Mandatory insurance purchase now required of visitor visa applicants

23 Jun 16

SAUDI ARABIA

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Short-term visitors applying for visas to Saudi Arabia are being required to purchase an insurance policy during the online “Enjaz” registration process. The new requirement is expected to be rolled out globally, and currently covers applicants in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom who are applying for visitor visas, including business, commercial visit, work visit and family visit visas. The rule does not currently affect individuals applying for long-term visas such as employment visas or residence permits.

What does the change mean? Employers and individuals applying for any type of visitor visa should plan for the additional expense of purchasing the policy before submitting their application to a Saudi consulate. The government fees for the insurance policy will depend on the applicant’s biographical information, and range from US $100 to $300.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate. The new rule has been quietly implemented this week.
  • Visas/permits affected: All short-term visas, including business visas, commercial visit visas, work visit visas and family visit visas. Exemptions include Hajj visas and government visas. Long-term visas are not currently affected, but could be covered as the global rollout continues.
  • Business impact: The requirement will add a new cost to those making short-term visits to Saudi Arabia.

Background: The new policy has introduced through the online Enjaz government registration process, a prerequisite to the visa application process.

During the online registration, applicants for short-term visits will be directed to enter their biographical information and to purchase an insurance policy. The price will be determined by the Enjaz system and will vary depending on the applicant’s nationality, duration of stay and other biographical information. The policy is intended to cover emergency hospitalization, accidents and other bodily injury.

BAL Analysis: Business and family visitors to Saudi Arabia should factor in the additional government insurance fee when planning short-term stays.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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