FAQS

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

Commencement participants are welcome to invite guests to both the Ceremony and Dinner. Note that the maximum capacity for the Commencement Dinner allows four guests per graduate. 

 

You must register all guests. An email with the registration link and details will be sent once you have registered to take part in the Commencement Dinner. Guests must be aged 16 and over, and for the Commencement ceremony, guests must be aged 3 and over

 

Registration for guests to the Commencement Ceremony is open until November 30, 2022. 

 

It is important to note the following:

- Guests at the dinner must be 16 years old and over. 

- Guests at the ceremony must be 12 years and over.    


- A separate registration for the dinner is required and will be sent later. 


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


- For guests who will need a visa to travel to the Kingdom, you are encouraged to use the tourist visa process.  If you guests are not eligible, you will be able to apply for government visas for your guests. Given the additional time needed for the government visa process, all government visa requests need to be completed no later than November 10, 2022.

 

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

 

As plans for the Ceremony could change due to unforeseen circumstances, we suggest that you ensure that travel costs are transferable or refundable.

 

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.

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 SR 2,168 +15% VAT (PhD) or SR 1,996 + 15% VAT.*

 

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

* Correct as at October 10, 2022

Yes, registration for Commencement is required for all participants.

 

Student registration is open from Sunday October 16, 2022 through Saturday November 5, 2022, and an email with registration details is sent to all students who are eligible to participate.

 

Guest registration opens on October 23, 2022. The registration link will be sent directly to all students who have registered to participate in the Ceremony.

 

If you have not received the registration email but believe you are eligible to participate in Commencement, please email commencement@kaust.edu.sa.

As of June 13, 2022, the Government of Saudi Arabia no longer requires the use of a face mask or proof of vaccination (Tawakkalna app) to enter the Kingdom.

 

Keep up to date with travel information by visiting the Visit Saudi 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.

How do I collect 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. You must inform us at commencement@kaust.edu.sa if you are outside of the Kingdom and will not be able to collect your regalia on those dates November 22 to 24, 2022. We will then prepare and store your regalia for collection at an appointed date to be confirmed. 

Can I purchase my own regalia?

 

Yes.

 

KAUST lends participants regalia (free of charge) for the Commencement Ceremony, however, if you would like to purchase your own regalia, this option is available. Included is a personal fitting with the tailor, if requested, which will take place on Nov. 22 to 24, 2022.

 

You can select the option purchase regalia on your registration form at the cost of SR 2,168 +15% VAT (PhD) or SR 1,996 + 15% VAT (Masters).*

 

* Correct as at October 10, 2022

 

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

 

When is my regalia collection date?  

 

If you registered to attend Commencement, you must register for your regalia collection. You will receive an email with information about regalia pickup dates and will be asked to register.

  • If you choose to borrow your regalia, you must register to collect your regalia at the available times from November 22 to 24, 2022. If you miss registering and collecting your regalia on the allocated dates, you may NOT get regalia on the rehearsal and ceremony days.  

  • If you choose to purchase your regalia, you are still required to register and come on those dates to get fitted for your regalia.  You will be informed once your regalia is ready for collection at another date. 

  • We will have a photographer and your headshot will be taken at those regalia collection dates, so please come prepared. 


Questions? Email commencement@kaust.edu.sa.

 

What happens at my regalia collection?  

 

If you choose to borrow your regalia, you will check in when you arrive at your regalia collection location. Staff will be on hand to assist you with the size you selected on the registration form. Once you have collected your regalia, a photographer will take your regalia headshots and you will take the regalia with you. 

 

Note that you are responsible for keeping your regalia in good condition and must bring it on the rehearsal and ceremony days.  

 

If you choose to purchase your regalia, you will check in when you arrive and will be fitted at this time. Your regalia is then tagged and stored for you to collect before Commencement rehearsal. Times will be sent closer to the day.

 

What happens if I miss my regalia collection?  

 

The availability of in-person collection dates is from November 22 to 24, 2022. If you are unable to attend your selected collection date, you may NOT get regalia on the rehearsal and ceremony days.

 

It is your responsibility to look after your regalia from the collection date until the rehearsal and ceremony.

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.

An in-person Ceremony for participants and limited guests will take place on Discovery Walk on Friday, December 16, 2022.

The Ceremony will follow the same format as previous in-person Commencement Ceremonies at KAUST.

Guests arriving from countries eligible for a tourist visa have the option of applying from the Visit Saudi e-Visa portal before traveling. This is the quickest way to obtain a visa.

 

Guests from countries not currently eligible for the e-visa can request assistance from KAUST to provide them with a visa letter for their guests. Note that it is the guests responsibility to process their visa from their home country. KAUST can assist in providing a visa invitation letter that will include the guest information from the Guest Registration Form that you submitted (if you indicated that your guests require visa assistance and are not eligible for a tourist visa). 

 

Eligible family members that may attend Commencement are:

 

Spouse, daughters/sons (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

 

OR

 

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

 

Government Visa Process for Out-of-Kingdom Visitors not Eligible for Tourist Visa

 

All international travelers will need to possess valid passports and visas to travel to Saudi Arabia. If an out of Kingdom guest is eligible for a tourist visa, this is the process that should be used. 

 

For guests not eligible for a tourist visa, iIn order to obtain a Saudi visa, there are a number of required steps which are described below:

 

  1. Degree candidates must complete the guest registration process and indicate visa assistance is needed.

    Note that a visa request must be completed for each Out-of-Kingdom guest that needs assistance

    - The following documents must be uploaded at the time of registration:
    - 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.

  2. All visa requests for students and family members wishing to attend Commencement must be submitted as described above by November 10, 2022. 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.

  3. Upon completion of the visa request(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.

  4. 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 related visas must only be used for visiting Saudi Arabia from December 1 through December 31, 2022.

 

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 two names (first and last) for an individual, as one name passports are not accepted.

 

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.

Regalia photos will be sent to students at the end of February 2023.

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

No.

 

KAUST invites you to bring up to four guests to Commencement 2022. However, this is at your own expense, and KAUST does not hold any obligation to pay for any costs your guests might incur. 

 

Arrangements for Commencement may change should unforeseen circumstances arise.  These changes may occur at short notice.  KAUST is not responsible for any costs incurred by participants or their guests.

 

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.

Still need help?

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