KSA Exit and Re-entry Visa Online (Internet and SMS based services)
The Saudi Passport Department has launched a service to enable exit and re-entry visas to be issued online. This was one of the new Internet-based services being introduced for both Saudis and expatriates. Although the department’s website (www.gdp.gov.sa) is in Arabic, there is an option to display forms and instructions on how to complete them in English language.
All who wish to benefit from these services can simply fill in forms through registering on the website and the forms could be filled without needing to visit the centers.
An initial one-off registration, however, needs to be completed and delivered to a local passport office.
Apart from the basic information section, the Ishaar services could be used for notifications regarding a passport.
The Muqueem services are for companies and institutions that need to complete paperwork regarding their employees, while there is a separate section for individuals.
There is also an eGate section that offers an electronic card for easy entrance and exit at Saudi airports. The service, open to all, provides a card containing important details including Iris and fingerprint scans. A new card for one year is SR300, with renewals costing SR270. A new card for two years costs SR550 and could be renewed for SR540.
The final section on the website offers the issuance of the exit and re-entry visa for dependents via mobile phone messages. This service, according to the Passport Department, is one of the most important services provided by Ishaar to all segments of society. To enable this users have to register for Ishaar services to obtain the security code and link a mobile phone number to an ID number. Once the code is activated the visa can be obtained after paying SR200 through regular channels.
There is also a short code and a series of instructions if there is a need to cancel the visa.
After ensuring all the conditions for issuance are met, an SMS would be sent to the applicant containing the dependants’ information for verification. Once that has been confirmed the visa would be issued.
The visa can be then printed from the website http://sms.evisa.com.sa by entering the visa number and confirmation number that has been sent to the mobile.
Expatriates in Saudi Arabia can obtain an exit-reentry visa for a single trip by mobile phone via SMS. This first-of-its-kind e-service for expatriates is being provided by Ishaar and Al-Elm Information Security in cooperation with the General Directorate of Passports.
Al-Elm is the leading company in Saudi Arabia providing e- government services. It is owned by the Public Investment Fund and offers people smart services that help them save money, effort and time.
The service has been developed to enable human resources managers and other HR staff in the private sector to issue exit-reentry visas in just three minutes.
Lengthy transactions in paper format for the issuance of exit-re entry visas can well be on their way out by following convenient and simple steps as listed below:
First, register with Ishaar services to get the security code. To register you have to fill the registration form, attach a copy of your ID and then hand it over to one of the registration centers. The registration process links your mobile phone number to your ID number. After registration you have to send your ID number to 88900 to activate the subscription.
You will receive a welcome message, informing you that you have become a member in Ishaar services. The security code will be sent to you via SMS. It is advised that this code is kept in a safe place outside and away from the mobile phone in order to ensure your protection and privacy. You are also advised not to allow unauthorized people to use your mobile.
The following conditions should be met before using the service:
Payment of government fees Government fees of SR200 should be paid using traditional methods to the residents/Iqama ID number. Payment should be made through bank accounts or ATM machines in order to use the service.
No traffic violations: The resident must pay all traffic violations registered against his ID/Iqama by the traffic department.
Provide fingerprints: The residents fingerprints must be registered with the Passports Department before a visa can be issued.
Valid iqama: The residents iqama should be valid for more than the duration of the exit-reentry visa by at least three months and fourteen days (104 days). For example, if you want a visa for a period of 30 days, then the iqama must be valid for a period of not less than 134 days.
Mobile phone payment: Your mobile phone must be charged with a balance of SR20 to pay for the visa transaction.
Executing the service
To issue an exit-reentry visa, send to short code 88922 an SMS message containing in the following order the letter I, the symbol *, iqama number, the symbol *, period of the visa in days, then the symbol * security code. Example: I*1234567890*150*11223344
After sending the message to the short code:
. Make sure that your mobile number is registered in Ishaar notification services and the interactive services are active.
. Verify that the sent iqama number is registered in the subscribers record as dependent.
. Make sure that the security code is registered and active.
. Verify the possibility of providing service to the resident through the Passports Department.
Confirmation of the request
After investigating all of the conditions for issuance, you will receive a text message containing your information for verification. When the information has been verified, to confirm your request, send: 1 to short code 88922.
There should be a reply within a period not exceeding 24 hours or the request will be canceled automatically. The transaction fees of SR20 will be deducted from your mobile phone balance after confirmation. In case the information is not correct and you wish to cancel the request, send number 2 to short code 88922.
Printing the visa
The exit-reentry visa can be printed at anytime from the website http://sms.evisa.com.sa by entering the visa number and confirmation number sent in a text message at the end of the process of issuance.
In case of the loss of the confirmation number or visa number, you can request that it be resent by sending a free message to short code 88922 containing the letter R followed by *, iqama number, *, and the security code.
The issuance of an exit-reentry visa through this service will take less than five minutes and save you the trouble of waiting in long queues.
Source: A1SaudiArabia.com and Khaleej Times
UPDATE: NOVEMBER 13, 2010
Exit/re-entry visa now an SMS away
By ARAB NEWS
Published: Nov 13, 2010 00:26 Updated: Nov 13, 2010 00:26
JEDDAH: Citizens and residents will now be able to get exit/re-entry visas for their dependents through their mobile phones via SMS. The service, which costs SR20 per visa after initial registration, is aimed at reducing lines at Passport Department offices.
Raid Mohammad Al-Hussain, spokesperson for the Passport Department in Makkah province, confirmed that the new service is already in operation with all three of the country’s mobile phone service providers — STC, Mobily and Zain.
The visa can be downloaded from the site http://sms.evisa.com.sa with the visa number and confirmation number sent via SMS.
The first step is to register with the service, called Ishaar, to obtain an access code. This process requires the registration form to be submitted in person to a nearby registration center with copies of relevant identifications. Saudi citizens with foreign employees, such as maids or drivers, can use the service as well.
Once the registration has been made, the service is activated by sending an SMS and receiving a confirmation number that can be used at the website.
The registration centers can currently be found at Passport Department offices in Riyadh, Makkah, Madinah, Jeddah and Dammam. Sahara Mall and Flamengo Mall in Riyadh and Tahliah Mall in Jeddah also have Passport Department service centers with registration capabilities. The international terminal of Riyadh’s King Khaled International Airport has an eGate Office where such registrations can take place. Samba bank is also acting as an Ishaar intermediary for its account holders seeking to register for the service.
People seeking to utilize this service must pay the SR200 fee and also ensure they have no outstanding traffic fines on their record and provide fingerprints to the Biometrics section of the Passport Department.
Foreign residents seeking to use the service must ensure their iqamas are valid for at least three months and 14 days (104 days) after the period that the exit/re-entry visas is valid. Those whose iqama will expire before that time are not eligible to use the SMS-based service.
Further instructions are available in English or Arabic at the government electronic portal at http://www1.elm.com.sa.