Thursday, November 6, 2008

Child birth in Saudi Arabia - 1




My earlier post on death case formalities (click here to read it) evoked such a huge emotional response from the expatriates working in Saudi Arabia, that the logical corollary is a post on - what else - child birth formalities in the kingdom :) Your favorite blog now has the distinction of covering all topics from birth until death!! The subject is quite extensive, so I decided to write it in two or more parts. This is the first part of the series and depending upon your support, I may continue to write more on the subject or just stop.


The first and foremost thing to remember if you are planning to have your child's delivery in Saudi Arabia, is that you must definitely have an insurance. Medical care in the kingdom is extremely expensive and without an insurance, you are really doomed. But before this, you must ask yourself a fundamental question:Do you really want to have the delivery in Saudi or not :-B


Ansering this question is quite difficult and you must most certainly consider all the pros and cons before making this all-important decision. Most bigger cities in Saudi Arabia have hospitals with good facilities. Most of the medicines are imported and all of them carry a mandatory pamphlet mentioning the dosage, indications, contra indications, precautions and side effects. All the medicines in the kingdom are strictly monitored by the Ministry of Health. Some of the best equipments which money can buy, are available in the hospitals. Hospitals are quite clean and patient care by the nurses is also good.


Now for the downside. Until a few years back, delivery for expatriate mothers was free of cost in Government hospitals. However, the rule has changed in recent years with health insurance becoming mandatory. Do note, however, that there are several insurance companies operating in the kingdom. The coverage of each company depends completely on the premium paid by the sponsor. As an example, treatment and child birth in a five-star hospital like Saad hospital in Al Khobar, is not covered by most of the standard insurance companies. Hence, you must be absolutely sure whether maternity treatment is covered by your insurance policy or not.


Next, the sensitive issue about the quality of doctors. Opinion is divided on this. There are excellent doctors, good doctors and not-so-good ones in all the hospitals. It goes without saying that a good gynaecologist is paramount to having a safe delivery. After all, nothing is more important to an individual than personal health and safety. I have seen some really excellent doctors in a few hospitals. I have also seen some doctors who are just terrible! To give a fair assessment, it is impossible to generalize all the doctors or hospitals as either good or bad. The best way is to ask fellow expatriates their experiences about a particular hospital or doctor and then take a decision accordingly.


Child birth and maternity care in Saudi Arabia does not simply stop at the hospital. It has to continue beyond delivery. I have seen fellow-expatriates looking desparately for some domestic help for their wives for a few months after delivery.Of particular concern are those mothers who have undergone caesarian surgeries. Most companies in the kingdom give only upto 3 days leave for the husbands to take care of their wives. If there is no one else to take care of the wife and the new-born, the couple are really in for some trouble. Usually, expatriate husbands prefer to bring their mothers-in-law for assisting their respective wives, but it is not always practically possible to do so. Domestic nurses are in extremely high demand and being a rarity, they charge quite heavily when available.


So how does one decide whether to have the delivery in the kingdom or not? Again, it is quite a difficult decision and has to be made after analyzing the various options, pros and cons, and is purely a personal decision. My own opinion on this is that, if possible try to have the delivery in your own home country. This would save a lot of trouble for both the husband as well as the wife, particularly after the delivery. After all, no place is as good as home! Of course, deliveries for expatriate mothers do happen in the kingdom. There are quite some formalities and paperwork dealing with child birth for expatriates in Saudi Arabia 8- More on this in future posts.


Do let me know your opinion and comments.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I would simply say a great initiative and excelent post I was waiting for. It gives me alot of information and also the scary feeling at the same time. Fortunately; we are fully insured here and doctors so far are treating very well. The only fear is that my mother-in-law is unable to get visa due to Hajj time and now its all on God WHO will support us in this critical time (Inshallah). I am looking forward your trailing post which helps me in registering the new born baby and formalizing the documentations etc.

Thanks again for such a great support which benefits for all. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,

I am sheriff from saudi arabia, but native is chennai, tamilnadu. Now i am working in well established company and stay with my wife in saudi, but we are childless couples. Hence we decided to bring my sister new born child to saudi arabia.

Plese let me know possibilites and the rules and regulation for adoption of child. for your information now my wife is in chennai. Your earlier reply would enable to proceed further.


Khaja Sheriff

Expatguru said...

Sheriff,

Adoption is an extremely sensitive topic in the kingdom. A child is not considered as one's own, unless the mother has given her milk to the baby, according to the Islamic law. I would advise you to first complete all the adoption formalities in India. I am in the process of collecting information on bringing adopted children into Saudi Arabia and will write a post on this soon. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

"// If there is no one else to take care of the wife and the new-born, the couple are really in for some trouble. Usually, expatriate husbands prefer to bring their mothers-in-law for assisting their respective wives, but it is not always practically possible to do so. Domestic nurses are in extremely high demand and being a rarity, they charge quite heavily when available.//"

Sure 100% true and its my own and one of the worst experiences...

My wife delivered here last month only. We couldn't do it at India, because my wife's employer didn't allow for any maternity leave.

Eagerly expecting your delivery / post delivery article.

Really appreciating your efforts.

MSK.

maverick said...

Hi guru,
I need advice from u.
I got selected as a civil engineer in Embadad services in UAE.
I got visa 2 days back.But,my profession was mentioned there as "electrician". total recruitment process is done by a placement consultancy in Bangalore.
I asked them abt the mistake,but they said,for getting the visa at the earliest,it is done like that.
is there any problem for me regarding this.They dint ask me abt attestation .with in a week ,i may get departure.Need some advice regarding Embadad services company and its operation.i m asking u bcoz u r a civil engineer .Plz do reply me abt mention of wrong role abt the candiadate and attestation.

Expatguru said...

Maverick,

You got me wrong on two counts. I am neither a Civil Engineer nor am I in the UAE. Neverthless, the fact that you have been given an electrician visa does not augur well. You must straightaway reject it. I have worked in the UAE before and I know the situation there very well.

maverick said...

Hi guru,
thanks for reply.
All the ten members who are also selected including me,got the "electrician" role in the profession column in visa.let me know abt Scenario(the results) for quoting the wrong role in Visa.In offer letter,they quoted as a 3 year contract job. Employer dint mention abt the breach of agreemnet and they simply quoted according to Laws of UAE. can i break the agreement?? any problems ?? . I resigned my job in india here,fully prepared to go .On net surfing,I got U r blog.U do mention the necessary steps to make. can i ask the consultancy abt civil engineer visa??.After taking visa ,i mentioned abt wrong thing.But their reply is that they had sent many people like the same.After getting U r answer "no" and rejection , i am totally confused and dilemma. PLz guide me for necessary action to make .Do i put presure on consultancy for civil engineer visa???? plz mention abt attestation of certificates .
i asked many..abt wrong visa results,how can they use me a civil engineer instead of wrong role,how can i get know whether the visa is 3 months visa or something else.they have given a xerox containing my details and photo mentioned on upper part as employement visa....Kindly reply me with all clarifications for my doubts.I am mistaken for considering as a civil engineer bcoz of u r profile containing engineering as profession.Expecting necessry advice fromu r side?????

Thanks
expecting at earliest.

Expatguru said...

Maverick,

This blog is meant for expatriates planning to work in Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, I can use my prior experience in the UAE to guide you on your specific question. To begin with, please note that once you go on a non-supervisory visa, it is next to impossible to change the same there. Secondly, there are a lot of disadvantages, eg., you cannot bring your family, you cannot sponsor someone on a visit visa, you cannot go to other gulf countries like Qatar or Bahrain even for a holiday and a host of other negatives. It is totally up to you to take it or leave it, but before you go, you must definitely be aware of these. Once you are branded as a non-supervisory category, you are doomed. So, please be extra careful before taking the plunge. Try bargaining with the agent for a supervisory category profession in the visa.

maverick said...

ok Guru,
I decided not to go bcoz of loophole in Myvisa.
Last but not least,the consultancy has given a single paper which is having details as Employement visa and date of issue and my particulars.I checked whether it is 3 months visa or something else.i dint find anything on that single paper.But it is sponsored by my employer.I dint see ever visa so unable to recognise whethere it is genuine or not.where the authorities(UAE) can mention visa as visting visa or 3 months or 6 months visa.Let me know abt this. Now i have clear idea abt my electrician visa.thanks man.U r so helpful.I m feeling bad bcoz i already resigned my previous one.Kudos to u r reply. My friend wants to know abt this...a)In offer letter,they quoted as a 3 year contract job. Employer dint mention abt the breach of agreemnet and they simply quoted according to Laws of UAE. can i break the agreement?? any problems ??

Guru..2 answers required from u r side for us to decide.
1.where the authorities(UAE) can mention visa as visting visa or 3 months or 6 months visa in visa paper.
2.Abt breach of agreement if my friend goes to UAE and realising the fact behind this & if he wants to return...what are the problems he has to face...there is not bond between employer and employee.
everything is according to UAE labour law.

I dont want to leave a single stone of my doubts.Thats y i aam asking all these .Thanks for replying me. wat ever u r telling that will be passed to all my colleagues who are joining like me. I m asking u as a single person but my voice over questions can help to furnish the other fellows minds to decide the best of Job!!!!!!


My heartful thanks to U.
maverick.

Expatguru said...

Maverick,

The fact that it is a 3-year contract itself should alert you, because 'usually' (not always, but 'usually') a 3-year bond is only for non-supervisory category. Your sponsor is hiding behind the words "as per UAE law". Remember that the moment you land there, the sponsor will take away your passport, so even if you want to get out, you cannot. Just forget about this job. Sad that you resigned from your present company, but you will always get another job soon, atleast you will not be a slave in an alien land.

Anonymous said...

Dear Expat Guru,
Im Dr. Khan working as a Assistant Professor in Jeddah Medical College. I would like to invite my Father and Father in law to Jeddah on visiting Visa. Is it Easy now to get Visiting Visa?
Last year i tried for that but they rejected. And i got Visiting visa only for My Mother and Mother in law Last year. Now this time is there any chance to get Visiting Visa for my Father and Father in Law? Please help me. Wating for your reply. Thanx alot for your help.

Expatguru said...

Dr. Khan,

Bringing your father or father-in-law has not become easier. I have myself brought my father-in-law on a visit visa recently. Please follow the link below for the procedure

http://workinginsaudiarabia.blogspot.com/2007/12/family-visit-visa.html

Anonymous said...

Dear ExpatGuru,
i am from tamilnadu working in kingom-jeddah since 2006. i bring my wife-my sponsor last july2008. as she is pregnent, i sent her to India on jan24 2009 with 6 months Reentry visa.her delivery dte on June& My Iqama renewal on August 2009.
my Employer ready to Cooperate with me, Kindly Guide me for the following.
1. Extension Of my wife's Reentry for minimum 4-5 Months.
2.while Reentry of wife with our child/Mother- in law(ifpossible)
Kindly Guide us
thanks
Saravanan

Expatguru said...

Saravanan,

It is a must that your family must be here when your iqama is due for renewal. Otherwise the family's visa gets cancelled automatically. In your case, it is best to allow your wife's visa to lapse. You can bring your wife and child later on a fresh visa. Make sure that your baby has a separate passport (i.e., not attached with the mother's passport).

Anonymous said...

What is the process of bringing an infant in KSA? New visa if required or infant will get an entry when mother gets enter into KSA. Mother has her own Iqama and valid exit/reentry. Thanks

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Get a separate passport for the infant. Visa will be granted on arrival for the infant.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for quick responce. Any other documentation required to carry with infant passport? US passport has no mother/father name but I have birth certificate with mother/father information.

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Normally no further documentation is necessary, but if you wish, get the birth certificate translated in Arabic and attested by the Saudi Embassy in the US.

Anonymous said...

Dear Guru,

Thanks a lot for such an informative site.....

I am facing same situation, for bringing infant born in India. You have given a reply

"Get a separate passport for the infant. Visa will be granted on arrival for the infant."

Is this the same procedure i have to follow, as the child is only 2 months old and my wife have a valid exit-re entry. Coz back in india the travel agents are asking to stamp visa, attestation procedures.

Thanks

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Getting a passport for the baby is a must. If the baby is less than 6 months old, visa will be granted on arrival, which can be converted into a regular visa by adding the child's name to the iqama within 3 months after arrival. Make sure that you bring the birth certificate translated and attested.

Anonymous said...

Dear Guru,

Thanks for your quick response. I already have the new passport, and ticket. The Birth certificate is not translated and attested. It is in English,and its from the Municipality(I mean Govt. Document)in my place, is attestation needed for this document? also attestation you mean from Saudi Consulate in India?

Please advice as my wife have to travel by this month end.

Expatguru said...

You have to get it translated in Arabic and attested by the Saudi consulate. Get the help of a professional agent who will do it for a fee.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Guru for your reply.

You have cleared my doubt,and i am really happy for you for giving such a great service.


Thanks,
Loy

Bhuwan said...

Hi,

I am in Riyadh and have taken family visa (yellow slip) on 5th April 2009. This yellow slip has only my wife's name. My wife is currently pregnant (in india) and expecting delivery on 12Aug 2009. I have not applied for my wife's visa stamping to till now. I understand that the yellow slip is valid for 6 months (i.e untill 30Sept2009).
Now the question: How will i get infants visa , i plan to bring my wife in last week of september2009. Will the visa on arrival be applicable for him ? wife is not having iquama and it will be her first entry .

Expatguru said...

Bhuwan,

Take a separate passport for the baby and have the birth certificate attested. If the baby arrives within 6 months of birth, visa on arrival would be issued.

Happiness said...

Dear guru,
iam abi,from tamilnadu.
surely its a blessed work.the great lord will provide everything for this effort.i am working ina company at riyadh, as a physiotherapist,i brought my wife here,now my iwant to renew my iqama,but here in taif, my local manager told, we are not responsible for your wife's iqama.then he sent my iqama only for the renewal.he didnot receive my wifes iqama n passport.[when my wife came to saudi arabia, i gort her iqama in taif only].now,problem is my iqama date finished,until now i didnt receive my iqama from my company.my question is they can renew my iqama without my wifes iqama and passport?please answer me.and give some useful advices.thank you.

Expatguru said...

Happiness,

This is so typical of the shabby way qualified people are treated like dirt in this place. First of all, do you have a family status in your contract? If so, then it is the responsibility of your sponsor to bear all the expenses of your wife's iqama. If you have brought your wife on your own account, then you will have to pay for that. Having said that, if your iqama goes for renewal without your wife's passport, for sure her name would not be included in your iqama, which is an extremely dangerous situation, because your wife would then be treated as an illegal resident as her visa would have expired.

If your sponsor does not want to take care of your wife's name to be included in your iqama, despite you having a family status / you paying for it (as applicable), contact the Indian Embassy right away without any delay.

Anonymous said...

Dear expat guru
Can you please give detail from were one can hire domestic nurse for new born baby and mother,as you said in the post they are available but in demand and costly

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

You will never find such an advertisement in the newspapers. The best, and only way to find such a help is through word of mouth. Find out from other fellow expats who have delivered in the kingdom and you would automatically come to know the details.

jefB, said...

Dear ExpatGuru,,

Is there any penalty if i didn't add yet my 4 months old son on my iqama ??What are the requirements and documents needed to include my son on my iqama?I had already my MOI birth certificate,,??tnxx

Expatguru said...

JefB,

Please fill in the enquiry form given through the link at the top right hand corner of this blog for a detailed reply. I charge a nominal fee for this personalized consultancy.

Roy said...

Dear Expatguru,

I am working in UAE and came in Saudi on a visit visa in my wife's iqama. She is working in Saudi M.O.H. How many times it is permited to extend and how long it is? Also she is pregnant is it possible to put the infant's name on her iqama? What is the time period for it? kindly guide me,

Thanks & best regards,

Roy M.J.

Expatguru said...

Roy,

Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized and confidential reply.

Expatguru said...

Roy,

Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized and confidential reply.

Sumit Ghose said...

I have given my passport for renewal of Saudi visit visa. Now, my company has provided Travel Letter to me till I get my passport renewed. Now, I want to travel to Damam from Riyadh by air. Is there any problem or not? By showing Travel Letter (with Passport & Visa Xerox Copy), shall I be able to travel by air inside Saudi Arabia.

Expatguru said...

Sumit,

Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized reply by email.

urgenthelpneeded said...

Hey ExpatGuru,
I'm in a great trouble.please do help me.I'm sponsored By my father's visa.I regularly visit the kingdom yearly to renew my visa.But unfortunately this year my visa is getting expired on 10th of december 2011 and i'm having my university last exam on the same date.Is there any alternative procedure to exrtend my visa by just a day or two? pleas do reply asap !! urgent help needed

Expatguru said...

Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized reply by email. Please do not forget to mention the expiry date of your dad's iqama when you fill in your query, so that my reply can be more accurate.

Anonymous said...

-What is the process of bringing an infant in KSA? New visa isrequired or infant will get an entry when mother gets enter into KSA. Mother has her own Iqama and valid exit/reentry. Thanks

Because they are different answers some say passport for the baby alone is enough some say passport for baby plus entry visa from Saudi consulate in Bombay is required

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Please fil in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized reply by email.

Anonymous said...

Hi Expatguru,

My wife has been given a job in KSA in Da. She will be applying for an Iqama as soon as she arrives in Dahran. My son and I (11 years old) would like to visit her as soon as possible for the July/August school holidays.

My concern is that when I apply for a visa to visit her in KSA, I made a stupid mistake when I was 20 years old and received a criminal record (fined $200) for theft. I am now 57 and have never got into trouble since then.

Will there be a big problem with this old mistake? If so, should I get a pardon here in Canada before I apply.

Cheers,

Expatguru said...

Anonymous,

Please fill in your query in the form using the link in the top right corner of this blog. I charge a nominal fee for my consultancy, which would get you a detailed, personalized reply by email.