Can I convert Business Visit Visa into Work Visa in Saudi Arabia?

Question by Visitor: We are a married couple living in Saudi Arabia on a business visit Visa of 6 months under the sponsorship of a company. The visa is valid until February but we want to leave our sponsor for another sponsor, because the first one isn't good with us, and we feel better with the second. As we want to start working with the second soon, how can we transfer before February? What is the risk that the first company can pursue us or create any problem for us? What are the papers, procedures, and the fees?

Answer by Steve: You cannot transfer a business visit visa. First, you need to finish your assignment upon which you are working right now. After finishing your work, your sponsor will send you back to your home country. You should keep a regular contact with the new sponsor who wants to bring you here in Saudi Arabia on a work visa. Once you are back to your country, your new sponsor will send you work visa and you will be able to come here on it.

Question by Visitor: Thank you for your answer. I would appreciate if you could answer following questions as well.

Q01: So even if our Visa (multiple entries) is not expired yet if we leave the country, it's canceled? or we need to cancel it, or ask our sponsor for the Exit paper?

A01: You do not need to do anything. You do not even have to cancel it. You just need to go back to your country and start the processing of work visa on your passport. Work visa can be stamped on your passport even if the business visa is already valid.

Q02: What if they don't want to give us the exit paper?

A02: There is no exit paper required, read the point A01 above.

Q03: The new employer has to show me the new Visa before I go to my country or how does it work?

A03: You will have to search for an agent in your home country who processes the work visa. Your new employer will endorse this visa to this agent and he will do the rest of the work.

Q04: I heard that I can't apply for a visa if the previous one isn't expired yet.

A04: Already answered.

Q05: How long does it take for the man and the woman to make the work permit visa? I heard it’s different for each one?

A05: There is no time frame but generally it takes around 1 month to process the work visa for the employee. I assume that you are the employee in this case. Once the work visa is processed and you have reached here, you will have to apply for the residence permit of your wife. The procedure is detailed in this link “Apply for Permanent Family Visa

Q06: Who has to pay for it?

A06: Your employer has the responsibility to pay for the visa and any other expenses related to it. I would suggest you read this article to know about your rights while living in Saudi Arabia “Rights of Expatriates in Saudi Arabia”

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