Below are frequently asked questions regarding services for U.S. citizens.
Does my employer have the right to keep my U.S. passport?
Although U.S. passports are the property of the U.S. Government, the common practice of Saudi companies is to retain passports in a safe place at the company’s office. We encourage you to keep your own passport, or if your company insists on keeping it for you, make sure you have a color copy of the identification page, as well as color copies of any pages with your visa.
Can I renew my passport online?
While you can download the application form online, you must come to the nearest embassy or consulate to apply in person.
How long does it take to renew or apply for a new U.S. passport?
Passports are printed in the U.S. Therefore, applications made in person take two weeks to process.
Can I renew my passport before it expires?
Yes, you may renew your passport at any time that is convenient for you. Please ensure that you have enough time to receive your new passport before you need to travel.
I have both a Saudi and American passport. Can I travel to the U.S. on my Saudi passport?
No. Section 215 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1185) requires U.S. citizens to use a valid U.S. passport when entering or leaving the United States.
I live outside Riyadh. Can I send my passport over to the Embassy for renewal?
At this time you have to come in person to renew your passport.
My passport was washed by mistake. Can I still use it for travel?
If the information is unreadable, you will need a new passport.
I have a business trip next week but I just figured out that my passport has expired. Can I apply for an expedited new passport?
Expedited passport services are only provided in the United States. Theses services are not available for applicants at U.S. missions abroad. Please plan in advance to allow for passport processing times.
Where can I find passport applications online?
You can fill out passport forms online using our passport wizard.
I lost my passport over the weekend. What shall I do?
Please come to the nearest embassy or consulate to report the lost or stolen passport and apply for a new one.
Can I apply for a U.S. passport card?
Yes. Please check the requirements here.
How do I get a second passport?
The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General generally do not issue second passports Americans already holding a valid passport. However, in certain rare instances it may be possible obtain a second passport due to travel restrictions or visa processing times in emergency situations.
Why do I need to bring my child’s birth certificate to renew his/her passport?
Although your child’s passport is proof of his or her citizenship, renewing a child’s passport requires the consent of both parents. The easiest way to prove parentage is with a birth certificate or adoption record.
The passport of my daughter, who is 10 years old, has expired. Can I send her to the Embassy with her other parent? I can’t come due to a work commitment.
Both parents are required to be present and sign the application form of minors below 16 years of age. Please review information related to consent letters.
Learn more about how to apply for a U.S. passport in Saudi Arabia here.
Birth Record FAQs
How do I apply for report of birth abroad?
Download the Application for a Consular Report of Birth (form DS-2029 – PDF 344 KB) to print out and submit in person.
Learn more about how to apply for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) in Saudi Arabia here.
How Do I Get Additional Copies of the Report of Birth?
Additional copies of the Report of Birth are available from the Department of State only. You can get the details here on obtaining copies of your child’s Report of Birth.
I might qualify for American citizenship, but I have a Saudi passport. Can’t I just get a visa?
Unfortunately, no. Section 215 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1185) requires U.S. citizens to use a valid U.S. passport when entering or leaving the United States. Therefore, we must first determine that you are not a citizen before you apply for a visa.
What is the difference between an LPR and a citizen?
A Legal Permanent Resident is someone who has the right to live permanently in the United States, but has not naturalized. Citizens carry American passports, and are in some circumstances eligible to transfer citizenship.
I don’t know if I am an American citizen or not. How do I find out?
If you were born in the United States, you are a U.S. citizen, unless you were born to certain foreign diplomats assigned to the US at the time. If your parent/s were born in the U.S. but you were not, please contact the Embassy to discuss your situation and begin collecting passports, school records, and other documents that can help verify you or your parents’ presence in the United States.
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program FAQs
Do I have to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program if I am traveling to Saudi Arabia?
No. However, we strongly recommend it so that we can get in touch with you in the case of an emergency. Enrolling with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program makes our job easier and your life safer in the case of anything unforeseen.
I want to come to the Embassy to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. What time can I come? Do I have to fill out any application form?
You do not need to come in person to register. Enroll online at the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program website.
Why have you renamed the “Registration with Embassies” program the “Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)?”
Our goal is to encourage all U.S. citizens traveling or residing abroad to let us know their contact information so that, in an emergency, we can contact them. By changing the name of the process and designating it the “Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP),” we hope to encourage more U.S citizens to utilize the service.
I have used this service before. Will I have problems using it now that the name has changed?
No. If you have previously registered online with the U.S. Department of State, you will notice that the change of the name to the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program will not affect your ability to continue to utilize the service, nor will it affect your previous data.
Why should I sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program?
Millions of Americans travel abroad every year and encounter no difficulties. However, U.S. embassies and consulates assist nearly 200,000 Americans each year who are victims of crime, accident, or illness, or whose family and friends need to contact them in an emergency. When an emergency happens, or if natural disaster, terrorism, or civil unrest strikes during your foreign travel, the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate can be your source of assistance and information. By informing us about your trip or residence abroad, you help the embassy or consulate locate you when you might need them the most. Signing up is voluntary and costs nothing, but it should be a big part of your travel planning and security.
How do I sign up?
First, you will create an account by clicking on the “Create an Account” link and following the instructions provided. This allows you to select a username and password so that you can access your travel data at any time. The account will also contain your personal information so that it can be saved and used again whenever you travel abroad. The personal information section includes basic information about you, and also an emergency contact who is not traveling with you.
Once you have created an account, you can view your profile and add trips or overseas residences to sign up with a specific U.S. embassy or consulate. Click on the “Add Trip” button or “Add Overseas Residence” buttons to add this information. Follow through the pages, and complete as much information as you have available.
There are very few required fields, but thorough information enables us to help you more efficiently. You will receive a confirmation email to ensure that you are signed up correctly.
How can the embassy or consulate assist me while I am abroad?
U.S. consular officers assist U.S. citizens who encounter serious medical, financial, or legal difficulties abroad. Although consular officers cannot act as your legal counsel or representative, they can provide the names of local attorneys and doctors, provide loans to destitute U.S. citizens, and provide information about dangerous conditions affecting your overseas travel or residence. Consular officers also perform non-emergency services, helping U.S. citizens with absentee voting, selective service registration, receiving federal benefits, and filing U.S. tax forms.
Consular officers can notarize documents, issue passports, and document American children born abroad. Most embassies and consulates have websites with more information.
If I sign up, does that prove that I am a U.S. citizen?
No, signing up through this website is NOT considered proof of U.S. citizenship. If you apply for any American citizen services from the embassy or consulate while abroad, you will be asked by the consular staff to provide proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a U.S. passport or American birth certificate.
I am a U.S. citizen residing abroad who is planning to travel to the United States. Should I inform the Department of State?
Please note that the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program is intended for U.S. citizens to inform us of their contact information when traveling or living abroad. It is not intended nor can it be used for informing us of your trips to the United States.
Tax Forms FAQs
Do you take tax returns? Do you have tax forms?
No. Please contact IRS directly for information on how to submit your tax returns.
Lists of tax specialists have been collected by our Embassy in Riyadh and the Consulates General in Jeddah and Dhahran and are listed under our local resources section.
When are you open?
Our American Citizens Services hours are Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. You will need to schedule an an appointment in Riyadh, Jeddah, or Dhahran. Note that we are closed on Wednesdays.
I’m getting married soon. How can I get married in Saudi Arabia? Can I come to Embassy to register the marriage?
You do not need to register your marriage at the Embassy.
Can the U.S. Embassy issue a no-objection letter for me to travel to another country?
The U.S. Embassy does not issue no-objection letters for any purpose.
Am I allowed as an American citizen to purchase property in Saudi Arabia?
Expatriates living in Saudi Arabia can purchase certain types of property. This does not mean that a residence permit will be granted for those who own properties in Saudi Arabia.