Saudi Arabia work visas & permits

A Saudi Arabia work visa allows foreigners to work in the country without difficulties. However, this process is not necessarily easy. But, with the right help, you can obtain your visa faster and without further complications. Having all the documents and requirements right when needed will indeed speed up the process.

In this article, we will show you how you can hire a foreigner to work in Saudi Arabia and how to pay them correctly. Also, you will see the requirements and the process to obtain a Saudi Arabia working visa for them. Let us see:

1. Hiring process in Saudi Arabia

2. How is the process to obtain a Saudi Arabia work visa?

3. What is the necessary documentation to obtain a Saudi Arabia work visa?

4. Saudi Arabia work visa requirements

5. Who is eligible to apply for a Saudi Arabia work visa?

6. What is the validity of a Saudi Arabia work visa?

7. How can we help you to obtain a Saudi Arabia work visa?

1. Hiring process in Saudi Arabia

Many companies take the opportunity to hire foreign employees to work in Saudi Arabia. To achieve this, the employee must have a sponsor to receive a Saudi Arabia work visa. One of the main rules is that they must show why no Saudi national can be more suitable for such a position.

Then, if the reason is approved, you and your candidate can start the visa process. In this case, it is the Ministry of Labor and Social Development that has the authority to issue these visas. To do this, you must have the documents and other requirements, which you will see in detail later.

If all the required documents are approved, the applicant will receive their work visa in Saudi Arabia. However, to extend this period, the employer will have to request Iqama for the worker.

1.1 How to pay an international worker?

To pay foreign employees in the country, you must follow employment and payroll standards. The company must be aware of changes in local payroll and tax laws. Therefore, complying with the laws regarding salary and benefits is of vital importance.

You also have two options to pay your foreign workers s in the country. These encompass:

  • Since you have a local entity in Saudi Arabia, you can make the payment directly to the employee.
  • Another option is to outsource the payroll of your company through a joint venture with an Employer of Record.

1.2 Benefits for employees with a work permit Saudi Arabia

Some benefits that a worker obtains by getting a Saudi Arabia working visa include:

  1. A base salary established in the employment contract. It is valid until the end of said agreement. In addition, this salary must be paid by the employer in the local currency, the SAR.
  2. They will be entitled to a fully paid annual leave of 30 calendar days. However, the employer is the one who will determine the date of the year according to the working conditions. Likewise, both parties can delay the license after the end of the year but only for less than 90 days.
  3. The employer must register the employee with the General Organization of Social Security (GOSI). In addition, the employer has to pay the contributions according to their regulations.
  4. Payment for termination of service, to which the employee is entitled to receive. This compensation consists of fifteen days of salary for each year of the first 5 years of work. Likewise, if the contract exceeded this time, he will receive the salary of one month for each year after 5.

In addition, the employee will also receive severance pay in proportion to the time spent at work. The last salary received is the basis for calculating said compensation. In this case, it is the real effective wage excluding variable amounts.

2. How is the process to obtain a Saudi Arabia work visa?

To obtain a work visa in Saudi Arabia, candidates must follow a few simple steps:

  1. The first thing is to receive a job offer in the country.
  2. The employee must wait for the employer to deliver the employment contract and the visa block number. After receiving them, they can start the application process for the Saudi Arabia working visa.
  3. Next, get all academic and professional qualifications legalized and attested by the cultural office of the country. Also, since this is one of the most time-consuming steps, we recommend doing it right away.
  4. Verify that you comply with all these regulations with the advice of an organization specialized in these processes.
  5. In this step, our company can help you legalize all the necessary certificates.
  6. Finally, you must send the work visa application to the embassy of the candidate’s country of residence.

3. What is the necessary documentation to obtain a Saudi Arabia work visa?

The employer is the one who must apply for the permit on behalf of the worker. Additionally, you must abide by Saudi Arabia new visa rules for 2022, including submitting the following documentation:

  • Valid passport of the worker
  • 2 photographs of the worker of the same size as those in the passport.
  • 2 photographs of the employer of the same size as above.
  • Letter from the employer sponsoring the worker’s visa, certified by the Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Employment contract signed by both parties.
  • Candidate’s medical report issued by an authorized doctor.
  • Certificates of academic and professional qualifications.
  • Police report detailing any convictions; must be updated.

Before the authorities can issue a work permit in Saudi Arabia, applicants will need to be fingerprinted. In addition, they must pass a medical examination to rule out any contagious disease.

4. Saudi Arabia work visa requirements

Obtaining a Saudi Arabia work visa is not always a simple process. You must meet all the requirements demanded by law. Among those, are:

4.1 Saudi work visa block number

In this case, this document, with a specific number, must be provided by the employer in Saudi Arabia. In addition, this is a permit provided by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development. Therefore, it is a mandatory requirement that candidates must present at the Saudi embassy in their country of origin.

4.2 Valid passport

The passport must be valid for at least 6 months, plus 2 clean pages. In this way, candidates can aspire to a work visa and a permit to work for 2 years.

4.3 Police certificate

This is the police criminal background check, which applicants must apply for in their home nation. Next, they must legalize it at the Saudi Arabian embassy in their country. However, they must first apostille it. Without this requirement, they will not be able to obtain a work visa in Saudi Arabia.

4.4 Letter from the employer in Saudi Arabia

This letter must be submitted if they had a previous employer in Saudi Arabia, this serves as a letter of recommendation and good standing. In addition, it must be the original with the respective letterhead and signed by someone in a higher position. However, if this is the first Saudi Arabian work visa they are applying for, this will not be a requirement.

4.5 Educational and/or professional certificates

Although these certificates are valid in the applicant’s country, they must still be certified by the Cultural Office of Saudi Arabia. As we mentioned before, this can be one of the most time-consuming processes. In case the employee has a solid job offer, they should start processing these certificates before starting with the application process.

4.5 Saudi Arabia work visa application form and declaration

You need to search for the Saudi Arabia job visa available on the official site. Then, fill in the form by hand and affix the passport-size photos (35 x 45 mm) to it. The applicant must also include the details of their new employer, as well as the residential information in their country of origin.

4.6 Employment contract

Another important requirement for a working visa in Saudi Arabia is an employment contract issued by the hiring company or individual. Additionally, this must be approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chamber of Commerce. This contract can be in Arabic and English for ease of reading.

4.7 Power of Attorney

An electronic Power of Attorney is required to apply at the Saudi Arabian embassy in the candidate’s country. In addition, it must indicate the name of the company, full name of the applicant, and the title of the job reflected in the contract.

4.8 Medical report

Among the requirements for a Saudi Arabia work visa, aspiring employees must provide a medical report. However, this can not do it anywhere but at approved clinics. In these places, they will have to pass several health exams including:

  • Blood test.
  • HIV test.
  • Hepatitis B & C test.
  • Urinalysis.
  • Chest X-ray, among others.

Additionally, this report must be legalized at the embassy. 

4.9 Proof of having traveled to Saudi Arabia

The next requirement for a Saudi Arabia work visa is to prove that the applicant has previously traveled to the country. The Saudi Arabian embassy determines this through proof of purchase of plane tickets from their home country.

4.10 Commercial registry certificate

As a visa applicant, the candidate must present the Mercantile Registration Certificate of the sponsoring company. In the same way, it must be sealed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia.

4.11 Saudi laws and regulations form

The process to obtain a working visa in Saudi Arabia is complex if you do not have the right advice. An example of this is that you must necessarily sign a form of Saudi laws and regulations. In this way, you certify that you assume the responsibility to comply with them all.

5. Who is eligible to apply for a Saudi Arabia work visa?

Citizens of more than 40 countries are eligible to apply for a work permit in Saudi Arabia. However, they must meet the requirements listed above in addition to the following:

  • The worker must be between 21 and 55 years old; women who want to apply must be at least 27 years old. However, a person over the age of 55 can work in the country if their employer requests a special permit. They must do it at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Have a valid email.
  • Use the same passport with which they applied.

6. What is the validity of the work visa in Saudi Arabia?

The validity of any Saudi Arabia work visa types is 90 days, so applicants must travel within those 90 days. Likewise, employers who hired them must process their Iqama before the end of the 90 days. 

Once they have obtained this Iqama or working permit, they will be able to work in the country for a renewable period of 2 years.

7. How can we help you obtain a Saudi Arabia work visa?

The process of obtaining a work visa is often complicated and can take considerable time. However, with the assistance of our organization, you can easily verify that you meet all the requirements to make the process smooth and faster. In addition, we can help you check the eligibility of the worker in Saudi Arabia and other relevant aspects.

Not only can we advise you on this procedure, but on many other essential aspects of your company. We offer high-quality services to help your business thrive in the Middle East. Would you like to request any of our solutions? We are present in the following countries:

Are you looking forward to obtaining your Saudi work visa as soon as possible? Do it with EOR Middle East. You can contact our experts via email at [email protected]. We are dedicated to helping you with any concerns you may have. Reach out to us and schedule a free 30-minute phone call!

For those who wish to land a position in the most important companies in the Middle East, we introduce Anyone can easily apply for the job of their preference on this platform. In addition, you can send your CV via email to [email protected].

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