UK Visa Application Requirements from Saudia Arabia 2021/22

This guidance aims at providing an overview of the UK Embassy visit, student, spouse and work visa application fees, requirements, processing time, success, and refusal rate in Saudi Arabia. Moreover, the post also explains how to apply for a UK visitor visa online application from Saudi Arabia and meet the supporting documents requirements.

1. FAQs 2. Visitor 3. Student 4. Family 5. Work 6. Services 7. Exemptions 8. How to Apply? 9. Supporting Documents

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1. FAQs

UK Visa Application Requirements from Saudi Arabia 2021/22

How many Saudi Citizens get a UK Visa?

There were 12,737 visas granted to Saudi citizens in the year ending March 2021, 91.21% (132,306) fewer than the previous year (145,043) due to Coronavirus pandemic. Of the visas granted to Saudi Citizens in the last 12 months (ending on March 31, 2021), 54.04% were for study, 42.15% were to visit, and the remaining 3.81% were to work, for family, and other reasons. The UK visa success rate for Saudi Citizens for the year ending March 31, 2021, was 95.07%.

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 foreign expatriates are living in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, the entry clearance statistics are only relevant to Saudi nationals. However, the information relating to processing time and application procedure are useful for Saudi as well as foreign nationals living in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

How much is the UK Visa Fees from Saudi Arabia?

The UK visa fees requirements for Saudi Citizens and foreign expatriates working and living in Saudi Arabia is different for diverse types of applications. Quite clearly, the Home Office normally revises the application charges only one time during the year. Therefore, the Home Office Fees in GBP usually remain the same during the year. Nevertheless, due to exchange rate fluctuations, the UK Visa charges in Saudi Riyal (SAR) may vary during the year. Furthermore, the exchanges rate used for computing application charges in this post is Rial3/75 to a US$. Quite clearly, Saudi nationals and foreign expatriate applying for UK visa need to pay the online application charges in US Dollars. However, most of the applicants like to know an approximate equivalent in SAR. Therefore, this post provides the details of the latest UK visa cost from Saudi Arabia in 2021: Price in Saudi Riyal (SAR) and US Dollars.

What is the UK Visa Processing Time in Saudi Arabia?

The UK visa processing time starts when an applicant submits application and biometrics at UKVAC in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia. Indeed, the UK visa processing time from Saudi Arabia for more than 90% of the non-settlement visa applications is usually within 10-15 working days. However, the UK visa Saudi Arabia priority timeline is 5-7 working days for a straightforward case. Only a very few visit visa applications from Saudi Arabia take more than 6 weeks or thirty working days for a decision.

Impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19) on UK Visa Processing Time

In fact, due to the ongoing global impact of Coronavirus (Covid-19), disruptions to local travel and courier routes have increased UK visa processing time in some regions and countries. These delays mean that it may take longer than usual for UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to assess entry clearance applications. Accordingly, the UK non-settlement visa (such as visit, tourist, work, student) processing time after biometrics during coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic may take more than 15 working days (3 weeks). Moreover, the settlement visa (spouse or family under Appendix FM) processing time after biometrics for applications from outside the UK may take more than sixty working days (12 weeks).

Delays in UK Visa Processing Time in Saudi Arabia

At times only a fraction of the applications from Saudi Arabia might experience delays in processing. There could be several reasons for delays in UK visa processing.

What if the UK visa application gets refused from Saudi Arabia?

In fact, after a refusal decision, an applicant can either reapply or challenge a refusal decision by filing an appeal, administrative or judicial review. Please note there is no right of appeal against the refusal of a UK visitor visa application from Saudi Arabia. However, a Saudi Arabian passport holders and foreign residents have the option of either re-applying or filing an immigration judicial review against the refusal.

UK Visa Application Requirements from Saudia Arabia 2021-22

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2. Visitors

UK Visa Application Requirements from Saudi Arabia 2021/22

There were 5,369 visitor visas granted to Saudi citizens in the year ending March 2021, 95.56% (115,562) fewer than the previous year (120,931) due to Coronavirus pandemic. The UK visitor visa success rate for Saudi Citizens for the year ending March 31, 2021, was 95.62%, which is lower than that for the year ending March 31, 2020 (99.58%). It is expected that after coronavirus pandemic both the magnitude of UK visitor visa and success rate from Saudi Arabia will bounce back to pre-coronavirus levels.

Please note, Saudi citizens and foreign expatriates in Saudi Arabia can apply for the following types of visa applications for visiting the UK:

  1. Standard Visitor Visa for family visit, tourism, or business meetings
  2. Private Medical Treatment Visa
  3. Marriage Visitor Visa
  4. Permitted Paid Engagement Visitor Visa
  5. Short Term Student Visitor Visa for Studying English Language
  6. Parent of a Tier 4 child visa

UK Standard Visitor Visa Fees from Saudi Arabia 2021

Saudi Citizens and foreign residents can apply for 6 months, 2, 5 and 10 years standard visitor visa from Saudi Arabia. Indeed, the most common and popular application is for 6 months standard visitor visa. Therefore, a fresh applicant usually applies for the 6 months multiple-entry visitor visa for tourism or family visit, which cost SAR514 ($137). In fact, at times applicants also refer the UK 6 months visitor visa as England or London visit visa from Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, a repeat visitor can also apply for a long-term visitor visa for tourism and family purpose. The UK tourist visa fees from Saudi Arabia for 2, 5 and 10 years visa application are SAR1,954 ($521), SAR3,544 ($945) and SAR4,448 ($1,186), respectively. Moreover, the UK visa price for infants under 5 and children under 18 are same as that for adults.

Furthermore, the additional charges for priority service from Saudi Arabia is SAR1,189 ($317). Accordingly, the UK priority visit visa application fees in Saudi Riyal for 6-month, 2, 5 and 10-year applications are SAR1,703 ($454), SAR3,143 ($838), SAR4,733 ($1,262) and SAR5,637 ($1,503), respectively, for processing a visitor visa application within 5-working days instead of 3-12 weeks.

UK Standard Visitor Visa Requirements from Saudi Arabia

In terms of paragraphs V4.2-4.10 of Appendix V, Saudi Citizens can get a UK Standard Visitor Visa if they are able to satisfy that they:

  1. will leave the United Kingdom at the end of the visit
  2. will not stay in the United Kingdom for extended periods through frequent and successive visits
  3. are genuinely seeking entry for a permitted activity
  4. will not make the United Kingdom their main home
  5. have sufficient funds to cover all reasonable expenses relating to:
    • return or onward journey
    • dependant family members such as spouse and accompanied children
    • any planned activity such as tourism, sightseeing, private medical treatment etc.
  6. have a Third-Party sponsor such as a genuine family member, friend, business partner, who will bear the trip expenses
  7. will not undertake any prohibited activity set out in paragraph V 4.5 – V 4.10 of Appendix V:
    • no intentions of doing work and indulging in any prohibited activities
    • no intentions to study except as permitted in paragraph 25 of Appendix 3
    • can only receive permitted payments
    • no intentions to access medical treatment other than private medical treatment or to donate an organ
    • no intentions to marry or form a civil partnership, or to give notice of this except for in case of marriage visit visa

UK Visitor Visa Processing Time from Saudi Arabia

All the short and long-term visitor visa from Saudi Arabia usually processed within 15-30 days i.e. 3 to 6 weeks. Here it is important to note that service standard is to process all visitor visa applications within 12 weeks, respectively. Therefore, if an applicant intends to apply for a UK visa from Riyadh, Jeddah, and Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, then may expect a decision within 1 week with priority service or 3-6 weeks with standard service.

UK Visitor Visa Fees in Saudi Arabia 2021/22

Application TypeCharges
Standard Visitors
Short-term (up to 6 months, single or multiple entry)SAR514 ($137, £95)
Longer-term (valid for up to 2 years)SAR1,954 ($521, £361)
Longer-term (valid for up to 5 years)SAR3,544 ($945, £655)
Longer-term (valid for up to 10 years)SAR4,448 ($1,186, £822)
Other Visitors
Visiting Academic - more than 6 months up to 12 monthsSAR1,028 ($274, £190)
Marriage Visitor VisaSAR514 ($137, £95)
Permitted paid engagement visaSAR514 ($137, £95)
Private medical treatment – more than six months up to 11 monthsSAR1,028 ($274, £190)
Visit the UK in a Chinese tour group (UK only)SAR514 ($137, £95)
Short-Term Study Visa
Short-term study – more than six months (up to 11 months)SAR1,005 ($268, £186)
Transit
Direct Airside Transit (DATV)SAR188 ($50, £35)
Visitor in TransitSAR345 ($92, £64)
Visit purpose of joining a ship or aircraft as a member of crew of that ship or aircraft (fee also applicable to the Isle of Man)SAR345 ($92, £64)
Parents of children at school
Parent of a Student child visa (up to 12 months) (Tier 4 Isle of Man)SAR2,790 ($744, £516)
Child Visitors
Short-term (up to 6 months, single or multiple entry)SAR514 ($137, £95)
Longer-term (valid for up to 2 years)SAR1,954 ($521, £361)
Longer-term (valid for up to 5 years)SAR3,544 ($945, £655)
Longer-term (valid for up to 10 years)SAR4,448 ($1,186, £822)

3. Student

UK Visa Application Requirements from Saudi Arabia 2021/22

There were 6,883 student visas granted to Saudi citizens in the year ending March 2021, 69.13% (15,418) fewer than the previous year (22,301) due to Coronavirus pandemic. The UK student visa success rate for Saudi Citizens for the year ending March 31, 2021, was 95.11%, which is lower than that for the year ending March 31, 2020 (98.19%). It is expected that after coronavirus pandemic both the magnitude of UK student visa and success rate from Saudi Arabia will bounce back to pre-coronavirus levels.

UK Student Visa Application Fees in Saudi Arabia 2021/22

The charges for Tier 4 students and their dependants are SAR1,883 ($502, £348). Moreover, the application fee is the same for entry clearance as a student to enter the Bailiwick of Guernsey or Bailiwick of Jersey. The UK visa fees from Saudi Arabia for a Tier 4 student application with priority service is SAR3,072 ($819) i.e. application charges SAR1,883 ($502) plus the priority service cost SAR1,189 ($317).

UK Student Visa Processing Time in Saudi Arabia 2021/22

Most of the Tier 4 applications from Saudi Arabia usually conclude within 10-15 days. However, a decision can be as quick as within 5-7 working days. Moreover, a fraction of the applications takes more time. However, such applications also usually conclude within 6 weeks (thirty working days).

4. Family

UK Visa Application Requirements from Saudi Arabia 2021/22

Every year very few Saudi citizens apply for UK family settlement visa from Saudi Arabia. There were seventy-four family and dependent joining visas granted to Saudi citizens in the year ending March 2021, 33.92% (38) fewer than the previous year (112). The UK family and dependent joining visa success rate for Saudi Citizens for the year ending March 31, 2021, was 94.87%.

UK Spouse Visa Application Fees Requirements in Saudi Arabia 2021/22

The UK visa fees from Saudi Arabia is SAR8,239 ($2,197, £1,523) for a spouse, civil, unmarried, and same-sex partner settlement applications. Moreover, the UK embassy visa fees in Saudi Arabia are same for a fiancé(e) and proposed civil partner. However, the UK priority settlement visa fees for Saudi citizens and foreign residents are SAR3,101 ($827, £573) for fast tracking spouse applications within thirty working days or 6 weeks instead of 12-24 weeks from Saudi Arabia. Accordingly, the UK spouse visa fees from Saudi Arabia with priority settlement service is SAR11,340 ($3,024, £2,096) Please note, the settlement priority visa service is for a straightforward case. Therefore, applicants with past refusals, adverse immigration history and complex circumstances may not opt for the priority service. However, if your case is not straightforward, you can purchase the priority service at your own risk and cost!

UK spouse visa processing time from Saudi Arabia

Quite clearly, the service standard of UKVI for settlement or spouse visa from Saudi Arabia is to process 95% and 100% applications within 12 and 24 weeks, respectively. However, the service standard for spouse settlement priority visa processing is to decide an application within 30 working days or 6 weeks. Perhaps, a few spouse visa applications from Saudi Arabia conclude even within 15-30 working days i.e. 3 to 6 weeks. However, for most of the applications, the processing time is usually 12 weeks or 60 working days. Nevertheless, some applications remain outstanding even after 120 working days!

UK Family Visa Fees in Saudi Arabia 2021/22

Application TypeCharges
Family of Settled People (Settlement)
Family visas - Joining your partner, parent, proposed civil partner or child (also applicable to EC to the Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Jersey, and Bailiwick of Gurnsey)SAR8,239 ($2,197, £1,523)
Route to Settlement - other dependant relative (also applicable for EC to the Isle of Man)SAR17,584 ($4,689, £3,250)
Route to Settlement - refugee dependant relativeSAR2,100 ($560, £388)
Adult who needs to be looked after by a relativeSAR17,584 ($4,689, £3,250)
Settlement for current and former members of HM armed forces, and their dependants
Former UK Armed ForcesSAR8,239 ($2,197, £1,523)
Pre 1997 Gurkhas (outside immigration rules)SAR8,239 ($2,197, £1,523)
Overage dependant children of pre 1997 GurkhasSAR8,239 ($2,197, £1,523)
HM Forces dependants applying under part 4,5,7 or 8 of Appendix Armed ForcesSAR8,239 ($2,197, £1,523)
Returning resident
Returning ResidentSAR2,790 ($744, £516)
Family reunion for asylum seekers
Family reunion, under Part 11 of Asylum, Immigration Rules (pre-flight dependants)Free of charge
Post flight- non-Settled personSAR8,239 ($2,197, £1,523)
Family reunion - other dependent relativesSAR2,100 ($560, £388)
Parents of children at school
Parent of a Student child visa (up to 12 months) (Tier 4 Isle of Man)SAR2,790 ($744, £516)
Members of armed forces and their families (non-settlement)
Dependants of exempt international forces applying under Part 10 of Appendix Armed ForcesSAR2,790 ($744, £516)
Family members of European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals
Family member of an EEA nationalFree of charge
Family member of a Swiss nationalFree of charge
Parent / primary carer of an EEA national childFree of charge

5. Work

UK Visa Application Requirements from Saudi Arabia 2021/22

Every year very few Saudi citizens apply for UK work visa from Saudi Arabia. There were 164 work visas granted to Saudi citizens in the year ending March 2021, 83.79% (848) fewer than the previous year (1,012) due to coronavirus pandemic. The UK work visa success rate for Saudi Citizens for the year ending March 31, 2021, was 97.62%.

  1. High Value – 35
  2. Other work visas and exemptions – 9
  3. Skilled worker – 66
  4. Temporary worker – 54

Please note, in March 2019, the Home Office has introduced new work visa categories. The Start-up and Innovator categories introduced on 29 March 2019 and the Global Talent visa was introduced on 20 February 2020. Accordingly, these new work routes have replaced the following PBS visas:

  1. Innovator visa has replaced Tier 1 Entrepreneur
  2. Start-up visa has replaced Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur
  3. Global Talent visa has replaced Tier 1 Exceptional Talent

UK Embassy Work Visa Fees in Saudi Arabia 2021/22

The Tier 2 visa application cost is referred to as UK embassy work visa fees in Saudi Riyal. Moreover, the Tier 2 visa application fees are also erroneously referred to as UK work permit fees in Saudi Arabia. Please note: PBS Tier 2 replaced the UK work permit route in 2008. Moreover, the Points-based system (PBS) Tier 2 and Tier 5 application fee is also applicable to the Isle of Man. And Council of Europe Social Charter (CESC) discount of US$79/- (£55) applies to PBS main applicants.

UK Work Visa Processing Time from Saudi Arabia

Most of the Tier 2 applications from Saudi Arabia usually decide within fifteen working days. However, some of the applications conclude within 5-10 working days. Moreover, all the Tier 2 applications from Saudi Arabia usually decide within sixty working days. Please refer: Tier 2 General Visa for details.

UK Work Visa Fees in Saudi Arabia 2021/22

Application TypeCharges
Innovator - main applicant and dependantsSAR5,524 ($1,473, £1,021)
Start-Up - main applicant and dependantsSAR1,965 ($524, £363)
Global Talent - Stage 2 - entry clearance application - main applicantSAR821 ($219, £152)
Global Talent - Stage 1 - endorsement application - main applicantSAR2,468 ($658, £456)
Global Talent - subsequent applicationsSAR3,289 ($877, £608)
Global Talent - dependantsSAR3,289 ($877, £608)
Tier 1 High Value Migrants
Tier 1 investor - main applicant and dependantsSAR8,783 ($2,342, £1,623)
Tier 1 entrepreneur - main applicant and each dependantSAR5,524 ($1,473, £1,021)
Tier 1 entrepreneur - main applicant (CESC)SAR5,228 ($1,394, £966)
Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) - dependants onlySAR1,965 ($524, £363)
Tier 1 exceptional talent – dependants onlySAR3,289 ($877, £608)
Skilled Worker
Skilled Worker where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for three years or less - main applicant and dependantsSAR3,300 ($880, £610)
Skilled Worker where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for over three years - main applicant and dependantsSAR6,600 ($1,760, £1,220)
Skilled Worker - Shortage Occupation
Skilled Worker, shortage occupation where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for three years or less - main applicant and dependantsSAR2,509 ($669, £464)
Skilled Worker, shortage occupation, where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for over three years - main applicant and dependantsSAR5,021 ($1,339, £928)
Skilled Worker - Health and Care
Skilled Worker - Health and Care Visa - where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for three years or less - main applicant and dependantsSAR1,256 ($335, £232)
Skilled Worker - Health and Care Visa - where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for over three years - main applicant and dependantsSAR2,509 ($669, £464)
Skilled Worker - Shortage Occupation - Health and Care
Skilled Worker - Shortage Occupation - Health and Care Visa - where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for three years or less - main applicant and dependantsSAR1,256 ($335, £232)
Skilled Worker - Shortage Occupation - Health and Care Visa - where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for over three years - main applicant and dependantsSAR2,509 ($669, £464)
Intra-Company Transfer, T2 Sportsperson and T2 Minister of Religition
Intra-Company Transfer, T2 Sportsperson and T2 Minister of Religition where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for three years or less - main applicant and dependantsSAR3,300 ($880, £610)
Intra-Company Transfer - Graduate Trainee - main applicant and dependantsSAR2,606 ($695, £482)
Intra-Company Transfer, T2 Sportsperson & T2 Minister of Religion where a certificate of sponsorship has been issued for over three years - main applicant and dependantsSAR6,600 ($1,760, £1,220)
Points-based system, T5 ( also applicable to Isle of Man)
Charity Worker, Creative and sporting, Government Authorised Exchange, Religious Worker, Youth Mobility Scheme, and International AgreementSAR1,320 ($352, £244)
Other Work Categories
Fisherman operating inside UK watersSAR2,790 ($744, £516)
Offshore workerSAR2,790 ($744, £516)
Overseas domestic worker in a private householdSAR2,790 ($744, £516)
Representative of overseas business and dependantsSAR3,300 ($880, £610)
An employee of an overseas newspaper news agency or broadcasting organisationSAR3,300 ($880, £610)
Sheep ShearerSAR2,790 ($744, £516)
UK ancestrySAR2,790 ($744, £516)
Other work categories – Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man
Work permit holder - Jersey and Guernsey: applicant and dependantsSAR3,300 ($880, £610)
Worker - Isle of ManSAR3,300 ($880, £610)
Representitive of overseas business - Isle of ManSAR3,300 ($880, £610)
Worker (Intra-Company Transfer) - Isle of ManSAR3,300 ($880, £610)
Exempt
Diplomatic Posting to the UKFree of charge
Diplomatic Posting to the UK (Dependant)Free of charge
Members of International Organisations on Official VisitsFree of charge
Official Transit through the UKFree of charge
Official Visit to the UKFree of charge
Members of armed forces and their families (non-settlement
HM Forces personnel or Member of foreign armed force - exempt from immigration controlFree of charge
Dependants of exempt international forces applying under Part 10 of Appendix Armed ForcesSAR2,790 ($744, £516)

6. Services

UK Visa Application Requirements from Saudi Arabia 2021/22

UK Priority and Premium Visa Services in Saudi Arabia

An applicant can fast track a UK visa and immigration application from Saudi Arabia by purchasing the priority service. As explained earlier, the cost of UK priority non-settlement and settlement (spouse) visa service in Saudi Arabia is SAR1,189 ($317, £220) and SAR3,101 ($827, £573), respectively. Moreover, the price of 24-hour same-day super-priority service in Saudi Arabia is SAR5,171 ($1,379, £956). However, the super-priority service is yet to initiate in Saudi Arabia. Indeed, an overwhelming majority of applicants erroneously refer UK priority visa as premium or express visa from Saudi Arabia. Therefore, please note, the UK premium or express visa fees are the same as that for the priority visa.

Who may use priority visa service from Saudi Arabia?

Furthermore, it is quite important to note: if an application is straightforward and the applicant can afford the priority visa charges to fast-track a settlement or non-settlement application then it is advisable to opt for the priority from Saudi Arabia. However, the priority service does not affect or influence the outcome of the decision. Therefore, if you are purchasing the fast track service for merely influencing the decision then please don’t waste your money! Please note, a straightforward application means that the credentials of the applicant are immaculate, without any past refusals and adverse immigration history. Nevertheless, more than 30% of the business and long term visitor visa applications from Saudi Arabia decide within 1 week or five working days. Therefore, many Saudi Arabian businesspersons usually opt for UK visitor visa priority service.

Does the priority service guarantee anything?

No, certainly the priority service does not guarantee a favourable result. Moreover, payment for the express service does not even guarantee a quick decision. However, the UKVI usually expedite the processing of priority applications. Moreover, also inform an applicant via email, if the priority visa does process within five working days!

UK Other Visas and Services Fees in Saudi Arabia 2021/22

Service/Application TypeCharges
Priority service for settlement applicationsSAR3,101 ($827, £573)
Priority service for non-settlementSAR1,189 ($317, £220)
Super Priority ServiceSAR5,171 ($1,379, £956)
International contact centre - via telephone (per minute)SAR4 ($1.37, £1)
International contact centre - via email (per query)SAR15 ($4, £3)
Registered Traveller (UK only) - adultSAR270 ($72, £50)
Registered Traveller (UK only) - childSAR131 ($35, £24)
Registered Traveller (UK only) - registration of new documentsSAR109 ($29, £20)
Other Visas
FCO Strategic performance fund and bilateral projectsFree of charge
Single entry visa to replace a biometric residence permitSAR833 ($222, £154)
Commonwealth / Overseas Territories
Receiving/handling/ forwarding applications on behalf of Commonwealth Countries/Overseas TerritoriesSAR761 ($203, £141)
Other Visas and Services
Hong Kong British National (Overseas) for 30 monthsSAR975 ($260, £180)
Hong Kong British National (Overseas) for 5 yearsSAR1,354 ($361, £250)
User Pays Visa Application Centre (VAC) Fee (also applicable to EC applications to the Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Jersey, and Bailiwick of Gurnsey)SAR296 ($79, £55)
Right of abode - certificate of entitlementSAR2,100 ($560, £388)
Vignette transfer (transfer of a valid visa vignette to a new passport or replace a lost/stolen document)SAR833 ($222, £154)
Mobile biometrics/callout charge for each hour or part hour including travel time (direct cost)SAR769 ($205, £142)

7. Exemptions

UK Visa Application Requirements from Saudi Arabia 2021/22

There are no fee requirements for Saudi Citizen and Foreign Residents for the following types of UK visa applications from Saudi Arabia:

  1. Diplomatic Posting to the UK
  2. Diplomatic Posting to the UK (Dependant)
  3. Members of International Organisations on Official Visits
  4. Official Transit through the UK
  5. Official Visit to the UK

8. How to Apply for UK Visitor Visa from Saudi Arabia?

UK Visa Application Requirements from Saudi Arabia 2021/22

Indeed, a Saudi national and foreign resident in Saudi Arabia can apply UK visa online and no paper application form is required. Therefore, no paper application form is required. Moreover, applicants can read questions in languages other than English. However, can only fill the UK visa online application form in English. Moreover, after selecting a language for reading the questions, an applicant needs to select Saudi Arabia as the country of application if an applicant is applying from inside Saudi Arabia. If a Saudi passport holder is applying from some other country, then needs to select that country. And need to provide the details of the permission to reside in that country.

Furthermore, the UK visitor visa application process from Saudi Arabia usually consists of the following steps:

  1. Specify the Purpose of Visiting the UK
  2. Fill the Online Application Form
  3. Schedule an Appointment
  4. Pay the Application Fees
  5. Upload/Prepare the Documents Bunch
  6. Biometrics at UKVAC
  7. Wait for the Decision
  8. Passport Collection from UKVAC

1. Specify the Purpose of Visiting the UK from Saudi Arabia

In most of the instances, the purpose of visiting the UK from Saudi Arabia is tourism, meeting family members, business. Therefore, the first step is to specify the purpose of visiting the UK. And to start gathering supporting documents. Please note: a Saudi national or foreign resident in Saudi Arabia can apply for a UK visitor visa application 3 months prior to the intended visit. For instance, if a Saudi Arabian passport holder wishes to visit the UK for tourism from Feb 15, 2022, to 5 March 2022, then can apply at the UKVAC in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia from Nov 15, 2021, onwards. However, Saudi nationals usually submit a UK visitor visa application 4-6 weeks prior to the scheduled visit as the processing time for most of the applications from Saudi Arabia is within 15-30 working days!

2. Fill the UK Visa Online Application Form in Saudi Arabia

An applicant can apply online for any type of UK visa and immigration application. Moreover, an applicant has the option of reading the questions in a few languages. However, an applicant can answer only in English. After selecting a language for reading the questions, one needs to select Saudi Arabia as the country of the application. Accordingly, after completing an application form, an applicant needs to attend an appointment at one of the UK Visa Application (UKVAC) in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia.

3. Schedule UK Visa Appointment in Saudi Arabia

Once an applicant has reviewed and finalised the application then can select the service the service type (standard or priority). And accordingly, can schedule an appointment at one of the application centres in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia.

4. UK Visa Fees Payment in Saudi Arabia

Once an applicant has scheduled the appointment and selected the service type then can proceed forward to make payment online. And may take a printout of the final online application form.

5. Upload/Prepare the documents bunch

Quite clearly, the requirements for submitting supporting documents with the UK visa application for Saudi citizens is the same as that for any other visa national. Therefore, an applicant applying for a UK visa from Saudi Arabia needs to upload/submit the required supporting documents for the UK visa.

6. UK Visa Biometrics Requirements from Saudi Arabia

An applicant needs to attend an appointment at UKVAC in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, for biometrics, passport, application, and documents submission. Accordingly, the staff of the VFS Global application centre takes an electronic photo of the applicant at the time of application submission. Moreover, the staff of UKVAC also takes an applicant’s biometrics i.e. scanning of fingers + thumbs. Therefore, in case of a successful decision, the British HC or Embassy use the electronic photo for visa vignette.

7. Wait for the decision

The UK visa processing time from Saudi Arabia for all the short and long-term visitor visa application is usually within 10-15 working days i.e. 2 to 3 weeks. However, the UK priority visa processing time from Saudi Arabia is normally within 5-7 working days. Here it is important to note that UKVI’s service standard for UK tourist visa processing from Saudi Arabia is up-to 12 weeks for a straightforward application.

8. Passport Collection

Once the UKVI makes the decision on the application then the UKVAC will inform the applicant for passport collection. However, if your application remains unresolved even after 12 weeks or sixty working days then you need to contact the UKVI.

9. Supporting Documents

UK Visa Application Requirements from Saudi Arabia 2021/22

UK Visa Supporting Documents Checklist from Saudi Arabia

  1. Print out of the UK visa online application form
  2. Current valid Saudi passport
  3. Previous Saudi passport, if applicable
  4. Translation of documents, which are not in English/Welsh
  5. Invitation letter, if applicable
  6. A UK address for staying during the visit
  7. Residential address in Saudi Arabia
  8. Telephone or mobile number
  9. Marriage certificate, if applicable
  10. Family certificate, if applicable
  11. Business/Employer details
  12. Tax registration certificate
  13. Tax returns
  14. Bank statements
  15. Salary slips (for employed persons)
  16. Conveyance/Mortgage Deed or Rental Agreement of the address in Saudi Arabia
  17. Evidence of assets

Please note, this is not an exhaustive checklist of UK visit visa supporting documents from Saudi Arabia, as the actual supporting documents may differ due to the personal circumstances of an applicant.

Do Saudi Citizens require submitting any photographs?

No, Saudi citizens and foreign residents don’t need to submit any photographs with their UK visa application in Saudi Arabia. Certainly, the UK visa application procedure has changed during the last few years. Therefore, the information relating to the requirement of submitting a photograph with the UK entry clearance application form and supporting documents is misleading and outdated.

UK Visa Processing Time Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia

In May 2019, more than 90% of the applications submitted at UK Visa Application Centre Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, decided within fifteen working days or 3 weeks.

Application Types5 Days15 Days30 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 237%93%97%
PBS Tier 455%95%100%
Other Non-Settlement58%98%100%

UK Visa Processing Time Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

In May 2019, more than 94% of the applications submitted at UK Visa Application Centre Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, decided within fifteen working days or 3 weeks.

Application Type5 days15 days30 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 216%98%100%
PBS Tier 452%95%100%
Other Non-Settlement66%97%100%

UK Visa Processing Time Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

In May 2019, more than 97% of the applications submitted at UK Visa Application Centre Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, decided within fifteen working days or 3 weeks.

Application Type5 days15 days30 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 228%100%N/A
PBS Tier 464%98%99%
Other Non-Settlement61%99%99%