The Abu Samra Land Border serves as the gateway for individuals traveling between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, functioning as both an entry and exit point.
The Abu Samra Land Border offers a convenient option for individuals who need to change their visa status from Hayya to RP (Residence Permit) or from a Visit Visa to Hayya. This process allows them to make the visa change without incurring expenses for air tickets. However, for those who are doing it for the first time, the process can be a bit confusing due to its unique nature.
Here is a step-by-step guide to assist you in navigating the visa changing process via the Abu Samra Land Border:
Table of Contents
- Visa for Saudi Arabia:
- Exit at Qatar Border:
- Entry at Saudi Border:
- Exit at Saudi Border:
- Entry at Qatar Border:
- Visa Change by Air:
Visa for Saudi Arabia:
Previously, it was possible to exit Qatar via the land border and make a U-turn without entering the Saudi Arabia border. In such cases, a Saudi visa was not required. However, it’s important to note that the current practice may have changed, as Qatar border officials now ask for an exit stamp from the Saudi border. This implies that a valid Saudi visa may be necessary for crossing the land border. It is recommended to confirm the latest requirements and procedures with the relevant authorities or official sources before planning your travel.
In such circumstances, obtaining a Saudi visa before departing Qatar becomes necessary. GCC residents have the option to apply for a Saudi multi-entry visa online. To assist you further, here is a comprehensive guide on how residents of Qatar can apply for a Saudi visa online:
While some visitors have reported successfully obtaining a Saudi visa by selecting the GCC resident option and uploading their relative’s (sponsor’s) Qatar ID instead of a visa, it’s important to note that the effectiveness of this approach cannot be guaranteed in all cases. Visa requirements and processes can vary, and it’s crucial to follow the official guidelines provided by the relevant authorities. It is highly recommended to verify the latest visa application procedures and requirements through official sources or consult with the Saudi embassy or consulate for accurate and up-to-date information.
Another alternative for visitors is to apply for a Saudi Tourist Visa through a travel agent or the Tasheer Saudi Visa Center in Qatar. These channels can provide detailed information and assistance regarding the Saudi visa application process. If you require further information or have specific inquiries about Saudi visas, you can contact the official helpline for Saudi Tourism in Qatar at 00800101091. They will be able to provide you with the necessary guidance and support related to Saudi visa procedures and requirements.
Indeed, it is crucial for visitors to have a valid Qatar Family Visa or Hayya Entry Permit that has been approved and printed before attempting to cross the Abu Samra Land Border. This documentation serves as proof of their legal status in Qatar and allows them to undertake the visa changing process smoothly at the border. Without the appropriate visa or entry permit, individuals may encounter difficulties or be denied entry into the border. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that all necessary visa arrangements are in order before embarking on the journey.
Exit at Qatar Border:
Upon reaching the Qatar border, the entire process can be completed while remaining in your car. There is no need to exit the vehicle.
- Proceed to the immigration counter: Drive your car to the immigration counter, where an officer will put an exit stamp on your passport to indicate your departure from Qatar.
- Obtain a car exit permit: At the next counter, you will be issued a car exit permit. This permit serves as documentation for your vehicle’s exit from Qatar.
- Verification at the last counter: The final counter is for verification purposes. Make sure to keep all the necessary documents and papers ready to hand them over for inspection at this counter
Entry at Saudi Border:
Upon reaching the Saudi border, follow these steps:
- Finger Print Building: Proceed to the Finger Print Building indicated by the signage. Building #2 is designated for ladies, while Building #3 is for men.
- Fingerprints and Photos: Adults will have their fingerprints and photos taken, while children will only have their photos captured. Present your original passport during this process. After completing the fingerprinting and photo session, you will be given a slip to show at the immigration counter.
Note: This procedure applies to all first-time visitors, regardless of age.
- Immigration Lane: Once your fingerprints have been processed, drive to the immigration lane in your car. At this point, Saudi officials will stamp your passport with an entry stamp.
- Customs Inspection: Proceed to the customs area, where they will inspect your vehicle.
- Passport and Car Entry Permit Verification: After clearing immigration and customs, go to the counter where officials will verify the stamp on your passport and the car entry permit slip.
- Insurance Counter: Once you have completed the previous steps, head to the insurance counter. Inform them that you are only changing your visa and will be taking a U-turn to return to Qatar. In this case, they will not require you to purchase insurance.
By following these instructions, you can navigate the entry process at the Saudi border smoothly and efficiently.
Exit at Saudi Border:
When you are ready to exit at the Saudi border, follow these steps:
- Car Entry Permit: At the first counter, you will receive a car entry permit. This document serves as confirmation of your vehicle’s entry into Saudi Arabia.
- Exit Stamp on Passport: Proceed to the second counter where an official will put an exit stamp on your passport, indicating your departure from Saudi Arabia.
- Exit Stamp Verification: At the third counter, the exit stamp on your passport will be verified, and you will need to hand over the car entry permit paper.
By completing these steps, you will successfully complete the exit process at the Saudi border. Ensure that all necessary documents are in order and ready for verification at each counter.
Entry at Qatar Border:
When you arrive at the Qatar border, follow these steps for the entry process:
- Car Entry Permit: At the first counter, you will receive a car entry permit, which confirms your vehicle’s entry into Qatar.
- Immigration Counter: Proceed to the second counter, the immigration counter. Inform the immigration officer that you need to enter with an RP (Residence Permit) rather than Hayya.
- Biometric Counter: For the QID (Qatar ID) holder, they will be checked at the immigration counter. However, the remaining individuals in the car will need to proceed to the Biometric counter. This counter is located on the right side, and you will need to step out of the car for the biometric process. Adequate parking is available.
- Metrash Entry Message: Once the immigration process is complete, you will receive a Metrash entry message on your registered mobile device.
- Customs Inspection: Proceed to the customs area, where they will inspect your vehicle. Make sure to keep the customs paper they provide during this step.
- Verification Counter: The final counter is the verification counter. Here, you will hand over the customs paper and the car entry permit.
By following these steps, you can smoothly complete the visa changing process via the Abu Samra Land Border. It is important to adhere to the instructions provided at each counter and ensure that all necessary documents are readily available for verification.
Remember to keep all your documents and permits organized and readily accessible during the entire visa changing process. Patience is key as there may be waiting times and various procedures to follow.
Bonus Tip: Live Stream Camera To stay informed and prepared before heading to the Saudi border, you can refer to a live online streaming camera located in the Salwa area before the immigration checkpoint. This will allow you to gauge the crowd and assess the current situation before arriving at the border. It can be helpful in planning your trip and anticipating potential waiting times.
Visa Change by Air:
In certain cases, visitors have successfully changed their visa status by utilizing Air Arabia flights without obtaining a separate UAE visa. The process involves a transit period of approximately 3 hours at Sharjah International Airport. Here are some key details regarding this method:
- Transit at Sharjah: Passengers will book a flight with Air Arabia, which includes a layover at Sharjah International Airport.
- Visa Change Process: During the layover, passengers can proceed with the visa change process by following the specific instructions and guidelines provided by Air Arabia and the immigration authorities.
- Approximate Cost: The approximate cost for this visa change process is around QR 800 per adult. However, please note that fees and requirements may vary, and it’s recommended to confirm the current costs and procedures with Air Arabia or relevant authorities.
It’s important to keep in mind that this visa change option is subject to availability, eligibility criteria, and any specific requirements set by the authorities. It’s advisable to contact Air Arabia directly or consult with immigration authorities for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding the visa change process by air.