Here are some of the common questions and answers about KAUST Commencement 2021

KAUST lends participants regalia (free of charge) for the Commencement Ceremony, however, if you are looking for personally tailored regalia, we offer the option to purchase your own. Included are alterations and a personal fitting with the tailor, if requested.

You can select the option purchase regalia on your registration form at the cost of 1,550SAR +15% VAT.

The option to purchase regalia can only be selected at the time of Commencement registration.

How do I get fitted for regalia if I am In Kingdom (not in KAUST) and Out Of Kingdom? 

You will be asked for your size details as part of the Commencement Registration. If you did not, please email Commencement@kaust.edu.sa and we will provide you with a regalia size chart and ask that you measure yourself and choose an appropriate size. Then, we will prepare and store your regalia for collection at an appointed date tbc.  


How do I know my regalia will fit if I am not attending a personal fitting?  

It is your responsibility to take time and care when doing self measurements, to prepare your regalia accordingly. A tailor will be onsite at key times throughout Commencement to attend to any minor alterations needed.  

When is my regalia fitting?  

  • You will book your regalia fitting when registering for Commencement. After selecting your regalia fitting date, you will receive a calendar invite with your fitting location and time slot. If you did not book a regalia fitting date during the registration process, please email commencement@kaust.edu.sa.


What happens at my regalia fitting?  

  • When you arrive at your regalia fitting, you will check in. Staff will be on hand to assist you with size selection and fitting. Once you have selected your regalia, a photographer will take your regalia headshots. 

  • Wearing facemasks is mandatory throughout your regalia fitting session and will only be removed when photographed. 

  • Your regalia is then tagged and stored for you to pick up before Commencement rehearsal. Times will be sent closer to the day.


What happens if I miss my regalia fitting?  

  • The availability of In-person fitting dates is minimal. If you are unable to attend your selected fitting date, we will provide you with a regalia size chart and ask that you send your measurements to us via email. We will prepare and store your regalia for collection for collection before the rehearsal.

KAUST invites you to bring two guests to Commencement 2021. However, this is at your own expense, and KAUST does not hold any obligation to pay for any costs your guests might incur. 


KAUST anticipates that Commencement celebrations and a gathering of this size will be permitted in December, but please note that plans may change if the pandemic requires it. KAUST is not responsible for any financial reimbursement to you or your guests if this happens.


If you are returning from Out of Kingdom or Out of KAUST, we invite you to do so at your own expense. KAUST is not responsible for the cost incurred.

Guests arriving from countries eligible for a tourist visa can have the option of applying from the website visit.visitsaudi.com before traveling. This is the quickest way to obtain a visa.


Guests from countries not currently eligible for the e-visa can request that KAUST applies for a Government Visa on their behalf, as part of the guest registration process.


Eligible family members that may attend Commencement are:

Spouse, Daughters/Sons over the age of 12 (all attending children must be registered as guests), Father, Mother, Sister, Brother, Immediate family of sister, Immediate family of brother, Father-in-law (if spouse is a KAUST resident), Mother-in-law (if spouse is a KAUST resident), Sister-in-law and her immediate family, Brother-in-law and his immediate family, Grandfather, Grandmother, Step-father, Step-mother, Step-son, Step-daughter, Uncle, Aunt


KAUST resident guest (Current student, Staff member, Research Park tenant, Community member)


All Ceremony guests must be:

Fully immune, as per KAUST access requirements. Tawakkalna will be checked.


Government Visa Process for Out-of-Kingdom Visitors

All international travelers will need to possess valid passports and visas to travel to Saudi Arabia. In

order to obtain a Saudi visa, there are a number of required steps which are described below:

1. Degree candidates must complete visa request as part of the Guest Submission.

Note that a visa request form information must be completed for each Out-of-Kingdom

The following documents must be sent along with the visa request form:

-        Passport copy for each visitor

-        Notarized proof of relation to the family member (i.e., marriage certificate, birth certificate)

-        Passport copy, or iqama copy, of the degree candidate (who is applying for the visa)

-        Other documents may be required

Note that no submissions will be reviewed or approved until all requested documents are submitted.

All visa request forms for students and family members wishing to attend the Commencement

must be submitted as described above by November 16, 2021. Any forms submitted after this

date may not have enough time for processing. It is the degree candidate's responsibility to

complete the visa request form for his/her family members.

2. Upon completion of the visa request form(s), the University will request a visa approval letter

from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), and once a visa approval letter has been issued, it

will be sent to all eligible degree candidates, who can then send it to their families for applying

for a Saudi visa.

3. All attendees (student and/or family member) who are residing outside of the Kingdom will then

apply for a visa by sending the required paperwork (including passport, visa approval letter, visa

application form, and any other documents specified in the application) to the agent

recommended by the Saudi Embassy/Consulate in the city from which the visa will be issued. A

list of recommended visa agencies will be provided by Government Affairs’ Embassies Relations

(upon request), along with the visa approval letter. Some countries require the visa process to

be completed through a VFS TasHeel visa agency (which requires personal attendance for its

fingerprinting process).

As visa requirements and policies can change, applicants are urged to seek current information

from the agent recommended by the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in their home country, prior

to applying for the visa.


Visa Type and Validity (Government Visit Visa)

1. The visa approval number is valid for 90 days from the date of its issuance; visitors must have

their passports stamped during that period.

2. Visitors must enter the Kingdom within 90 days of the visa having been stamped.

3. The duration of stay is 30 days.

4. Visitor(s) must depart from Saudi Arabia on, or before, the last day that they are authorized to

be in the country. Should a visitor stay beyond the permitted period, a penalty of 200 SR per

day will be imposed.

5. Commencement visas must only be used for visiting Saudi Arabia from December 1 through

December 31, 2019.


Passport Validity

Passports must have a minimum of six months remaining validity, upon the date of arrival into the Kingdom, to allow entry into Saudi Arabia. Passports should contain at least two empty pages adjacent to each other for the visa. Handwritten passports are not accepted by Saudi Embassies. Also, the passport must contain at least 2 names (first and last) for an individual, as one name passports are not accepted.


Any person entering KAUST must be fully vaccinated. Therefore, along with the digital ticket, we will be asking guests to show us their “Immune - completed Covid-19 vaccine doses” status on the Tawakkalna application when entering the Commencement Dinner and Commencement Ceremony.



Which vaccines are accepted by Saudi Arabia?

Approved vaccines include AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson&Johnson.


Guests are considered fully vaccinated following two doses of AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, or one dose of J&J/Janssen, with the last dose administered at least 14 days prior to arrival into the Kingdom.


Guests who have completed two doses of the Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccines will be accepted if they have received an additional dose of one of the four vaccines approved by the Kingdom, with the last dose administered at least 14 days prior to arrival into the Kingdom. PCR tests may also be required before travelling to the Kingdom.


Saudi Arabia has launched a web portal at https://muqeem.sa/#/vaccine-registration/home for visitors to register their vaccination status.


Travel information may vary due to Covid-19. Keep up to date at Visit Saudi | Help and Support

Digital tickets are QR codes that hold the same information as a paper ticket. These will be sent in December, after guest registration has been completed,


Guests will receive different QR Codes to enter the Commencement Dinner and the Commencement Ceremony.


Each QR Code will only scan once on entry.


The QR code can be shown on the guest's phone or a printed copy.

Yes, registration for the Commencement is required for all participants.


The deadline for Commencement registration is October 21, 2021, but please register as soon as possible.


Guest registration open on November 1, 2021. The registration link will be sent directly to all participating students/alumni.


If you have not received the registration email, please email commencement@kaust.edu.sa.

Regalia photos will be sent to students at the end of  January 2022, by the Alumni Office.


You can reach us via email: Commencement@kaust.edu.sa

A maximum of four guests to the Commencement Ceremony and a maximum of two guests to the Commencement Dinner is allowed per Commencement participant.


In line with the current Covid-19 guidelines, the number of people permitted to attend the Commencement ceremony is strictly limited.


You must register your four guests, who must be aged 12 and over, and fully vaccinated for Covid-19.


Registration for guests is open until November 16, 2021


Only guests who hold a valid pre-issued digital ticket will be permitted to enter the Commencement Dinner and Ceremony. 



You will also be able to apply for government visas for your guests, if it is not possible to obtain a tourist visa for them.

As plan for the Ceremony could change, due to the pandemic, we suggest that you ensure that travel costs are transferrable or refundable.

More details on tourist visas are available here - Tourist visas - Visit Saudi Official Website

More details on the COVID-19 testing and vaccination requirements to enter Saudi Arabia are available here - Covid-19 Information Page - Visit Saudi Official Website

KAUST cannot confirm the accuracy or completeness of information provided from the above links and as such assumes no responsibility for any costs, fines, prohibitions or needed changes that may be the result of not meeting the travel requirements.

Please note that travel and accommodation costs are the responsibility of Commencement participants and their guests.

An in-person Ceremony for participants and limited guests will take place on Discovery Walk on December 17, 2021.


Those are are eligible to participate in 2021, and those who were eligible in 2020, will all be welcome back to celebrate their achievements together, in one Ceremony.


The Ceremony will follow the same format as previous in-person Commencement Ceremonies at KAUST, with additional Covid-19 precautions. These will depend on the situation in KAUST in December, but may include physical distancing and mask wearing.

Still need help?

For any other questions, please write us at commencement@kaust.edu.sa