It is the dream of many Muslims living all around the world to work in Saudi Arabia due to Holy cities of Makkah and Madina. If you want to come here for work purpose, you have to come here on a work visa. In this article, we shall be detailing about the procedure to come to Saudi Arabia on a work visa.
To search for a work visa, you need to hunt a job. We have explained the procedure of hunting job from your home country in this link. When you are offered to work in Saudi Arabia, it is the responsibility of your future employer to obtain your work visa from Ministry of Foreign Affairs after taking permission from Ministry of Labor.[irp]
Once the visa is issued, he will be given authorization code. On an average, you should expect to wait for at least eight weeks for your application to be processed. Once the visa has been issued to your employer, you need to search for an agent in your home country who processes the work visa applications.
The recruitment company or your employer will send you the contract of your employment along with all the information pertaining to the visa application process and the requirements. The visa will be endorsed in your name by your employer to the agent you have mentioned.
Keep in mind that the work visa cannot be processed without the help of an agent. Make sure that your employment pack contains: a medical report for the Saudi embassy in whatever country you reside in, the embassy authorization memo, statement of religion form, and note about police clearance.
Before submitting the application for the visa make sure that your passport has at least six months’ validity and has two blank pages with your signature. Make sure that there are no current visa stamps of Israel on your passport, if present, Saudi visa will not be granted to you.
One (1) recent passport size color photograph with a white background. Photographs must be full face shots in which the applicant is facing the camera directly. Side or angled views are not accepted.
A complete application form filled out in CAPITAL LETTERS in black ink or printed in black UPPER CASE. The email address can be downloaded from the website; email address must be included in the application form.
The original letter from the company in Saudi Arabia sponsoring the applicant, certified both by the Saudi Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We have listed down some important points for attestation of documents from Chamber of Commerce. I would recommend you to read them before personally visiting the chamber of commerce.
The letter must indicate the visa number, date, position and the name of the person requested. If such a letter is submitted through a visa service agency, then the letter should include authorization from the company allowing the agency to finish all the requirements to get the visa, block visa number and date.
An attested copy of the applicant’s university degree/diploma which MUST be validated by the Saudi Arabia Cultural Mission. A certified and notarized copy of the training or technical diploma must be authenticated by the country of residence. Diplomas need to be notarized by a Saudi Arabian consulate in the country of residence. We have covered this topic in detail in this link “Attesting Degrees for Saudi Arabia”.
A copy of the employment contract signed by the sponsor and the applicant is required. Before signing the employment contract, I would recommend you to look into this article “Factors to consider before signing an employment contract”. Expatriates expectant of securing a position in a Saudi company should keep in mind that there is “Saudization” of the companies going on.
Medical report (three copies) and lab reports (two copies), along with three (3) passport size color photographs with white background. The medical report must be issued by a licensed physician certifying that the applicant is free of contagious diseases. Each copy of the medical report must be signed along with the physician’s license number and the address on each copy of the medical form.
Medical reports should be used within three (3) months of the date of issuance. Children under age of sixteen do not need a medical report. A medical test is conducted by the authorized laboratories in your country. These labs have been authorized by Saudi Embassy. We have given a detailed guideline about medical examination in this link “Medical Test for Saudi Visa”
A police report issued within six (6) months with detailed information of applicant’s criminal record if any in the home country. It is also called protector in some countries.
These documents should directly be submitted to the Saudi embassy, but it is often faster, and more common, to go through an agency nominated by the employer to handle the application.
Some Important Points for Working Visa in Saudi Arabia
Minors (under 18 years of age) traveling alone or with one parent must submit a notarized letter of authentication, either in Arabic or English, signed both by parents or legal guardians.
Application fees should be paid by the employer, but in case the applicant is required to pay the fee, he should enquire the employer about the fees of the country of residence.
Female expatriates who are wishing to find employment in Saudi Arabia. If they are above the age of 27 years, can arrive to work alone in Saudi Arabia, but they will need to be met by their sponsor or the agent of their sponsor at the airport. The full-length accommodation for the intended period of stay must be confirmed beforehand, which in practice is almost always done for the female employees.
The maximum age to process visa in Saudi Arabia is 55 years. If an employer wants to endorse work visa for anyone who is above 55 years, he will have to seek special permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.