How Long Does It Take To Get A Working Visa For Saudi Arabia

Working abroad is appealing to most people. In fact, expats who lived overseas in 2018 contributed $7 trillion to the global economy. This was up from $6.8 trillion in 2017. Some people might think getting a visa is a difficult and lengthy process. But there are tons of jobs that you can get when relocating to Saudi Arabia. These will give you great experience for your CV and help you get a job at home much faster.There are many people who would like to work in Saudi Arabia. The pay is good, the accommodations are sorted, and above all the job security is excellent. Of course, this is the marketing spiel that was fed to me by the recruitment agents when I first moved here. I am sure that some of you might have heard it too

How Long Does It Take To Get A Working Visa For Saudi Arabia

The demand for foreign workers in Saudi Arabia has been on the rise in recent years. With the low unemployment rate, skilled and unskilled workers are needed to fill construction, retail and maid jobs. This trend is expected to continue as the country’s economy continues to grow.A passport with 6 month validity, 2 recent colored photographs not more than 6 months old, an offer letter from Saudi employer, NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the Saudi sponsor and a copy of valid work permit of the sponsor are some of the requirements that should be fulfilled.

Saudi Arabia Work Visas & Permits

If your company is planning to expand operations into Saudi Arabia, you’ll need a talented team of employees. It is important to know how to get work visas and residency permits for any employees who will be making the move with you, whether you’re planning to relocate existing team members or recruit new employees abroad.

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If your company is planning to expand operations into Saudi Arabia, you’ll need a talented team of employees. It is important to know how to get work visas and residency permits for any employees who will be making the move with you, whether you’re planning to relocate existing team members or recruit new employees abroad.

Types of Work Visas in Saudi Arabia

Anyone who wishes to enter Saudi Arabia will require a visa, with the exception of citizens of countries that are members of The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf. These members include the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, the Sultanate of Oman, and Kuwait.

There are three types of visas in Saudi Arabia:

  • Employment visas
  • Business visit visas
  • Family visit or residence visas

This guide will focus on employment visas, as these will be necessary for any employees who will be staying in Saudi Arabia on a long-term basis.

Requirements to Obtain Saudi Arabia Work Visas

To obtain a visa, employees will need to have a sponsor in Saudi Arabia. The sponsoring employer is responsible for most of the application process, but the prospective employee will need to supply all the necessary documents.

The following documents are required to obtain an employment visa:

  • A passport that will be valid for the duration of employment
  • A passport-sized photograph, in color
  • Proof of online payment of the visa fee through the Enjazit website
  • A completed visa application
  • Three copies of a signed medical report
  • A letter of employment from the sponsoring company in Saudi Arabia, which must be certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Saudi Chamber of Commerce
  • A signed copy of the employment contract
  • A certified copy of the applicant’s university diploma, which must be validated by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission
  • A police report of any criminal record
  • An addressed, prepaid envelope

Application Process

The employer must begin the work visa application process. Here are the necessary steps to obtain a visa and residency permit in Saudi Arabia:

  • The sponsoring employer must register with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior.
  • The Ministry will open an immigration file with information regarding all of the employer’s expatriate workers.
  • The employer will lodge an application for a work visa with the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Labor.
  • Once the application is approved, the Ministry of Labor will notify the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Within two weeks, the Ministry of Foreign affairs will issue a Visa Authorization Number.
  • The employee will submit their employment visa application to the relevant Saudi Arabian embassy, along with the documents listed above.
  • The embassy will issue the visa within one to three weeks, at which point the employee can travel to Saudi Arabia.
  • In Saudi Arabia, the employee must apply for a residency permit, or Iqama, through the Ministry of Labor.
  • The Ministry of Labor will forward the approved application to the Ministry of Interior, where the Iqama will be issued through the Directorate General for Passports.

Employees should carry their Iqama at all times in order to prove that they are legally allowed to live and work in Saudi Arabia.

If the employee would like to travel in and out of Saudi Arabia during the duration of their employment, they will need to apply for an Exit/Re-Entry Permit through the Ministry of Interior. This permit is generally issued within one week.

Other Important Considerations

Employees should be aware that the authorities in Saudi Arabia are very strict. Behavior or appearance that is deemed inappropriate may result in denial of entry into the country or deportation. Examples of unacceptable conduct include public displays of affection, men exposing their legs by wearing shorts, and women wearing clothing that is too tight or thin, exposing their hair, or wearing makeup.

All visitors to Saudi Arabia should also be aware of the tenets and philosophies of Islam, which is the only religion that may be celebrated publicly in Saudi Arabia. The Mutawwa’in, the religious police in Saudi Arabia, will strictly enforce these standards throughout the country.

If any employees plan to bring spouses or children to Saudi Arabia, they will need to obtain family visit visas.

Learn More About Globalization Partners

Need to onboard international employees right now? We can help with your global hiring needs. Contact us and request a proposal.

For this particular location, Globalization Partners may offer support processing certain work visas and permits. Contact us today to assess your specific needs.

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