Monday, 2 June 2014

New biometric rule in UAE for Saudi visa applicants

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Visa applicants to Saudi Arabia, including people for Haj and Umrah pilgrims, who are applying from the UAE must now have their fingerprints and photo taken in addition to other regular visa requirements.

The new Saudi visa rules went into effect on Sunday. The new biometric procedure for the visa application will cost Dh17. This is implemented to to speed up the entry formalities to the Saudi kingdom.

However, following people are exempted from the biometric rule.

  • Applicants aged below 12
  • Applicants aged above 70
  • Diplomatic visa applicants
  • Persons who cannot complete the process due to a medical reason

The total time taken for this process is 3-5 minutes for the fingerprint and photo capture.

Applicants for visa must visit any of the three VFS Tasheel visa service centres in the UAE — in Abu Dhabi, Dubai or Sharjah — which process Saudi visa applications.


VFS Tasheel is authorised agent by the Saudi foreign affairs ministry to handle the Saudi visa application process in more than 30 countries.
VFS officials said that the biometrics rule has been made mandatory by the Saudi ministry. They also said that the company does not store or use the biometrics information in any way.

Pilgrims who need Haj or Umrah visas must visit a visa service centre for capturing biometric data. However, their other usual formalities for visa procoess will continue to be managed by an authorised Haj or Umrah agent.

Once the travel agent completes the pilgrim’s Enjaz process, the agent will need to schedule an appointment with the nearest visa centre on the applicant’s behalf.

All visa applicants must make an appointment for the biometrics capture on the VFS Tasheel website - vfstasheel.com.

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