Saudi Arabia visa

Saudi Arabia Visa Process

We will explain what is required to meet the Saudi Arabia work visa requirements, but must stress that by using our services we will do all that is possible to help smooth this process for you.

The information below relates to the reasons why a work visa is required and how the Saudi Arabia visa application process flows. By contacting us we can advise what assistance can be offered.

Who needs a Saudi work visa and why?

Any foreign national wishing to work in the KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) is required by law to hold a working visa. This entitles a person to enter the kingdom and work for a period of 90 days. During this time your employer (commonly termed as your ‘sponsor’) has the responsibility of converting your visa into a residency permit, known as an Iqama. This permit allows you to stay and work in the kingdom.

Work visa process Saudi Arabia:

As long as you have found employment with a company, school or institute that has not exceeded its quota of employing expatriate workers in relation to the number of Saudi nationals, and/or they are not employing you for a ‘Saudi-national only’ position the work visa Saudi Arabia process is relatively straight-forward.

In the case of teaching English, the later requirement should not be an issue, but do make sure that the position you have accepted is stated clearly and correctly on the work visa you are issued with.

Saudi Arabia visa application process:

It is the responsibility of your sponsor to make the initial application that will secure your work visa. They will obtain a visa number that will be sent to you. This then allows you to proceed with the visa application.

In most countries it is necessary to use an agent when going through the process. While Saudi Arabia visa fees are set dependent upon single or multiple entry and length of stay, the agent concerned should state costs clearly, plus their service charge.  The use of an agent has many advantages.

Examples of this include the fact they are experienced in the process, they will ensure the correct paperwork is available and will check all sections of the application to ensure it is complete and in order.

Please contact us to understand any charges involved. It is also important that you are clear as to what your prospective employer is willing to put towards any visa application costs.

Complete your own research:

To help understand the requirements it is also recommended that you read the information relating to work visa applications on your local Saudi Embassy website. This should make it clear what requirements must be met. Common requirements include:

  • Copies of signed contracts (in Arabic)
  • Relevant, legal copies of educational certificates (e.g. degrees and TEFL certification)
  • Relevant medical reports and certificates (these will cover such things as lung function test results and HIV status)

This process can take anywhere between 2 and 4 weeks.

Securing your Iqama:

Completing the Saudi Arabia work visa requirements culminates when you receive your Iqama. As we have mentioned, the working visa is valid for 90 days and should be viewed as a probationary period. 

Assuming you pass this probation (as the vast majority do!) then the company employing you are responsible for converting your visa into a residency permit which is known as an Iqama. As an aside, anyone failing the probation period will be required to leave the country.

Your Iqama is about the size of a credit card and must be carried with you at all times. It is the only proof of ID that will suffice in many instances such as for opening a bank account, receiving or sending cash via services such as Western Union or MoneyGram, to hire cars and even purchasing a Sim card for your mobile phone.

It is also important to understand that your employer will take possession of your passport whilst you are in their employ.

Questions and assistance:

Once you have checked out our Job Board and feel ready for the challenging yet lucrative teaching assignments available in Saudi Arabia, please do contact us with any questions and requests for assistance.