Arab News arranged a helpline for two hours on June 04, 2014 for the general people to call and discuss their problems to the Col Muhammad Al-Hussain, spokesman the Jawazat (Passport Office) department. Mr. Muhammad took many calls and answered procedural queries and cleared the concepts of many people. It is really a good step taken by the Arab News to facilitate the expatriates working in Saudi Arabia. Although, he could answer calls of only few people but still it is a ray of hope for other 10 million expats living in Saudi Arabia.
While answering many questions, someone asked Mr. Muhammad if he can convert his family visit visa in to Permanent family Visa (Iqama) while his family stays in Saudi Arabia. Mr. Muhammad confirmed him that he can do it if he is eligible to apply for Permanent family Visa (Iqama). However, this approval will be granted upon permission of Ministry of Interior. People thought Mr. Muhammad is spokesman of Jawazat (Passport Office) department so if he is stating this, there must be truth and reality in it. However, later on it was published again in Arab News that the visit visa cannot be converted to Permanent Family Visa. The official referred above stated in his official statement to Arab News about it.
Conversion of Visit Visa into Iqama is not practicable
Mr. Muhammad just pointed out that family visit visa can be converted to Permanent family Visa (Iqama) but he did not explain the procedure. There are so many steps through which a person has to go through if he wants to apply for Permanent family Visa (Iqama). For example, the requirement of going through the medical test in your home country as well as in Saudi Arabia is only for Permanent family Visa (Iqama). It is not the requirement of family visit visa. Although, this news was viral among all the expats circles living in Saudi Arabia but no one is sure about the procedure he needs to go through if he wants to apply for the conversion of visit visa into Permanent family Visa (Iqama).
Source: Arab News
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