Two young children from Saudi Arabia are serving water to pilgrims who came for Umrah and Prayer in Masjid Nabvi. This is one example that show how kind an arab hospitality is, the parents of these children asked them to do this service to all pilgrims and get thawab.
Getting driving license in Saudi Arabia has been made one of the easiest task as compared to past. It is a straight forward process which is as simple as you can expect. It doesn’t require too much money or illegal ways. It is straight forward and direct. I categories people which are willing to get driving license in to 3 categories. Category #1 can be further divided in to 2 sub-categories.
- You are well familiar with driving, cars and road signals and has good experience on the road.
- Also You have an official driving license of another country.
- But You don’t have an official driving license of any country
- You are a little familiar with driving, you drove car for a few times but you don’t have experience with road and don’t have a good confidence on road.
- You don’t know anything about cars, driving, road signals etc
For people in category # 1 it is a fast process to obtain Saudi driving license. I describe it below. 1.A. Get your original non-Saudi driving license, and visit any of driving schools you are comfortable with. There are Arabic or Asian based guys wondering outside or just beside the school gate. If they are not there, check for any General Service shop. These agency shops are common and must exist beside every driving school. The most authenticated will be the one that is inside the school boundary. Visit them and ask them to fill out your form for driving license. They will request you for 6 personal photographs and your original Iqama (Saudi Arabian ID/work permit/residence card etc). Provide them both thing, They will ask a few more details like Blood group, mobile number, work-place, designation, sponsor name etc. In the past blood group must be checked at the spot but now more relaxation in the rules have been made. But now they only ask it from you and put the information on your behalf. After filling out the form they might ask you if you want to pay the driving license fee. I suggest not to do this because these agencies charge up to 50 SR more than actual amount. Furthermore it is not a compulsory step done at spot. It can be done later via any bank account. If you feel comfortable paying extra money just submit the fee. These guys will charge you from 10 to 15 Saudi Riyals. These days Driving License Fee is categories ed into 3 levels.
- 2 Years Driving License = 80 SR
- 5 Years Driving License = 130 SR
- 10 Years Driving License = 400 SR
After that you go inside the Driving License Office and submit your form to related window. Once submitted they will guide you for further steps. Later on you will be asked for a blood test and an eyesight test. If you succeed in those Medical tests you are ready for Evaluation test, in which an authorized representative from Driving School will check your driving skills. He might be in a uniform like police man but don’t be afraid of him. He is there just to monitor you, not to arrest you or beat you 🙂 Upon your turn for evaluation test, be calm, enter in car, close the door, fasten your seat belt, check gasoline indicator in dashboard, clear hand brake and wait for instructions. The instructions normally come in Arabic Language, however if you don’t understand they monitoring person will repeat in English with the words (Start, Go, etc). Follow the instruction, don’t push the accelerator pedal too much, keep it between 1500 rpm to 2500 rpm, be alert, they monitoring person may any time ask for apply brake or take a sharp turn. Finally he will complete your evaluation test and hand over your papers (file) back to you, that he already received from you upon entering the car. He might categorize your driving skills from A, B, C. In Arabic (ا، ب، ج). Take your file to the office where you submitted earlier, you will be guided to move to a specific window where you will be informed…
- Number of Days You got to attend driving school.
- The Date when your driving classes will start.
Also you have to pay the school fee that is (435 SR) currently. Then you have to join a training program of 5 or 15 days as per your grade which is based on Field Training at Vehicle and Class Room Training. Finally after completing training you will be given a Final Driving Test Date. Also you will be given a big printed paper that has all the road symbols, traffic signals, road signs etc. That is for your computer signals test. Remember all of them in your brain. Now join the driving classes on specified date, participate in field training at car, ask questions from your instructor whatever you don’t understand. There is a class room training everyday in which you will be given knowledge of road signs and signals. Take a look at the video of Driving Training in Jeddah Driving School.
After successful completion of Driving classes, you will be given a final driving test date which is based on driving the car inside the school and a computer test.
Final Driving Test
Final test consist of 3 basic skills.
- Handling the car on the steep Bridge (In which you should not let the car move back)
- Driving the Car in “8” shaped area with sharp turns.
- Reverse Parking in a Plus (+) shaped area.
If you learned all these things well during your driving classes, you will successfully convince the monitoring person to Pass you. If you pass it, you will be redirected to Computer Test Room, where you have to answer 17 Correct options out of 20 questions. If you pass it straight forward your file is stamped with “Passed”, in Arabic (ناجح) and you will be asked to collect your Saudi Driving License within next 2 days. Make sure to submit Driving License Fee before this test, I mentioned this fee at the beginning.
Basically it was an email to one of my friends regarding “How to Write in Nastaleeq fonts at WordPress.com Blogs”. WordPress.com blogs offer a basic variety of features while writing posts but there are few restrictions as well. You cannot change fonts, you have to stick to Default font that is used in theme CSS files. It becomes a problem when writing in Urdu at WordPress.com blogs. Because Urdu has a different set of fonts in which the text becomes beautiful and comfortable to read. Like Naskh font, Nastaleeq Font etc.
You can also use other features like Bold, Italics and Headings while writing a post in WordPress.com blog.
When you click Add New post, You will find buttons for Bold , Italic etc that can be seen in the picture below. There are also Heading sizes in formatting bar. You can use Heading 1, 2, 3 as per requirement.
If you want to change overall text size and you want to take control of it, you have to move to HTML mode.
First of all, align all your text as needed, right or left or center in normal mode. Then click the HTML button on the right side of editor. and add the HTML code in the beginning.
For Tahom font with size 4
<font face=”Tahoma” size=”4″ >
For Jameel urdu font with size 3
<font face=”Jameel Noori Nastaleeq” size=”3″ >
At the ending, just put another small code for both of above.
Saudi Arabia is a country of visitors throughout the year. Every year millions of Pilgrims visit Saudi Arabia for Umra and Hajj, there are Millions others working here to earn livelihood as well from various countries. For most of them Internet is a basic need to stay in touch with their families and friends at other globe locations.
For a new comer in Saudi Arabia it is very difficult to find the right Internet Connection at affordable price because of not having a good knowledge of local market.
I would like to Introduce a well known Internet Connection which is now available at very much affordable cost. This Internet connection is offered by Mobile Telecom, which is one of big giants of Telecom Service Providers in Saudi Arabia.
This package is called Connect Home 4G Router which includes a Modem and 3 Months Unlimited Internet at 599 Saudi Riyals. This router can connect you with High Speed Internet at any location in Saudi Arabia where you can find mobile signals. This router works on 4G Network from Mobily Telecom. It has a built-in WiFi Access Point as well so you can connect multiple device including Laptop, Netbook, Tablet PC, Smartphone or Ordinary Mobile phone with WiFi capability. The built-in WiFi Access point provides enough WiFi signals that you can connect inside your home within a range of 10-15 Meters. Not only WiFi but it has 4 Ethernet ports as well, so that you can create a Cable Connection from your PC to Router.
There is another 4G Connection is also available which is dedicated for people on the move. It is a small device with a size of USB Flash drive, it can be connected directly with USB port in your Laptop or Netbook and provides Internet Connectivity for a single device. This package is called Connect Laptop 4G and it is available on selected branches of Axiom Telecom in Saudi Arabia. It includes a 4G LTE Modem and Limited 5GB Internet for 1 month. This bundle is available in 150 Saudi Riyals only.
Both above Connect devices require a 4G Data Sim from Mobily Telecom which will be provided with every single purchase.
Changing your Profession in Saudi Arabia doesn’t mean to leave your existing job and do something else but it means to change the profession that is mentioned on your Work Permit or Iqama. Why do someone want to change it? because it has huge impact on benefits and facilities you get in Saudi Arabia being a foreign worker. Including ability to apply for a Family Visa for yourself.
To Change Profession mentioned in your work permit you got to fulfill some requirements and rules. As per Saudi Arabian Ministry of labor you must be doing a technical job and earning a good lively hood to support your family in the Kingdom. That’s why labors and general staff are not entitled to apply for a family visa.
If an expatriate want to call his family on resident visa he must belong to a professional or technical job and his/her work permit should also state that. Every expatriate in Saudi Arabia has an Iqama (Resident permit) which states his profession.
If an expatriate is living in Saudi Arabia and his profession is not eligible for applying for a family visa he got an option to change his profession in his/her work permit. This doesn’t mean he has to change his job, but this is just like a requirement in documents.
1. Prerequisites to Changing Profession in Saudi Arabia
Once you have done Documents attestation from Saudi Consulate in your home country, bring your documents in Saudi Arabia and attest again from following.
- Consulate of your home countery
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Saudi Arabia (located in Jeddah or any other city called خارجیہ)
2. Submit an Application for Change of Profession
Your company / sponsor must issue a letter that you are an employee to them and doing same kind of work as per your qualification and degree and also you are intended to change your profession as per same work. Now translate your degree into Arabic from an approved Translation Center in Saudi Arabia.
Then Find a good General Service Agency/Agent. These agencies and agents have their offices at Jawazat Street in Jeddah and you can find by yourself in other cities. Discuss necessary details with them. They will tell their requirements and fees. Settle a suitable amount that is acceptable for both parties. Also make sure your new profession will be eligible for Applying a Family Visa, the best option to ask is nearest Istikdam Office (The department of Ministry of Labor which is responsible for issuing Family Visas to expatriates working Saudi Arabia.)
Once your profession is changed to a suitable profession you may apply for a family visa anytime. Further process is very simple that I will explain later.
To change your Profession in your Saudi Work Permit or Iqama, you must have a valid University degree or a 3 years technical diploma which is attested by Saudi Consulate in your home country and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country. To attest your degree you must have gone through the following process. This is a Prerequisite to Changing Profession in Saudi Arabia.
1. Request a Letter from your Company; to Saudi Consulate for Attesting your Degree / Diploma.
If you are already present in Saudi Arabia, You need a letter from your Company/Sponsor to Saudi Consulate in your home country. The Letter should state that you are having an Iqama and working in Saudi Arabia and company has no objection if Saudi Embassy will attest your degree, then attest this letter from chamber of commerce in Saudi Arabia. Soon I will post a snapshot of this letter.
However if you are not present in Saudi Arabia or you didn’t reach Saudi Arabia yet, request such a letter from your employer via email or telephone and ask them to send original copy of the letter via Postal Service.
2. What else is required to Get your Degree / Diploma Attested
Once you received such a letter, gather below documents in one file.
- Letter from your Employer to Saudi Consulate (Explained Above)
- Copy of your Iqama
- Copy of your passport.
- Original Degree or Diploma
3. Prerequisites of Getting your Degree / Diploma Attested from Saudi Consulate in your Home Country
Before submitting it for attestation from Saudi Embassy / Consulate get your degree attested by yourself from following offices.
- Higher Education Commission of your home country
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country
Once degree/diploma is get attested from above, Move to step 4
4. Finally Submit to Saudi Consulate for Attestation
Contact any recruiting agency, travel agency or agent who is specialized for dealing with Consulate of Saudi Arabia in your home country. Almost all the agents who arrange Umrah Visas can help you in attesting your documents. Make sure to attest degree from following.
- Saudi Culture Center in home country
- Saudi Consulate in home country
In Pakistan all these offices are located in Islamabad. Please note that you can’t go to embassy yourself for this work, you should find an agent who is approved by Saudi Consulate to do this. This is the website of one of the agents doing this.
Everyone among expatriates who are working in Saudi Arabia and living without their families, is interested in having family visa for Saudi Arabia. Because it is not easy to survive in a location where you don’t have your relatives, friends, language mates etc.
Being an expatriate I have gone through this process so I would like to share the process of getting family visa so others can benefit.
Below are prerequisites and procedures which are required to obtain a Family Visa in Saudi Arabia. This process is divided many steps to make it clear and understandable. Before thinking or proceeding in to this you must be aware that you are required to have a Valid Saudi Iqama, a Suitable Technical Profession that is eligible for applying a family visa as per Saudi Arabian labor laws. If you are not sure your profession is suitable for a family visa you may ask your company’s HR department, legal advisory or corporate representative.
.First Applying for the visa (being in Saudi Arabia) and Second is Applying for Visa Stamping from your Home Country.
Applying for Family Visa Pre-Requisites
Please gather these documents.
- Copy of Your iqama.
- Copy of Your passport which includes information page, Visa page, Airport Entry Stamp page.
- Original Marriage certificate that is attested by Saudi Consulate in your home country and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country.
- Arabic Translation of Marriage Certificate from an approved Translation center located in Saudi Arabia.
- Graduation Degree or 3 Years Technical Diploma with attestation from Saudi Consulate in your home country and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country.
- Arabic Translation of Degree from an approved Translation center located in Saudi Arabia.
Procedure for applying Family Visa
- Get a Letter from your employer which is describing your Profession and salary.
- Get a Visa Application form from HR Department of your company or nearest Istikdam Office or download it from Pro Saudi Blog, Fill the form in Arabic. Normally the Legal Advisor of your company should do this sort of stuff. (Get this form filled by any Arabic literate person).
- The Family Visa application form should be stamped/signed by your sponsor(kafeel,company) and you.
- Get these documents ( pre-requisites + Letter + Visa Application Form) and bind them in one file.
- Visit Nearest Istikdam office in your city and apply for the visa. Further information can be gathered from the office itself.
- Istikdam office clerk will issue you a Yellow paper which is actually a Family visa. If Istikdam office didn’t issue in the first appearance, he may give you a later time to come and collect it.
- After Getting the Yellow paper you can start processing Family Visa from your home country through an agent.
Disclaimer: The author of this blog is not a law professional and does not hold any responsibility of misunderstanding and wrong doing of anyone. The author of the blog has gone through all this process, (1. Documents attestation from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, 2. Change of Profession, 3. Applying for a family visa, 4. Stamping visa to passport from Saudi Embassy and finally getting family in Saudi Arabia. So the above information should be considered a guide-line or information.
The author is not affiliated with any Recruiting Agency, Travel Agency, General Services Agency, Legal firm or Job Provider. The author will not accept any claim of misguidance, fraud or any other thing of same kind. Saudi Arabian Govt might change the law anytime in future so the best option for you to get family visa is; consult responsible department of your company.
Expats community in Saudi Arabia is seeking and requesting information and required Forms for applying Family Visa in Saudi Arabia. So I decided I will try to put this info at my blog to make it available for the expats community.
Here is Permanent Family visa application form for Non Saudi persons, you can download it from here. It is MS Word file. Although it is available on many Arabic forums but due to not having much familiarity with Arabic language expatriates miss this. In Arabic it is called طلب استقدام للأفراد غير السعودين
If you don’t know which documents are required and what is the procedure for getting family visa then I have compiled this post for you. Read it fully to understand family visa step by step process. How to Get a Family Visa in Saudi Arabia. Family Visa in Saudi Arabia requires a suitable profession, if your profession is not eligible for family visa you can read here how to change your profession in Saudi Arabia.
Download Permanent Family Visa Application Form
The form look like this. You have to fill this form and collect other required documents and visit Istikdam office.