Saudi visa is a REAL pain in the ass; don't
First of all forget getting a turist visa since
it doesn't exist!
As you can see the photo of the immigration
form I got on the plane the type of visa available
- Business/ work= the visa I got, below the
- Umrah= small pilgrimage only for Muslim you
can do when you want
- Haj) the real pilgrimage only for Muslim
- Private= if you have relatives in KSA, good
- Transit= you need a proof of a ticket
To me it took 2 months and I got rejected
twice for silly bugs in the documentation.
Consider that both the two times I got the visa it
was a hassle, also when sponsored by the Minister
of Foreign Affairs
The document you have to provide to
apply for a Business visa
Original and copy of the passport.
2. Passport should be valid for at least six months.
3. Copy of the Italian Residence Permit (for non-EU
4. 2 recent photos with white background.
5. Passport must not contain any restriction and authorizes
its holder to return to the issuing country.
6. Passport must contain at least two blank facing
7. Applicants with a valid visa must wait for its
expiration before applying for a new visa. Exceptions
are made only for
work visa applicants.
8. Invitation Letter requested by the Saudi company
and attested by the Chamber of Commerce, or a copy
of the Visit
Permit issued by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For some categories of applicants (e.g. lawyers, journalists,
doctors, cook, women) and multi entries visa (valid
more than 90 days), the authorization must be issued
Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
9. Copy of the Qualification Certificate: o Copy of
Bachelor Degree Certificate, issued or duly legalized
competent authorities in Italy, and certified by Italian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for lawyers, architects,
doctors, consultants and project managers.
10. Copy of Diploma or the Experience Certificate
for vocational and technical professions, issued or
duly legalized by
the competent authorities in Italy, for technicians,
mechanics, installers and skilled workers. Otherwise
payslip and an experience letter on company's
letterhead is required.
11. Letter of Visa Request issued by the Applicant's
company on letterhead and addressed to the Chief of
Consulate in Rome (please download the template from
the "Download forms" section). Companies
that apply for
multiple employees will need to issue individual letters.
12. Copy of the Trade License of the company (Visura
Camerale or certificate of IVA/VAT registration number
freelancers) issued in Italy or duly attested by the
Saudi Embassy in the host country.
Saudi Ryial (SAR): 1 SAR= 0,24€
I used Lonely Planet Bahrain, Kuwait,
Quatar e Arabia Saudita 4th edit, Feb 2011 translated
in Italian from the english original version Oman,
UAE & Arabian Peninsula (3rd edition, Sept 2010)
From the health standpoint it's a relative
safe place being the standard quite high and the climate
dry for most of the year.
YOU MUST KNOW AND INTERESTING STUFFS
Female dress code = you MUST wear an abeja (long black
dress, but you don't need to cover the face as in
the burqua). Religious police will check all the button
till the last
Male dress code= for men is far easier since the only
thing not accepted are the shorts
- You are not allowed in Mecca or Medina if you are
not Muslim. There are checkpoints they will check
your passport where it's supposed to be written you
- When you go to restaurant is you are with a women
you must find the one with the section for families
- When taking a public mean of transport by law you
cannot sit near a woman
- When visiting a mall you cannot enter in the hours
dedicated to the families unless you are with a woman
Azan, Adhan, Salah, Salat= the four 30min prayer during
- Abeja= the black dress worn by the female (it's
not a burka since eyes are not covered)
- Guntra = the headdress fashioned from a red scarf
- Umrah= the pilgrimage that can be done in any moment
of the year
- Haijad= the real pilgrimage that must be done in
a precise moment of the year
- ABOUT WEDDINGS:
- Guys get married as soon as they can (to
- Thumb rules is after 3 months from the first
salary with a minimum of 6.000 RSA/month (1.200€/month).
- at wedding male and female celebrated separately
- In KSA divorces are getting popular, but
only the man can decide
- MUTTAWA: the religious police patrol around
checking the respect of the Islam rules in term
of behaviour, dressing,...
- a guy I met on the taxi got whipped 99 times
for being caught walking with a girl who was
not a relative
- Taxi driver got whipped 3 times for being
caught smoking hashish
- the wife of an expat working in Riyadh got
scolded by Muttawa for the having the last
button of the Abeja opened
- A lot of things are not taught in the School
Ie: the existence of the railway built by
Ottomans (the Hejaz railway)
- Everything is divided in allowed or prohibhited
(Allaah or Haram), nothing can be in the between
- A guy on the bus was telling me he was not
so muslim, but he was so scared to tell me
that showed me written on the phone display.
He was scared about the guy in the backseat
could hear and sue him for that.
- A guy on the taxi was complaining he was
not allowed in the shopping malls as single
- In KSA cinemas are forbidden by law
- During the prayer (Salah) (at 15.30- 16.00,
at 18.30-19.00) EVERYTHING is shut down, so
whatever you are doing, you will stop and
just wait the prayer ends
- In Riyadh public square there've been 3
beheading since the beginning of the year
- I was with a female colleague for dinner
we struggled to find the restaurant accepting
females (the one for families)
- In the restaurant we ate a delicious camel
- Car petrol costs 0.15€/l
- A taxi driver earns around 140 Ryals/day
- During taxiing on the plane males and females
get acquainted using bluetooth