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. If you have yet to complete the incorporation process you can use an outsourced management company or GEO Employer of Record to sponsor the employee for the necessary permits.
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.
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.
Once you get in touch with us, one of our consultants will take all the work off your hand, co-ordinate with our local partners to get all the required permits organised, provide the processing time, costs, document-checklist and keep you informed through the process. Contact us to know more.
|Category||Description of Visa|
|Business Visit Visa||Business visa is to conduct limited business transactions with a sponsor (Saudi person or company). Theoretically this is restricted to activities like conducting negotiations or holding business meetings. The business visa is commonly used by individuals providing short term or intermittent services like technical services or management consulting and the Saudi authorities have tolerated that. With the advent of the temporary visa work visa this may change.
Requirements: An original signed Letter of Invitation (LOI) is renerally required from the Saudi sponsor (company or individual). It may also be necessary to supply additional documents such as a support letter from the persons current employer or a copy of the companys business registration.
Processing time: 3-7 business days
Cost: Varies by embassy e.g. in USA it is approx USD $270 for US passport holders and $54 (single entry) $134 (multiple entry) for other nationalities. In UK it is GBP £49 (single entry) £106 (multiple entry).
|Work Visa||Work Visas are issued through the Ministry of Labour
A Residence permit is also required and issued by the Ministry of the Interior's Directorate General for Passports.
The actual Work Visa is issued by the relevant Saudi embassy under the instruction of the Minisry of Foreign Affairs.
Requirements: Must be sponsored by a Saudi employer. In order to transfer from one employer to another, a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the previous employer is required.
- valid employment contract in Arabic
- medical reports
- degree or educational qualifications
Cost: varies by embassy
Processing time: 2-3 months
Penalties for non-compliance: If a company is found to be employing foreigners without the proper work permits and visas it can be fined up to SAR 100,000 and have its license to trade revoked. Individuals who are working in Saudi Arabia without an Iqama can be fined up to SAR 10,000 and immediately arrested and deported.
|Temporary Work Visa||This is a recent addition which allows employees of a foreign entity to do temporary work in Saudi Arabia. The foreign entity cannot have a presence in Saudi Arabia.
Duration : 30 or 90 days
Application process : It is understood to be similar to the process for issuing a Work / Employment Visa