Saudi Arabia visa stamping centre opened at Kozhikode; relief for residents of Malabar

Saudi Arabia extends visa validity till Jan 31
Entry to the VFS centre will be allowed only for the applicant whose name appears on the visa to be stamped. File Photo

A VFS Visa Stamping Centre for Saudi Arabia has been opened at Kozhikode, which is a big boon for residents of North Kerala. Appointments at the centre, located at Central Arcade on Mini Bypass at Puthiyara, could be made on this website.

Things to note
Before heading to the centre, applicants for Saudi Arabia visa should remember the following points:

Entry to the VFS centre will be allowed only for the applicant whose name appears on the visa to be stamped.

One other person can accompany an applicant carrying an infant.

Along with applications for visit visa, these documents have to be submitted: Iqama copy of the visa sponsor in Saudi Arabia; passport copy; passport copy of those holding Saudi visa and all previous passports. Failure to do so could lead to rejection of the application.

Carry two passport-size photos of 2/2 size with white background; original passport, appointment print and visa print.

Other key facts
If an application is rejected, the next appointment will be given only after a week.
Carry the full fees mentioned in the appointment. If the fees are not paid, the application will be rejected.
Apart from the full fees, take some extra money also as additional payments may be required for insurance and service charges.
The total fees would be a minimum of around Rs 13,000 per person.
For small children an elderly people, the minimum fees will be around Rs 19,000.
Receipt and insurance copy will be issued when the fees are paid after biometric (fingerprint) verification.
The name on the visa and passport should be identical.

If the wife’s name is not mentioned in the husband’s passport, the marriage certificate has to be produced. For other relatives, carry authoritative documents proving the relationship.
The passports could be collected from the VFS centre after 15 days.
The applicant will receive a message on the mobile when it is time to receive the passport. Carry a copy of the Aadhaar and receipt while heading to the VFS centre to collect the passport.
If the name of the person travelling to the VFS centre to collect the passport is not present on the visa, he or she should carry their Aadhaar copy and an authorization letter.
Entry to the centre will be allowed only 15 minutes before the time of appointment.

VFS Centre at Kochi
Prior to the opening of the Saudi Arabian visa stamping centre in Kozhikode, Kerala had only one such centre at Kochi. Under the new visa rules introduced by Saudi Arabia, applicants for visas to the country, including visit, family and job visas, should appear in person at a VFS centre during the first stage of the process itself and provide documents and fingerprint details.

As this facility was available only at Kochi in Kerala, there was a huge rush of applicants, leading to delays in receiving appointments. In Kerala, the largest number of expatriates hail from the northern Malabar region and they found it difficult to travel to Kochi for stamping their visa.

Subsequently, various associations of expatriates and political parties sought a stamping centre in Malabar, leading to the opening of the facility in Kozhikode.

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