This is the second time that I came across a family friend needing an emergency visa for Saudi Arabia. In both cases their parents were on Umrah and they fell sick and had to be taken to hospital. These events are extremely stressful and I pray this doesn’t happen too often, but as life has it, it might be the case.
Last week our friend called in distress, since his dad is in hospital in Saudi with kidney failure. So he needed an emergency visa. Unfortunately this proved a lot harder than expected since this was during the bank holidays! The Saudi embassy was not working during this period and actually were closed until today. The embassy staff who were there between Christmas and New Year’s have been less than helpful and if I must say totally disrespectful. I can’t image many people turning up during bank holidays, in one of the slowest days of the year, asking for an emergency visa for Saudi Arabia.
I mean seriously, not only did they not give him a visa, they treated him very badly and told him things that are out of this world. Shame on them for abusing a position of power and responsibility to help people who are worried about their loved ones being in hospital in a foreign country.
What to do if you need an emergency visa for Saudi Arabia
- Go straight into the embassy early in the morning before 9am to ask for the emergency visa. The address is here.
- You can find the phone number for the British Embassy in Riyadh here. Sometimes the Saudi embassy can request for the British embassy in Riyadh to call and confirm that the person is in hospital. This can take time due to the slow bureaucratic nature of Saudi hospitals.
- Make sure you have a report from the hospital where your loved one is.
- This should include name, and everything to prove that he is there. Make sure you have all the details down correctly such as their names, the hospital name, city and everything.
- Take copies of their passports and visas as proof that they are there.
- Equip yourself with a lot of patience and ignore their remarks.
- Bring cash. The visa form is apparently complicated so there is an office outside the embassy that can help you fill out the form.
- Insurance. Make sure that they have sufficient insurance when travelling. If going via an agent make sure they are covered. If the worst happens repatriation costs can be very high (if you need this).
I hope there is a rare need for this however better be prepared just in case.
If you have any more tips or you have an experience with needing an emergency visa for Saudi Arabia, please leave a comment below.