200 for a single trip for a maximum of two months and additional SAR100 for each month.
- SAR 500 for multiple trips for maximum three months and additional SAR 200 for each month.
- Multiple exit/re-entry visa fees:
- SAR 3000 for the six-month visa
- SAR 5000 for the one-year visa
- SAR 8000 for the two-year visa
Visa applications submitted from 17th October, 2106 will have to get a Medical Insurance Certificate from Visa Application Center i.e. Etimad Office. Earlier it was said that the fee for medical insurance will be USD 254 (approximately 1000 SAR). But our reader Mr. Usman Sheikh has confirmed that he had paid 3,500 PKR (approximately 125 SAR) for medical insurance.
Complete detail of medical Insurance can be found in this VisaTermsAndConditions document.
One of our reader Mr. Nauman inquired from Etimad regarding the medical insurance fee and following is their reply:
Dear Sir, Insurance fee calculation is on daily base offering rate, age of applicant, time span of visa and other factors. We cannot give an exact amount, it can be between 6,000 to 30,000 PKR per passport. Regards Etimad Team.
Please note, no other medical insurance certificate will be acceptable.
When I first came to Saudi Arabia on family visit visa, I did not know at all if performing Umrah is legal or not on this visa. I didn’t knew even if this debate exists because we all know by default that performing Hajj on visit visa is illegal but no one ever mentioned anything about Umrah. So, we thought that it would be legal as we never heard any news about people being detained for performing Umrah on visit visa as we usually read in case of Hajj. Continue reading