Saudi Arabia employment visas

Saudi Arabia visas application

  • Non-Saudi citizens must obtain a visa to enter, and must obtain a permit to reside in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Visas or permits must be obtained before arrival in the country. A visitor visa must be sponsored by a Saudi resident company or resident individual. The sponsors invitation letter will include i) a visa number and ii) confirmation a visa is obtained for the visitor and iii) the permission to issue that visa has been sent to the relevant Saudi embassy;
  • Companies are required to register their employee’s contracts with the Ministry of Interior before a residency permit can be issued. Each company is permitted a certain quota of residency visas. Residency visas are valid for up to two years. Employees cannot work for anyone other than their sponsoring employer and sponsorship cannot be transferred until the employee has worked for their original sponsor for at least two years;
  • All expatriate employees require an employment visa and must be sponsored by an employer to arrange one. To obtain an employment visa, the employee must i) submit a medical examination ii) show copies of employment contract and iii) provide academic or professional qualifications and iv) provide an employer sponsor ship letter. Within two weeks, the foreign employee will be issued a visa number, permitting him to collect a visitor visa, which will be converted to a residence visa upon arrival in Saudi;
  • Employees leaving Saudi (for a holiday or business trip) require their employer/sponsor to acquire an exit/re-entry visa. If an employee is leaving the country and not returning, he will be issued an exit-only visa.

Frequently asked questions

Contact us

For additional information on our employment visas services in Saudi Arabia, please contact our in-house country expert, Ms. Chrissi Zamora, directly:
client relationship officer - Chrissi
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