This relates to UK Visa Saudi Arabia 2019: applications, processing time and refusal rate. Accordingly, provides details of UK visa for Saudi Nationals during 2018 and Jan-March 2019. And also the UK visa Saudi Arabia refusal rate. Moreover, explains the UK visa Saudi Arabia processing time from UKVAC Jeddah, Al Khobar and Riyadh.

UK visa Saudi Arabia: applications from Saudi Citizens 2018-2019

During the Jan-March 2019 quarter, 22,551 Saudi nationals applied for entry clearance. Accordingly, 21,411 visa applications from Saudi Arabia resolved during the Jan-Mar 2019 quarter. And 21,205 visas granted, 153 applications refused. Moreover, 53 applications withdrawn and no application lapsed during the quarter. Accordingly, so far the UK visa success and refusal rate from Saudi Arabia during 2019 has been 99.04% and 0.71%, respectively.

Applications from Saudi Citizens 2016-18

The details of the applications from Saudi nationals in Table below indicates that the number of applications has increased from 135,482 (2016) to 145,715 (2018). However, the success rate for Saudi nationals has increased from 98.60% to 99.06% during the period.

Quarter UK Visa Applications from Saudi nationals Entry Clearance Grants to Saudi nationals UK Visa Saudi Arabia Success Rate UK Visa Saudi Arabia Refusal Rate
2016 Q1 21,149 21,134 98.49% 1.22%
2016 Q2 49,450 42,512 98.90% 1.01%
2016 Q3 46,110 51,293 98.49% 0.98%
2016 Q4 18,773 17,918 98.30% 1.42%
2016 135,482 132,857 98.60% 1.09%
2017 Q1 22,905 22,855 99.07% 0.81%
2017 Q2 42,443 41,832 99.51% 0.41%
2017 Q3 41,347 41,170 98.92% 0.81%
2017 Q4 19,644 18,738 98.84% 0.94%
2017 126,339 124,595 99.13% 0.70%
2018 Q1 20,225 21,021 98.91% 0.89%
2018 Q2 52,722 49,433 99.25% 0.60%
2018 Q3 45,729 46,662 98.98% 0.84%
2018 Q4 27,039 27,614 98.99% 0.83%
2018 145,715 144,730 99.06% 0.76%
2019 Q1 22,551 21,205 99.04% 0.71%

How many expatriates apply for UK visa from Saudi Arabia?

Please note: the total number of entry clearance applications made from Saudi Arabia far exceeds the number of applications made by Saudi citizens because of a 9-10 million of foreign diaspora living the UAE. Therefore, statistics are only relevant to Saudi nationals. However, the information relating to processing time is useful for Saudi and foreign nationals living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Grants of UK visa and immigration to Saudi nationals

During the 2018-19, Saudi nationals have been granted entry clearance in all the broad categories i.e. temporary visits, spouse and family settlement, study and work. Moreover, the number of grants during the 2019 Q1 (21,205) is higher than that for 2018 Q1 (21,021). Perhaps, this is due to an increase in the number of applications.

Apparently, the broad entry clearance categories have sub-categories (or types). Therefore, the subsequent sections highlight the grants by UK visa types to Saudi nationals. Perhaps, this will facilitate an applicant to know: which are more popular types of applications from Saudi Arabia.

Perhaps, by far the most popular entry clearance applications for Saudi nationals is the UK visitor visa. For instance, during 2019 Q1, 16,953 Saudi nationals granted a UK visitor visa, which nearly accounted for 79.94% of the total visa grants (21,205 ).

UK Visa Grant to Saudi Nationals: Broad Categories 2018 Q1 2018 Q2 2018 Q3 2018 Q4 2019 Q1
Total Work 158 318 278 276 162
Total Study (excl. Short-term students) 1,151 1,186 4,421 1,431 1,605
Short-term students (Student visitors) 1,916 6,230 2,347 1,725 2,318
Total Family 11 8 5 8 7
Total Dependant Joining or accompanying 1 0 4 4 12
Total Other 17,784 41,691 39,607 24,170 17,101
Total UK visa grants to Saudi Nationals 21,021 49,433 46,662 27,614 21,205

UK visit and other visa grants to Saudi nationals

Perhaps, all sundry visa applications, exclusive of work, study and family, are clubbed under the Other category, with the UK visitor visa.

UK Visa from Saudi Arabia 2018-19 2018 Q1 2018 Q2 2018 Q3 2018 Q4 2019 Q1
EEA family permits 1 2 1 0 2
Total UK Visitor visa grants to Saudi nationals 17,204 41,529 39,423 24,016 16,953
Visitors (Main apps) 17,138 41,451 39,358 23,908 16,881
Visitors (Deps) 66 78 65 108 72
Transit 8 50 5 5 0
Other temporary 571 108 176 149 146
Certificate of entitlement to right of abode (Main apps) 0 2 2 0 0
Other Settlement (indefinite leave) 0 0 0 0 0
Total UK Visitor and Other Visa Grants 17,784 41,691 39,607 24,170 17,101

The UK work visa grants to Saudi nationals

During 2018 and 2019 Q1, Saudi nationals granted the following types of UK work visas:

UK Work Visa from Saudi Arabia 2018 Q1 2018 Q2 2018 Q3 2018 Q4 2019 Q1
PBS – Tier 1 & pre-PBS equiv. Total (Main apps) 6 9 7 12 3
PBS – Tier 1 Investors (Main apps) 0 3 3 8 1
PBS – Tier 1 Entrepreneurs (Main apps) 4 4 4 3 2
PBS – Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurs (Main apps) 2 0 0 1 0
PBS – Tier 1 Exceptional talent (Main apps) 0 2 0 0 0
PBS – Tier 1 & pre-PBS equiv. Total (Deps) 14 7 25 16 4
PBS – Tier 1 General (Deps) 1 0 0 0 0
PBS – Tier 1 Investors (Deps) 0 0 14 14 1
PBS – Tier 1 Entrepreneurs (Deps) 12 7 11 2 3
PBS – Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneurs (Deps) 1 0 0 0 0
PBS – Tier 2 & pre-PBS equiv. Total (Main apps) 15 36 56 49 35
PBS – Tier 2 General (Main apps) 1 0 3 2 5
PBS – Tier 2 Intra company transfers (Main apps) 2 1 4 0 1
PBS – Tier 2 Intra company transfers -LT (Main apps) 12 35 49 47 29
PBS – Tier 2 & pre-PBS equiv. Total (Deps) 33 75 129 100 71
PBS – Tier 2 (Deps) 3 0 5 4 5
PBS – Tier 2 Intra company transfers – LT (Deps) 30 75 124 96 66
PBS – Tier 5 & pre-PBS equiv. Total (Main apps) 81 83 42 43 15
PBS – Tier 5 Creative and sporting (Main apps) 0 1 2 0 0
PBS – Tier 5 Gov Authorised Exchange (Main apps) 81 82 38 37 9
PBS – Tier 5 International agreement (Main apps) 0 0 2 5 6
PBS – Tier 5 Religious workers (Main apps) 0 0 0 1 0
PBS – Tier 5 & pre-PBS equiv. Total (Deps) 2 102 16 52 29
PBS – Tier 5 (Deps) 2 102 16 52 29
Non-PBS Total (Main apps) 7 6 3 4 5
Domestic workers in private h/holds. (Main apps) 1 6 1 1 1
Non-PBS Other permit free employment (Main apps) 6 0 2 3 4
Total UK Work Visa Grants to Saudi Nationals 158 318 278 276 162

UK study visa grants to Saudi nationals

The details of study visa grants to Saudi nationals during 2018 and 2019 Q1 is as under:

UK Student Visa Grants to Saudi Nationals 2018 Q1 2018 Q2 2018 Q3 2018 Q4 2019 Q1
PBS – Tier 4 & pre-PBS equiv. Total (Main apps) 518 574 2,684 670 756
PBS – Tier 4 General student (Main apps) 513 570 2,659 652 754
PBS – Tier 4 Child Student (Main apps) 5 4 25 18 2
Non-PBS Students (Main apps) z z z z z
PBS – Tier 4 & pre-PBS equiv. Total (Deps) 633 612 1,737 761 849
PBS – Tier 4 General student (Deps) 633 612 1,737 761 849
Short-term study (Student Visitors) (Main apps) 1,916 6,230 2,347 1,725 2,318
Total UK Student Visa Grants to Saudi Nationals 3,067 7,416 6,768 3,156 3,923

Family settlement visa grants

The details of UK settlement visa grants to Saudi nationals during 2018 and 2019 Q1 is as under:

UK Family Visa Grants to Saudi Nationals 2018 Q1 2018 Q2 2018 Q3 2018 Q4 2019 Q1
Partner 4 6 5 4 7
Child 0 1 0 4 0
Other 7 1 0 0 0
Total UK Family Visa Grants to Saudi Nationals 11 8 5 8 7

Grants to Dependant Joining or accompanying

The details of grants to dependant joining or accompanying a Saudi national during 2018 and 2019 Q1 is as under:

Dependant joining or accompanying 2018 Q1 2018 Q2 2018 Q3 2018 Q4 2019 Q1
Partner 0 0 2 1 4
Child 1 0 2 3 8
Total Dependant joining or accompanying 1 0 4 4 12

UK visa Saudi Arabia processing time 2019

Perhaps, nearly all the applicants from Saudi Arabia are quite keen to have some idea about the average processing time. Certainly, the processing time starts when an applicant submits application and biometrics at one of the following UKVACs in Saudi Arabia:

  1. Jeddah – TasHeel Commercial Center – Ground Floor, Suwaid Bin Sakher Street, Off Jundub Bin Kaab Street (Off Prince Sultan Street), Al Mohammadiya District 1, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  2. Al Khobar – Al Katheery Centre, 2nd Floor, Opposite SABB Bank, Al Rakaa, Al Khobar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  3. Riyadh – 2591 Makkah road, al Hada, Riyadh 12913, Saudi Arabia (Beside Marriott Courtyard, Opposite of Diplomatic Quarters Gate 2)

Accordingly, after receiving an application, as per the service standards, the UKVI intends to provide the best possible service. And also to processing applications as quickly as possible. Moreover, working days means the number of days exclusive of weekends and public holidays.

Long-term visits visa applications

Perhaps, nearly 99% of the UK long-term visitor visa applications processed within 10 working days. Moreover, 30-50% of the long-term visitor visa applications concluded within 5 working days. Accordingly, this indicates the use of priority service for fast-tracking by applicants from KSA.

UK general tourist visa processing time from Saudi Arabia

Apparently, the UK general tourist visa processing time from Saudi Arabia is usually 5-10 working days. However, normally all the UK tourist visa applications from Saudi Arabia conclude within 30 working days.

UK business visitor visa processing time from KSA

Nearly, more than 95% of the UK business visitor visa applications from Saudi Arabia processed within 10 working days. Moreover, all the applications conclude within 15-30 working days.

UK family visitor visa processing time from Saudi Arabia

Apparently, the UK family visitor visa application processing time from Saudi Arabia is 10-15 working days.

UK transit visa processing time

The UK transit visa processing time from Saudi Arabia is usually 5 working days.

Other visitor visa applications

All the other types of visitor visa applications from Saudi Arabia conclude within 10-15 working days.

PBS Tier 1 visa applications

The Tier 1 applicants from KSA have an average processing time of 10 working days. However, a few applications conclude within a week’s time.

PBS Tier 2 visa applications

Most of the Tier 2 applications conclude within 2-3 weeks.

UK student visa Saudia Arabia processing time

Perhaps, nearly 90-95% of the UK student visa application from KSA decide within 2 weeks. Accordingly, all the applicant concludes within 15-30 working days.

Tier 5 applications

Usually, the Tier 5 applications timelines from KSA is quite quick. And an applicant should expect a decision within 2-10 working days.

UK spouse visa timelines

Perhaps, the UK spouse visa processing time from KSA is 15-90 working days. Usually, applicants from KSA get a decision within 60 working days. And in case of priority spouse visa can get a decision within 15-30 working days.

EEA family permits

Apparently, the EEA family permit timelines from KSA is usually 10 working day or 1 week.

Other non-settlement visa applications

Perhaps, the timelines time for non-settlement applications is usually 10-15 working days. Accordingly, 70-90% of the non-settlement applications from Saudi Arabia are decided within 10 days or 2 weeks.

UK visa Saudi Arabia processing time from Al Khobar

Apparently, more than 90% of the entry clearance applications from Al Khobar during May 2019 processed within 15 working days or 3 weeks.

UK visa Saudi Arabia processing time from Al Khobar 5 days 15 days 30 days
Long Term Visit (more than 6 months) 31% 98% 100%
General Visit (6 months or less) 16% 99% 100%
Business Visit (6 months or less) 39% 97% 98%
Family Visit (6 months or less) 21% 100% N/A
Other Visit (6 months or less) 11% 97% 99%
PBS Tier 2 37% 93% 97%
PBS Tier 4 55% 95% 100%
Other Non-Settlement 58% 98% 100%

UK visa Saudi Arabia processing time from Jeddah

Perhaps, more than 94% of the entry clearance applications from Jeddah during May 2019 processed within 15 working days or 3 weeks.

UK visa Saudi Arabia processing time from Jeddah 5 days 15 days 30 days
Long Term Visit (more than 6 months) 40% 98% 99%
General Visit (6 months or less) 19% 98% 100%
Business Visit (6 months or less) 40% 94% 98%
Family Visit (6 months or less) 23% 98% 100%
Other Visit (6 months or less) 18% 98% 100%
PBS Tier 2 16% 98% 100%
PBS Tier 4 52% 95% 100%
Other Non-Settlement 66% 97% 100%

UK visa Saudi Arabia processing time from Riyadh

Perhaps, more than 97% of the entry clearance applications from Riyadh during May 2019 processed within 15 working days or 3 weeks.

UK visa Saudi Arabia processing time from Riyadh 5 days 15 days 30 days
Long Term Visit (more than 6 months) 37% 99% 100%
General Visit (6 months or less) 19% 99% 100%
Business Visit (6 months or less) 46% 98% 98%
Family Visit (6 months or less) 17% 97% 100%
Other Visit (6 months or less) 13% 99% 100%
PBS Tier 2 28% 100% N/A
PBS Tier 4 64% 98% 99%
Other Non-Settlement 61% 99% 99%