How Many Days To Process Working Visa In Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia requires that you be sponsored by a local employer in order to live and work there. This sponsor will have to be your future or current employer.  The person responsible for handling your application is what is known as the sponsor. The sponsor will have to pledge his / her responsibility towards making sure you are able to stay in the country legally and doing what is right regarding your situation. If you do not have a sponsor, you can contact any Saudi Arabian embassy or consulate office responsible for your region and ask what you need to do on your end in order to proceed with the visa process.  You are expected to book an appointment ahead of time by filling out their form on their website. When booking your appointment, make sure you request all the forms you need for your visa process, including the private services agreement. Also, make sure that it is applicable for foreigners and not just for Saudi Arabians because only one of these types of forms is required for this kind of visa process.To register, visit: They will discuss and confirm everything with you when you arrive at the consulate or embassy and show up on time for your appointment!

How Many Days To Process Working Visa In Saudi Arabia

If you want to work in Saudi Arabia, there are many things to consider. I’ve found the best way to get a Working Visa in Saudi is to get an offer from an employer and then it is fairly straightforward getting sponsorship for the visa.The visa process in Saudi Arabia can take up to four months, depending on the ministry that processes it. There are several categories of visas for expatriates who want to live and work in Saudi Arabia . Each one is divided into different types of work, such as direct civil work, contractual civil work, and sub-contractor civil work.

Applicant has to provide following documents with his/her Passport and Visa application: Confirmed Original License Copy of Educational Certificates (TCF, DCF, BBA, B.Com etc). Applicants have to submit the application form along with required and sufficient documents mentioned below.

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Work Permits

Shield GEO is not operating in Saudi Arabia at this time. However, feel free to contact us and we’ll do our best to assist you with your employment needs or connect you with a trusted partner.

Foreign workers are required to have the proper visas and work permits in Saudi Arabia, as established by immigration laws.  Work permits must be secured for employees, and sponsored by a locally licensed and incorporated entity, which can be a problem for companies just entering the Saudi Arabian market.

Your Options

Have your own Company

A work visa is sponsored by an employer. This can be a Saudi company, a Saudi citizen or a foriegn entity appropriately licensed to do business in Saudi Arabia.

Processing Steps

  • The employer must first register with the Ministry of Interior who will open an “immigration file”. This will contain details of all expatriate employees with that employer. The sponsoring employer must be registered in Saudi Arabia and hold a valid commercial license. The employer may be asked to submit a variety of documents listed below. The employer will likely be asked to show a commitment to “Saudization” which is to prove that there are no Saudi citizens available to fill the position, and that the employer is taking steps to employ Saudi citizens where possible.
  • The employer then lodges a work visa application with the Ministry of Labor. This can take 1-3 months.
  • The Ministry of Labor will advise the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when the application is approved. The Ministry of Foreign affairs will issue a Visa Authorisation Number. This takes 1-2 weeks.
  • The actual Work Visa is issued by the relevant Saudi embassy under the instruction of the Minisry of Foreign Affairs. At this point the employee will have to apply at the revelant Saudi Arabian embassy. The employee must submit an application form and the documents outlined below to the embassy. Processing times vary by embassy but generally 1-3 weeks. After the embassy issues the Work / Employment visa, the individual can travel to Saudi Arabia. The Work / Employment visa will allow a stay of between 14-90 days.
  • On arrival an application must be filed with the Ministry of Labor for the Iqama or residency permit. Once approved by Ministry of Labour it will be forwarded to Ministry of Interior to issue the Iqama or residency permit. The Directorate General for Passports, within the Ministry of Interior, will issue the Iqama. The employer will need to obtain the work permit from the Ministry of Labor gor the employee to show at the passport office when applying for the Iqama. The Iqama normally takes 1-3 weeks to be issued. The employee should carry the Iqama with them at all times as it proves they have the legal right to live and work in Saudi Arabia. The employee can be fined if the Iqama is lost and not reported lost, or if it expires before renewal.
  • Lastly after the Iqama is issued then an application is lodged with the Ministry of Interior for an Exit/Re-Entry Permit which allows the employee to travel in and out of Saudi Arabia whilst they have a valid Work Permit and Iqama. The length of permit and type will depend on a number of factors including the nationality and profession of the employee. It takes approximately 1 week to issue.

Requirements for the Employee to present at the relevant Saudi Arabian embassy:

– Original valid signed employment contract in Arabic

– Original passport valid for at least the duration of the employment contract and it must have at least two full blank adjacent visa pages. (note if an Israeli visa stamp is found in your passport, the Saudi embassy will likely refuse to grant a visa application)
– Medical certificate stating the applicant is free of contagious diseases. This should be issued by a clinic approved by the Saudi Embassy and be issued within 3 months of the application being lodged.

– Completed application form (BLOCK LETTERS and black ink)

– In order to transfer from one employer to another, a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the previous employer is required.

– If previously worked in Saudi Arabia a copy of the relevant exit visa and a reference from the previous employer may be required
– Copy of relevant academic qualifications (notarised by the educational institution and the Saudi embassy)

– Color passport photos. The number required varies by embassy. (it is advised to dress conservatively and avoid wearing religious symbols)

– Original support letter from the sponsoring employer, certified by the Saudi Arabian Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

– Copy of the invitation letter issued by Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs (this will reference the employer name, and the number of the employment visa)

– Police clearance dated within 6 months of the application

Requirements of the Employer to submit to Ministry of Interior:

– Company Registration (CR)

– Company Stamp

– Zakat Certificate

– GOSI Certificate

– Chamber of Commerce Certificate

– KROKI Certificate

– NITAQAT statement

NB: This is not an exhaustive list and the Ministry may request further documentation

Cost: Varies according to embassy
Processing time: Varies by embassy and nationality. Total process takes 3-5 months for a new employer.

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