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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is open to any foreigner as long as they meet the visa requirements. Therefore, if you are an international student who wishes to study in Saudi Arabia, you will need to apply for a Saudi Arabia Visa.
Saudi Arabia is one of the GCC countries with a vibrant economy and it is no surprise that it often attracts business owners and entrepreneurs from all over the world. As a student, you will have an opportunity to see the world beyond what you are used to.
The country has invested so much in education with at least 20% of the country’s budget always directed to education at all levels. Therefore, the standard continues to grow and it is also an opportunity for you to benefit from it.
There are plenty of graduate career opportunities in the country. You have an opportunity to make the country your home after school with job opportunities from high-paying industries like oil and gas, telecom, and financial services, to mention but a few.
And with the abundance of modern infrastructure and facilities, makes it one of the reasons to consider Saudi Arabia as a perfect study destination.
1 Do I need a Student Visa to study in Saudi Arabia?
Whether you need a student visa to study in Saudi Arabia will depend on the country you are from. If you are a citizen of any of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region countries, there will not be any need to apply for a study visa. However, if you are a national of any of the other countries, a Saudi Arabia is necessary for you to live and study in the country.
The GCC) region countries are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar · Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
2 Types of Saudi Arabia Student Visa
There are two types available for students and the one you can get will depend on the duration of your program in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They are:
1. Short Stay Visa
This is a type of visa that is usually issued to students who want to live and study for 90 days or less. It is suitable for programs such as diploma certificates, language courses, etc.
2. Long Stay Visa
This is the most common student visa type that is usually issued to foreign students who will be living and studying in KSA for more than 90 days.
3 What is the cost of the Saudi Arabian Visa application?
The Saudi Arabian student visa fee is between SAR336 (USD 89.58) and SAR 676 (USD 134.90) and the fee is non-refundable. What this means is that even if the student visa is denied, there will not be a refund.
4 Documents needed for Saudi Arabia Student Visa
To be able to apply for the visa, applicants must satisfy the following requirements:
- An unconditional offer or acceptance letter from a University or College in UAE.
- Proof of sufficient funds for the cost of educational expenses and upkeep in Saudi Arabia.
- Documents needed for a Saudi Arabian Student Visa
- The following documents must be provided to obtain a student visa for Saudi Arabia:
- A valid original passport with a minimum validity of six (6) months and a requirement for at least two (2) consecutive blank visa pages.
- Copy of original birth certificate.
- Medical report.
- Applicant’s high school diploma or any prior academic credentials.
- A police report issued no more than six (6) months before the application date.
5 What is the validity of the Saudi student visa?
As you are now aware, the KSA government does issue two types of Study visa and the one you are given will depend on the duration of your course. For most students, they are usually issued a long-term visa which will cover the entire duration of their program.
6 How do I get a Student Visa for Saudi Arabia?
Obtaining a student visa for Saudi Arabia involves a series of steps and requirements.
1. Make Findings on the Schools in KSA
The first step to take is to explore a list of schools and their locations in Saudi Arabia to make an informed decision. And that will be if you are yet to decide on the college or university you want to study in the country.
You can start by visiting the web, or social media or seek opinions from friends, families, or acquaintances who have some history with the country. You will want to know more about the school, the ranking and also if they have the course you want to study. Most importantly, the language that the course is being rendered.
Still, there are lots of English-taught universities in Saudi Arabia but you will want to be sure it is exactly what you want especially if you do not understand or speak their official language. In fact, we are being modest here as many programs are taught in English Language.
2. Apply for an admission
There won’t be a visa without securing a place at the school. So, as an international student, you will need to apply for admission into a full-time program at any of the accredited colleges or universities in KSA.
Once you have been accepted, your chosen university will now request authorization from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to process and grant your student visa. Before that, they will also need to get an Approval letter from the Saudi Ministry of High Education.
3. Applying for Student Visa
Normally, the whole application process will be taken care of by the institution in Saudi Arabia, you just need to provide them with everything they need.
Once allowed, the institution will be able to apply for the study visa online.
To apply online, the educational institution will need to visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) website to get started. They are to follow the instructions below:
Choose “E-Services” from the main webpage, where you’ll find a range of available services; select “Electronic Visas.” From the resulting list of travel visas, pick “Study Visa Request,” then complete the provided e-form.
7 Can I work with a Saudi Arabia Student Visa?
No, international students on student visas are not allowed to work in the country. However, you can do an unpaid internship to gain valuable work experience which may no doubt you an edge after study.
However, if you want to work, then you must find a job or an employer who is willing to take you in, then the employer will help you apply for a work permit. You will only be able to engage in paid employment only if the work permit is obtained.