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Many expats from India and Pakistan are keen to know about the legal standing of Azad visa of Saudi Arabia and its price. Here are the details;
What is Azad visa?
Azad Visa is an illegal arrangement under which you are free to work in Saudi Arabia. Here is how it works;
- The employer requests the government to get a visa for his business.
- Later, he sells Azad visa to an agent.
- The agent further sells the visa to someone who wants to come to Saudi Arabia.
- The expat pays the price for the visa in India or Pakistan.
- The expat enters Saudi Arabia on Azad visa.
- The employer processes his first Iqama.
- As per the illegal arrangement, the employer allows the expat to work for anyone.
- Once the expat worker gets a job, he transfers sponsorship through Qiwa and becomes a legitimate employee.
The price for Azad visa
The price for Azad visa varies depending upon the profession and the country. For example;
- The price for an accountant Azad visa: SR 18,000
- The price for a labor profession Azad visa: SR 14,000
- The price for a domestic worker Azad visa: SR 10,000
- Generally, Azad visa for India is cheaper than Pakistan.
Best profession on Azad visa
Historically, it is said that the best profession to come on an Azad visa is Amil Aadi. However, this is not the case anymore.
- Select a profession related to your job. For example, if you are an accountant, look for an accountant visa.
- If you don’t find an accountant visa, the second option is Amil Aadi profession (General Labor) on Azad visa. In this case, you will have to change the Iqama profession later.
- Do not select any of those professions which require a degree for Iqama renewal unless you have the relevant degree.
- Do not opt for Amil Manzli or Saiq Khas – House Driver profession as they are limited to individual employers. Later, you would not be able to transfer your sponsorship.
What are the risks?
As stated earlier, Azad visa is an illegal arrangement that comes with many risks.
1- If you are an unskilled worker, job hunting in Saudi Arabia is too hard.
2- Since the entire arrangement of Azad visa is illegal, the employer may blackmail you to ask for more money once you are in Saudi Arabia.
3- You have to pay around SR 11,000 as an Iqama renewal fee over and above the price of Azad visa. There is a high risk that you would not be able to recover the cost.
4- If you are caught working for someone other than your employer, there is a fine of SR 50,000 on self-employed expats followed by deportation and a permanent ban.