Saudi Arabia Work Visa; Business Visas to Visit KSA

Visas to work in Saudi Arabia

If you are going to be working in Saudi Arabia then you will need a Saudi Arabian Work visa or a Business Visa.This article will discuss the types of visas that you need as well as the various problems that you may encounter;

There are several different types of Saudi visas that you can apply for but only the work visa allows you to work within Saudi Arabia. A business visa is often procured for people to work there, but this often being misused to get around restrictions that have been placed on the company.

This hub will detail out my experiences of getting a Saudi Arabia Visa and the MANY problems that I have encountered, I have been thrown out of the Saudi Embassy in London after I was insulted by staff, had documents destroyed, been forced to pay bribes and even ended up as an illegal alien that had to be smuggled out of KSA illegally.

Saudi Visas

Saudi Work Visa
Saudi Work Visa | Source
Saudi Business Visa
Saudi Business Visa | Source

Types of Saudi Visa


There are 5 main types of Visa that you can apply for when looking to enter KSA for either work or just to visit;

Saudi Business Visa;

This is for business men and women working for companies outside Saudi Arabia so that they can come into the Kingdom to work with or for a Saudi company. The duration can be one, three or 6 months. It can also be used by companies to bring you into the kingdom to work on a short term contract or to try you out during your trial period, although this is not what the visa is for. Often, if a company has problems gaining a work visa due to not being able to get authorization due to employing too few local Saudis they will bring an employee on this visa.

Saudi Work Visa;

This is for those that have been offered a contract to be working in Saudi Arabia, you will require to have medicals and submit educational certificates, all of which have to be legalized. Use an agent to do this as you will have to complete a large amount of paperwork. This visa is valid for 90 days at the end of which the company has to convert it to an Iqama which is your residency and work permit to allow you to stay and work in the country.

Saudi Holiday Visa

It is available, but unless you are Muslim with family in Saudi Arabia to sponsor your visit you are unlikely to get it! They do however want to develop the tourist industry so it will be interesting to see how this develops.

Dependent visa for Saudi Arabia

This is for the family of those that have an approved work visa. Please note however that only legalized marriage will be recognized, you can't bring your girlfriend even if you have been together for 20 years.

Umrah/Haj Visa

This is for those that wish to visit to make Umrah/Haj, religious pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca). This is only for Muslims and the visas are limited by number and through approved travel agents only.



Saudi Iqama

Your Iqama or residency permit has to be applied for within 90 days of your entering the country on a work visa. This entitles you to stay and work within the country for your sponsor (employer). Without an Iqama you will not be able to open bank accounts, send money out of the country or even buy a SIM card for your phone.

The application is pretty straight forward and should be done by your sponsor. You will have to undertake another medical which will be pretty straight forward. This should be paid for by your employer and will probably cost around 250 Saudi Riyals.

You will also be fingerprinted and your eyes will be scanned.


Iqama or Saudi Residency Permit

Saudi Iqama
Saudi Iqama

Saudi Azad Visa

BEWARE - There is actually no such thing as an "Azad" Visa but many people offer to sell these visas to people at a huge cost. The Azad visa is often advertised as a visa that will allow you to work freely within the kingdom, however this is far from the truth.

To get into Saudi Arabia you need to have a sponsor (employer) who can provide you with a visa, this has prompted a small industry to rise where many Saudis will sell a visa to an expat and then allow the expat to work where ever they wish to. Often this visa will cost between 10 Thousand to 20 Thousand Riyals.

However, you are not allowed to work for anyone other than your sponsor! This means that you cannot work for anyone else legally. There is, however a thriving black market for illegal workers and many people do find work, often on lower wages and with worse conditions than those legally employed. But the government is cracking down on these practices and if you are caught then you will be sent home and there will not be any refund of the money that you have spent! This is a very risky way indeed to work within the kingdom.

Far better to just apply for jobs advertised within the kingdom, if you are hired your sponsor will pay for your visa in full and you will be fully covered by Saudi Labor Law. Avoid the Azad visa as it really is a huge risk.

Application for Saudi Visa

Whichever country you are coming from, read the requirements for the visa very carefully on the Saudi Arabian Embassy website in your country. On the whole you will be far better off using an agent to do the application for you and they can recommend the best places to get medical reports and so on that you will require. The agent can make sure that everything is correct rather than having it rejected by the Saudi embassy.

You will have to submit your educational certificates, all of which will need to be legalized. The process for doing so will be explained on their websites or by the agent, again, you can get the agent to do this for you, but the costs will start to mount – make sure that your employer will shoulder the expenses, as not all will!

Do not be surprised if no care is taken of your precious original certificates, my pristine, well kept degree certificate was sent between two sheets of stiff card to protect it, it was returned after having been totally screwed up and then folded in half to be returned! It is so badly damaged that it is almost unreadable in places! I have learned the hard way that many Saudis have no respect for any non-Saudis!

Get a Saudi Visa to view the Kingdom

Sunset on the Red Sea
Sunset on the Red Sea | Source
Jeddah
Jeddah | Source

The Reality of Applying for a Saudi Arabian Work Visa

The first time I got a visa for Saudi Arabia (KSA) in England was quite straight forward, I took all of my paperwork to the Saudi embassy in London and received it a couple of days later, no problem at all.

The Saudi Arabian visa was a business visa, good for 3 months, which was meant to keep me until they could sort out a residency visa (Iqama) for me. However, be careful, they do not tell you, you are supposed to just know, that this visa has to be stamped every month for you to remain legally in the kingdom. Failure to do so could land you in prison for a few weeks while the problem is sorted out, and believe me nothing is done quickly here!

The company that I was working for was having problems with getting work visas so I was sent home after 2 and a half months, the visa section said that I could only have 2 weeks of my last month!

Applied for my Saudi Arabian Business visa in the same way, again, no problem and was back in Saudi within a few weeks, back to work. Again visa being stamped every month. This time I was completely refused my third month, only having a week to get out (after pleading and begging!), so I had to cancel appointments and training courses that I was running which I rescheduled for about 3 weeks later. But; read on..

Visiting the Saudi Embassy

This application for a new business visa was a real experience;

I returned to England, completed my paperwork, went to the Embassy and handed it all over for processing;

This is what the conversation was like when I applied for my Saudi Arabian Visa

“You can’t give that here,” said the guy behind the counter.

“why,” I asked..

“We have changed our process, you have to use an agent.”

“Why does your website still show the old way of doing things with no mention of this?”

“I don’t know, it’s not my responsibility”

“Can you give me the name of an agent?”

“No”

“Why not?”

“You have to get it from the website”

“can’t you just give me a name or print it out for me?”

“no”

“why did you change the system?”

“because everyone was coming in the office complaining that we were late giving them visas and they were missing flights, now they complain to the agents not us.”

“How long will this take now?”

“I don’t know, maybe 10 days” (it was 2 days before)

“Now I will have to rearrange my flight, you are not making things easy for us to come to your country”

“We don’t want you shit in our country!” – He actually said this, I am not sure what my reply was, I know I was shouting and demanding to see someone in authority as the security physically carried me out!!


So, my second stay waiting for my third visa took over a month, I had to rearrange all of my appointments again, without being able to give a truly firm date! Not so good for business as you can imagine, my credibility was totally shot!

Finally returned to find that the company still could not get a Saudi Arabian residency visa and that I would be unlikely to be sure of even the second month of my business visa, clients were demanding that I resolve the issue or there would be no business with them! – Eventually I moved company so that I did not have this problem, the next company getting me a residency visa and my Iqama within a few weeks, which is what should happen, but I hear so very many many stories!

Get a Saudi Arabian Visa to see KSA

Dependant Visas

Not all jobs in Saudi allow you to bring your spouse or children (They now say that all jobs are allowed to bring their families but I still know some people who have been refused as the demand was just too great after this was announced!), check before you take the job if you will be able to bring your family before you travel or you may get a shock! Each visa declares the "job" that the person may be doing, mine stated that I was a "business analyst" (all in Arabic so you can't read it yourself), this is a professional position so I was entitled to bring my family. However some other professional types that I knew had Saudi Arabia Work visas that did not have job titles that reflected their actual position in the companies for which they worked in Saudi Arabia, these titles were often very basic and were not sufficient to allow them to bring their families!

Processing your visa application when you are in Saudi should be fairly straightforward. However not always, my friends that I know here have had no problems, I had nothing but problems – but then I found out why!

Bring your Family to Saudi Arabia

Mosque on the red sea
Mosque on the red sea | Source
Living on a western compound in Saudi
Living on a western compound in Saudi | Source

Problems getting a Saudi Arabian Family Visa

Most companies will have a government relations guy who will do all of the leg work with the various ministries and departments, he is the guy that usually will take your visas and so on to get them processed. Mine kept coming back with problem after problem, even though it was the same paperwork that was used for me to get my visa to come to the kingdom in the first place. This went on for a couple of months until someone suggest that I should be offering money!

I lost my temper with the government relations officer, after all the documentation was correct so why can’t he get the visa for my wife without me offering money? He was very sympathetic, but said that it may be the only way, so in the end, I had to agree to paying whatever it would take – within reason!

It cost me 4000SAR ($1067) to get the visa processed, I have no idea if the money went to my company’s relations officer or to the guy in the ministry, I have no way of knowing. But I was basically blackmailed into paying without any other options! I have heard similar stories from others, but not other westerners! It took one afternoon to process with the same paperwork that I started with! (And my degree certificate got lost!)

Arrival in Riyadh Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Visa Nightmare!

This happened to a “friend” (read between the lines); his business visa (because he didn't yet have a Saudi work visa) was not taken for monthly stamping and expired, therefore he became illegal, a colleague's family (wife and three children) were in the same situation unbeknown to them, and the husband was given some paperwork in Arabic to sign in amongst other unrelated business paperwork taking responsibility for the problem with his family! Thankfully, he asked someone else to read it all before he signed it, as you can imagine he was not too happy with the situation that the company had put him and his family in.

The problem could not be resolved, the visas could not be stamped, the advice given was to try to leave by a specific airport (Dammam) as they were not so good at checking, but if we were caught we could be jailed for 1 or 2 weeks, including my colleague’s wife and fined (Although I now know that the fine would have been the responsibility of the company!) We said no as you can imagine – and asked them to find a solution!

No real solution was available, the issue could not be resolved officially once we were illegal that was it! So we had to have a way of getting it resolved that was not through official channels.


Exit Saudi Arabia over Bridge to Bahrain

Escape from Saudi Arabia without a visa

Through a friend of a friend, we were introduced to someone who said that they could take us out of the country on a Wednesday night over the causeway bridge into Bahrain without any problem – “guaranteed”. For a small fee, of course!

So we arranged to meet this guy in the service area on the causeway before all of the different check points on the bridge about a week later.

We arrived, my colleague, his wife and three children and myself and waited over an hour for this guy, he was late, did not answer his phone and we began to think that he had decided not to turn up, but eventually he arrived an hour later than expected. His English was very poor so we had little idea as to how he was going to achieve what he was going to do!

So we followed him onto the bridge towards Bahrain, us in a large vehicle with our driver and him in a smaller one, we progressed through the first checkpoint which is to check the ownership and insurance of the car before you move to the other checks which check your personal paperwork, customs etc.

After this first checkpoint this guy and our driver swapped cars so that we now had the “fixer” as our driver now that the car ownership point had been passed. We queued for about another 30 minutes heading towards to the next checkpoint, just before the next check he turned between a group of buildings in the center of the bridge down a small alleyway and came out on the opposite side of the bridge, the road coming into Saudi from Bahrain. At this point he drove against the traffic towards the checkpoint that checks the visas of people coming into Saudi Arabia. By this time my friend's wife was having great difficulty controlling her tears due to the worry of being caught, which of course was being picked up by the three small girls in the car also!

He stopped just before the checkpoint and were joined by one of the security people from the checkpoint, at this point our passports were taken and the guy paid to have an entry stamp placed in all of our passports basically making them legal as far as a brief examination was concerned!

We then were driven back to the other side of the bridge through another small alley between the official's buildings in the center portion of the causeway, emerging just before the final check for passports and visas. My college then had to get out and get the relevant paperwork for his wife to exit from a nearby office using the newly stamped passport, marriage certificate, etc. (A woman requires the permission of her husband or father to travel within and out of Saudi Arabia!)

Again his wife spent a very tearful 20 minutes or so while he went to get the paperwork done, thankfully no problem, and we continued towards the final checkpoint!

A tense 30 seconds were spent at the checkpoint as the guard opened and checked each passport before stamping each one with the exit stamp and waved us through, what a relief! I was never so glad to arrive at a hotel and have an ice cold beer!

Visas Checked and Stamped on Bridge between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain

A markerking fahd causeway -
King Fahd Causeway
[get directions]

Bridge between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Visas Checkpoints

Companies Obligations with regard to your Work Visa in Saudi Arabia

Your employer is responsible for ensuring that your visa and residency permit (Iqama) is up to date and renewed, etc. But this does not stop you from having a major problem when they fail to do their job, often it is you that will suffer not the company!

There are many cases where workers (not normally western, but Filipino, Indian etc.) who have not had their residency permits or Iqama renewed by their employers making them illegal, these workers are then afraid to leave the safety of their workplaces, many living where they work, and thus they are kept almost as a prisoner by the employer. There are several cases of workers not going for medical treatment as they are scared that they will be reported as illegal if they go to one of the hospitals for treatment!

There are reported cases of workers being held like this for as long as 20 years, often without wages!

Saudi Exit Visa

If you want to leave Saudi Arabia you need to have an Exit Visa! You cannot leave without this, this has to be granted through your company. So if your company does not want you to leave, you can't leave. Once you are in, you are at their mercy, and many maids and the like who should be able to go home each year are not allowed to leave. I have also known westerners who have had their exit visas refused as the company does not want them to leave for various reasons.

When your contract is finished, your company will issue a final exit, when you try to leave they will do a full check of your details, if you have any debts, own a car, any fines, disputes or anything you will be detained until these issues are resolved! If your wife walked through the check ahead of you when this happens, she will be going home without you, always check your exit first!

But at the end of the day, who would want to leave??

Saudi Arabia Final Exit Visa

If you are going to be leaving your current sponsor/employer and leaving the country then you will need a final exit visa for KSA.

You need to make sure that everything is clear before you try to leave the country, everything!

You must pay all of your bills, phone, power, housing etc. Keep all receipts.

If you own a car you must sell it and ensure that the name is transferred to the new owner, if it is still in your name you cannot leave! Keep copies of all of the transfer and sales documentation with you.

Check if you have any traffic fines to pay and pay them (they now have speed cameras and you may not know that you have a fine!), again keep all paperwork related to this!

Cancel and pay any credit cards, pay off loans. Keep all paperwork and receipts to prove you have done this. Ensure you do this at least a month before exit if you can.

Empty your Saudi bank accounts, transfer the money electronically if you can or send via western union or equivalent. Do this well before departure to ensure you can check that the money has arrived where it was sent.

Use cash only for the last few weeks of your stay!

When you get to the airport for final exit you will have everything checked, if something is not settled you will be refused exit until it is settled, within my small circle of friends two were refused exit, one for traffic fines and the other for the car not yet transferred into the buyer's name.

If you have family with you, consider sending them home a few days before departure so that they are not inconvenienced or shocked if you are detained! Once the stamp is in your passport, you are out, so if your wife went before you and her passport is stamped and you are refused she has to leave you behind.

More Saudi Advice

Don't even think about applying for a Saudi Visa until you realize exactly what you are going to be letting yourself in for. Working in Saudi Arabia is not like going to the next town for a job with a few new faces. The culture and way of life in KSA are completely different to anything you will have experienced anywhere else in the world.

This guide to being a Saudi Expat will help you to better understand everything you need to know before you make that decision to enter the Kingdom.

More by this Author


Comments 452 comments

Pro Design Source profile image

Pro Design Source 6 years ago

Wow, what an extensive set of hubs on Saudi Arabia. Great job!


paradigmsearch profile image

paradigmsearch 6 years ago from USA

Extremely interesting and informative!


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Pro-Design, thank you for reading and leaving a comment, I am glad that you are enjoying reading about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Maybe you will visit me here one day, I will be happy to help you with your Saudi Arabia Visa if you do.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Thank you for your comments paradigmsearch. If there is anything else that you would like to know about Saudi Arabia let me know and I will try to include it in my future hubs.


JBeadle profile image

JBeadle 6 years ago from Midwest

I have no plans to visit Saudi Arabia, yet I found this hub thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

JBeadle, I am glad that you enjoyed your read, the stories regarding my visa issues are all true! Thanks for the comments.


humagaia profile image

humagaia 6 years ago from United Kingdom

I've never had the inclination to work in KSA - if I ever did I know of a resource that will give me the information I need.

I wonder where that is!


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

I am sure you would enjoy working here with your sense of humor Humagaia, you have to be able to laugh!


LCDGuy 6 years ago

Leanman, maybe you had so many problems being non Muslim or what's your origin ? I heard Saudis are not so friendly to non muslim visitors, is that true ? But no doubt you defintiely had a lot of courage to do all that but do you think after such incident you could have problem entering or exiting through any of the 6 GCC countries or especially KSA visa during next few years if you plan to visit next time ?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi LCDGuy, thanks for reading, I have been in and out several times since these incidents without a problem. So I hope all now fine, however I am probably going to be either transferring my work visa of leaving to get a new Saudi Arabia Visa in the next month or so as I am hoping to change my job. Maybe a whole new set of experiences to write about.


Artoflegendindia 6 years ago

Great hub. Thank you for sharing your knowledge about visa for Saudi Arabia.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Thank you for stopping by to comment Artof.. If you ever need to come on over to Saudi Arabia just give me a call..


Smart Rookie profile image

Smart Rookie 6 years ago

Excellent reference for Saudi Arabia Visas. The videos are great, too.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Thanks Rookie, glad you enjoyed it. Maybe I can help you with your visa some day.


KHADEM HUSSAIN ABBAS 6 years ago

HI SIR WE TOMUCH PROBLEM ON FLOOD IN PAKISTAN AND NOW I AM LOOKIN FOR JOB IN SAUDI ARABIA AND I CAN SPEEK ARABIC LUNGUEGE I CAN WORK ANY THINK FOR MY SELF BUT KNOW THE FALCONRY WORK ITS A FALCON DISPLAY SO HELP ME CAN I HAVE ANY WORK THERE JOF HAVE JOB


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Khadem, thank you for reading. I know that there are many agencies in Pakistan recruiting people for Saudi Arabia and the rest of the middle east. Contact a few of those and I am sure that they will help you find employment and get your Saudi Arabia Visa. Good luck with your search.


triosol profile image

triosol 6 years ago

Very interesting and informative Hub!


jogjakarta profile image

jogjakarta 6 years ago from Yogyakarta

Nice Blog Friend U hits


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Thank you Triosol and JogJakarta for your comments.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 6 years ago from UK

This should be a great help to those wishing to live and work in Saudi!


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Thank your fro reading and commenting Izzy, I know you considered coming here to work as a nurse in the past, if you ever decide to visit again I will help you out with your Saudi Arabia Work Visa.


Lama 6 years ago

Hello, i am a muslim girl married to christian guy(civil marriage) my husband is british, has been working in Riyadh for three months now, planning to go to Riyadh to live with him, but i've been told that it's not possible to live in saudi if we have different religions? is it true that they will not grant me a visa unless one of us changes his religion? pls advise...


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Lama, The permission for the visa is granted here in Saudi by your husband taking a copy of your marriage certificate and his paperwork with an application form to the ministry, there is no mention of religion on this form at all.

You then take this permission to the embassy in London with the marriage certificate, medical report etc

and the application form which has a very small box in which to declare your religion - you could write anything you like in that box... which would be the simplest way to avoid any issues! - I wrote NA

I am not aware of such a rule, as they would not "allow" a Muslim to marry a Christian, in the eyes of the people here you are not a Muslim, as a Muslim girl would not marry outside her religion!

Get you Husband to check through his employer if you insist on declaring your religion to be sure.

My wife is also Muslim, however it is not declared on any paperwork but my employer knew when dealing with the paperwork and mentioned nothing at all!


Lama 6 years ago

Hello, thanks for the info, I'm Lebanese and here in Lebanon religion is mentioned on our ID, the Saudi Embassy in Lebanon have asked for my ID, medical etc.... So i guess i will not be able to hide my religion, plus i'm sure that religion is mentioned on Iqama,incase i got the visa and then Iqama,don't want the Moutaweh to cause any trouble incase we were together and they find out our religions are different. My husband's employers said it's not a problem, but i don't trust saudis.... anyways, will see what will happen, hope i won't get stoned there :D

Many thanks for your reply.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

I must admit, not being able to read Arabic I have little idea what is on my Iqama...

However don't worry too much about being in Saudi Arabia, as I said I really know of nothing, my firm knew of nothing and your Husband's firm knows of nothing that can prevent you from being with your husband here in Saudi, go get your visa!!!!

Don't worry too much about the police and the Mutawah here in Saudi Arabia, I have only ever seen or heard of Filipinos, Indians and the like being stopped to have their ID checked, anyone else is very rare.

I think the worst they would do is give your husband a pile of booklets and urge him to convert, too many problems for them would arise if they started causing problems for a British National over something like this, they will not want the press...


sylicon profile image

sylicon 6 years ago from United State

vote for u


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Thank you for the vote sylicon, I hope you enjoyed finding out how to get a Saudi Arabia work visa.


englightenedsoul profile image

englightenedsoul 6 years ago

What an interesting read on Saudi Arabia. Truly enjoyed it and yea, money can get anything done!! I have seen this in India as well!!

rated up!!


henrykasan profile image

henrykasan 6 years ago from UK

Good Hub Indeed!!!!!!

The hub which describes extensively about the 5 main types of Visa that anyone can opt for, when he is looking to enter into the Saudi Arabia. The information like, we have to submit our educational certificates, which necessarily need to be legalized, is immensely fruitful for various aspirants who are wishing to enter into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Thanks a lot for sharing such a wonderful peace of text.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Englihtenedsoul, thank you for reading and commenting, it is a pity that so many countries have systems where a little money is required to make things happen.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Thank you for reading Henrykasan, should you ever need any help with arranging a Saudi Arabia work visa just let me know.


travelespresso profile image

travelespresso 6 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

Good hub LeanMan with great information and background. A girlfriend has just arrived in Saudi to work at a University so I hope all goes well for her. It seems rather restrictive for women there. Good luck with your new job!


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Travelespresso, thank you for reading and commenting. You will have to read some of my other hubs here regarding life in Saudi Arabia.. Did you friend have many problems getting her work visa as a woman?


maruthirp profile image

maruthirp 6 years ago from Hyderabad

Is it worth working in Saudi? I see in TVs that many Indians were seen jobless and being thrown out from there.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Like all economies around the world certain industries are suffering and laying off workers. However there is still a need for expats to be coming here to Saudi Arabia on their work visas as there is still a huge demand for expat workers to do the work that local Saudis do not want to do.


sonyericson profile image

sonyericson 6 years ago from U.S.A

I like your hub.You have a nice explanation about different visas for Saudi Arabia.Nice post! Thanks..


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Thank you sonyericson for taking time out of your busy phone manufacturing schedule to read and comment on my hub about Saudi Arabian visas.


MKayo profile image

MKayo 6 years ago from Texas

I had no idea it was like this. I was riveted to your story - great Hub!


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

I am glad you enjoyed my experiences of getting a Saudi Arabia work Visa MKayo, thanks for taking the time to make comment.


Sa`ge profile image

Sa`ge 6 years ago from Barefoot Island

This was a very good write on Saudi visas. I also was riveted to reading this story. Voting this one way up there. If it is so difficult why would one want to go there? Thank you for writing it, i did enjoy it! aloha


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

I pushed the buttons too. Great insight! Thank you!


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Sa'ge and Micky Dee, thank you both for coming by, at least you don't need a visa to visit the page unlike Saudi Arabia. Working here has its benefits such as high untaxed wages, which is why most of us expats are here, we didn't come for the beer that's for sure.


Hakela 6 years ago

hi, im a british citizen and my husband is a lebanese. we are both working in riyadh and would like to go to bahrain by car. i know we need to bring our marriage certificate in case they ask us at the checkpoint border. do we need to have it stamped or certified at the british embassy? i'm not sure what is their requirements for the married couples regarding marriage certificate. we got married in cyprus and the marriage is recognized in UK. thank you.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Dear Hakela, if you came to the kingdom as a married couple then your certificate will already have been translated into Arabic and stamped by the Saudi Embassy, unless you did not arrive as a couple. Otherwise check with your sponsor who should be able to arrange anything that you need. You will be both needing an exit / re-entry visa to go to Bahrain if you are working here with an Iqama.


germanator 6 years ago

how likely is it to get a visa with an employment contract but no degree?


Teric 6 years ago

Hi, thanks for writing such a great post, I was not aware that on Business Visa you need to renew every month. Anyways I am in Riyadh, on WORK VIST VISA, my visa has the validity of 90 days, all I want to know is that does WORK VISIT VISA also require a renewal every month, if so then please let me know. And if you don't know and know someone who knows this let me know with their contact.


Raed 5 years ago

This response is a bit late, but this is a very useful guide. LeanMan, a question I have is with regards to the visit visa, would one be able to rent in a compound or outside using only a visit Visa that is continuously renewed or is this not possible at all?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Raed, if I am honest I am not 100% sure - my renting on compound has been done through my employer in the past therefore the compound is assured of payment through them should I not return.. Off compound, I have rented a few times and the requirements have been very mixed, one asked me for nothing and the others either a copy of my passport, iqama, or a letter from my employer - no hard and fast rule, just what the individual landlord wants..

Some will not ask much, after all there are many people there who there living and working illegally with no visa or iqama..


Ken 5 years ago

Great information!!

I expect to enter the KSA with a work visa in approximately 8 months. The paper work processing will start in a couple of months. Will my wife be able to get a visa and enter the country at the same time, or will she have to follow at a later date?


arab  5 years ago

I thank you sooooooooo uch for the information also thanxx for the topic that can give everyone agreat view of saudia ..~

my pleasure ,,


SUSANJK profile image

SUSANJK 5 years ago from Florida

Saudi does not seem line a place I would like to visit


hajj packages 5 years ago

I like your hub.You have a nice explanation about different visas for Saudi Arabia.Nice post! Thanks..


LiamOB1 5 years ago

Great information. But now can you help me? I have a job offer as a senior project manager. But I have no degree and very little qualifications apart from my 29 on the job. do you think i will have any trouble getting my iquama???


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

LiamOB thanks for reading and leaving a comment. In my experience you will need to have some form of relevant qualification such as a degree to get your work visa. The Saudis can be quite pedantic when it comes to having all paperwork in order with all of the relevant things dotted and crossed.

Talk to the company who have made the offer and get their advice, after all they may have a "more direct route" for getting your paperwork approved! Money talks in Saudi Arabia, more so than in some other countries!


Raj Mathur 5 years ago

Hi LeanMan,

I need a small favour from you. I was offered a job in Saudi by a bank, I accepted it and my work visa is processed and my flight is after about 3 days. Now, a dubai based company has offerred me a better job, better profile and salary has been increased by 50%.

Now my question is, If I don't go to saudi and send an email to the company that I am not joining. Will they blacklist me from not entering Saudi at all?

Please help.

Regards,

Raj


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

HI raj, I am not aware of any "blacklist" that you could be put on.. however the fact that you have a Saudi work visa and have not used it may raise some questions if you try to enter again!

However, i assume you are going to the middle east for the money so it would be foolish to turn down a job with an extra 50% on the salary.


bismi 5 years ago

assslmu alykum ,,,, i got selection in one king hospital in saudi as a staff nurse ,,,,,,and i am waiting for visa from last 4 month ,,,till now my visa didn't arrived ,,, ministry is senting afew visa ,,,,around 160 candidates they selected through interview,,,,,, around that 40 reached there ,,,remaining still in india......... can we expect vissa,,, i already signed offer letter.......


hh 5 years ago

Hi Can someone work on Business Visa. I Did all the contract paper work for an engineering position with a Saudi based company and I also did the medical as well. I am of Westerner Nationality but originally from a third world country. My religion is Islam. I am wondering if the reason they haven't given me the work visa and instead issued business visa is due to my background? or is this a common thing.


hh 5 years ago

Hi Can someone work on Business Visa. I Did all the contract paper work for an engineering position with a Saudi based company and I also did the medical as well. I am of Westerner Nationality but originally from a third world country. My religion is Islam. I am wondering if the reason they haven't given me the work visa and instead issued business visa is due to my background? or is this a common thing.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi HH, the Saudi Visa that you have received will be the one that your company has requested, the embassy will not have changed it to a different type (only deny it if they had a problem with you.) In my experience many companies will issue a business visa as your initial visa during your probation or if they are having problems getting work visas due to the number of expats that they employ.

The Saudi Government is trying very hard to get companies to hire internally within Saudi Arabia rather than bring in foreign workers. So you should ask them why you have a business visa as this may be an indication of problems for you later on - I was issued business visas for 9 months for one company as they could not get me a work visa and I ended up taking employment with another company due to the many problems this caused me with my employment (and I was the GM of a company!)


expat guy 5 years ago

Hi Lean, I have a unique question for you.I hope you ll be able to help me out.I am already working in Saudi Arabia at a senior management position from the past 7 years.I need to immigrate to Canada with my family .I have got a plan to stay there only for 3-4 years only and come back again to Saudi Arabia.I am 52 years old now ,after 4 years I will be 56+ years,do you think due to my age I might face difficulties in getting a work visa.

Does Saudi law has any maximum age restriction for expat workers?

Some people have suggested me that it depends upon the specific employer,but I need to know what does the Saudi law says about it.

Thanyou for your time.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Expat Guy, I have read the labor law a few times in the past and do not recall any specific age limits, however you should take into account the ongoing push to limit jobs to Saudis and to penalize companies that employ too many expats. I have had a number of friends lose jobs in the last year due to the companies being forced to shed expats.

Are you intending to return to work for the same company, if so I would suggest that you talk with them as they will be the ones who will be applying for your work visa in Saudi Arabia.

If you are looking to return to Saudi after 4 years with a completely new company and position then it is likely that you will face problems with regard to age purely on company discrimination grounds rather than any specific law!

Good luck with your plans.


Ace 5 years ago

I am planning my visit these days to saudia riyadh you article helped alot... thanks


sarfraz khan 5 years ago

I came to saudi arabia 4 months ago on work visa. i have one year contract with my company....it is a good category company ...up to 1000 employees. well i want to leave this company and job after my contract is over as im getting much better offer from other company with 3 times more pay than what i am getting now and my own IT field. But i came to know that according to new rules i must spend 2 yrs with current company even if my contract is over. this is very upset situation for me. Can somebody suggest me what is the best for me in such a situation. what if i get exit and want to come back on other company visa...can it be an option? would i need NOC from current company?


expatriate 5 years ago

Iam currently working in Saudi Arabia. I am a professional but my job title on my iqama is that of Labor. I want to go ahead and change my job title on iqamaa as on labor visa you cannot bring your family.

I have my degrees from UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON IN USA.

Can someone tell me what is the procedure to do so and also they have asked for erified degree.

Do i need to send my degree to Saudi Consulate in USA and what are all the other document they will require.

Please kindly email me answer at irfanesheikh@gmail.com

Regards,

Irfan


niyaz ali 5 years ago

asslam alai kum

i am muhammad niyaz

i wanna good job in saudi arabiya in jeddah plzzz help me guys and

my cell nomber is 00919956719738 plz

help me sir and mam


ANDREW P. MACALINAO 5 years ago

i had a difficult inquiry that i know you could help me through i resiside here at the philippines and planning to go in KSA to work bu unfortunately i would like to cancel my visa that was stampped at my passport because i had a greater beed fro the other agency whioch has a great slarary pay, would you think is there would be any problem about that and how the process would go please help thanks


Visaster 5 years ago

Hi Lean, Topics are very interesting and it is very true, I am from Philippines and I encountered this VISASTER ISSUE, yesterday was my flight date Sept. 21 going to Riyadh KSA, departure time from manila is 3:40pm, I got stock on the immigration checking for some interview, due to my Business Working Visit Visa, I spend 4 hours wasted from this immigration personnel asking me to go back there and ask for this docs, and ask for exit clearance and in the end they disapproved my exit,I offload my baggage and refund the tax payment and cancelled my flight I had no choice but to go home, this flight was waited for almost 4 months, with agent for the stamp and to much documents to deal with, but still a big problem for me, now I am waiting for a new visa a employment one. so sorry for writing a story just want to express my feelings, thanks.


Danish 5 years ago

Hi, I have received a visa for 90days.It says "AMAL" meaning work. Occupation is something else. But below it says "AMAL" which means work in Arabic. I even heard if the occupation is mentioned as Amal,it means labour.Is there anything like work visa and labour visa? So basically what do we know whether this is a work visa or .....? I have got an offer as Restaurant Manager.A probabtion period of 3 months exists in the contract.And the contract is for 2 years. I wanted to know why the visa says 90days?Will the employer change it when i reach there?This is for an American based Organization.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Danish, the company has to convert the Visa into your Iqama which is your work and residency permit within Saudi Arabia, they have 90 days in which to do this (your probation period.) Don't worry this is normal.

My visa says the same, but is valid for several years. Your Iqama will be valid for about 2 years and has to be renewed by the company for you to remain in the Kingdom.


sajjad 5 years ago

i came to saudia working just as a secretary. where as i was IT Manager in Pakistan. My contract is one year. i want to change my job after one year. but i came to know i can not transfer employer before 2 years. what options i have now. if i have an offer, can i go bak to pakistana dn come back immediately on another visa if offered???


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Sajjad, as far as I am aware you can basically do anything that your current employer allows you to do! A one year contract in Saudi Arabia is standard practice but most continue well beyond with the period of employment becoming the expiry of your Iqama - which can be renewed repeatedly by the company.

To change jobs your current company must agree and allow transfer - if they don't then you have to leave at the end of your contract and wait I am afraid!


RAGULAN MALAIYARASAN 5 years ago

About visa details


youziej 5 years ago

Hi Leanman

Thank you so much for the above info. I am currently in working in Saudi, a remote place. I have been offerred employment in another GCC state. I have told my current company that I wish to resign. They are refusing. I have an exit/entry into another gulf state only(UAE), if I run, and enter with an employment visa into the UAE, still with the KSA visa in my passport, will I get arrested?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Thank you for reading about Saudi Arabian Visas youziej, I will be honest that I do not know for sure as they do have some strange visa rules in a lot of these countries in the Gulf.. However, you could always run, "lose" your passport and enter a different gulf state with a new passport which has no Saudi visa stamps! You could always keep photocopies/scans of visas/pages of your passport that you do want to share with others at a later date should you need them!

Having an exit/re-entry visa stamp in your passport and not a "final exit" stamp would also tell a new employer that you ran from your previous employer and therefore may do the same to them!


anonymousS 5 years ago

My female friend would like her spouce / children with her. Does she simply take her paperwork, etc, to the visa office/ agent ? Her employers don't know how to do it but probably would not interfere. I tell her that there are fairly standard levels of profession/salary plus the mood of the office worker on the day and not to be put off.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

She will need to take all of her paperwork (certificates, Iqama, Visa, Marriage Certificate, birth certificates) to the office within Saudi Arabia to arrange the visa for her family.

If her employer is Saudi then they are talking rubbish if they say that they don't know how to do it, they could find out in 2 minutes if they got the visa for your friend!

She may encounter resistance depending on her job and her origin..... I am western and had to hand over substantial bribes to overcome imagined problems on the part of the officials there in Saudi Arabia - bribes that were demanded not offered I should add!!


XYZ 5 years ago

Can anyone tell me what are the rules to be followed for the person on dependent visa inside KSA, if this dependent visa is for male( father) . Will he be allowed to work there? Need some information on the duration of this visa and related information....Can anyone provide the link


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Legally the visa holder can only work for his sponsor and as you will be his sponsor he cannot work! Not legally anyway, many dependents take jobs in all sorts of industries from stores to hospitals,

but beware;

I know many people who have gone to work for hospitals and the like, the hospital then delays payment for various reasons for a few weeks up to 3 months and then says that they need a valid Iqama allowing them to work, which of course they do not have!! The hospital gets 3 months free labor and the "employee" has a headache as they cannot complain as it was illegal for them to take the job!


MOHAMMAD ABU BAKKER 5 years ago

HI,GUES

Could you confirm that Saudi visit visa will issue one time in a year? or same visitors can be enter multiple in a year if applied...........? please reply.......


alok 5 years ago

hi...

i want to intiate my carrer at saudi arabia...so what type of visa is suitable for me....i m from india...plz reply me..on...alokmani.gaurav1989@gmail.com


Habib Khan Tareen profile image

Habib Khan Tareen 5 years ago from Quetta

i want work visa for saudi arab. please tell me the visa agency contact details.


Mr Worried 5 years ago

Hello Leanman,

After reading various articles on KSA visa, I found this one best to my knowledge. I need your desperate help.

I am from india and my fiancé is too. She went to Saudi in NOV 2009, she is a nurse and she is working in the saudi government hospital. She is on 3 yrs contract bond w/ this hospital. She went to saudi via agent from india.

Now, we are planning to get married in next 6 months. She alredy have completed almost half of the bond and little more when she comes back. She has her residency permit (Iqamma). As per KSA visa rules all her original documents are kept w/ them.

Now my question to you is. What if she deceides to come back to india, leaving her bond? Can she do? What if she does not have exit visa stamp? Will it affect in future, if we want to settle out side india after 2 /3 years like in USA, CANADA, AUSTRALIA< UK, etc.

She is affriad that, if she does not have exit stamp. she will get "blacklisted" and will not allow to any conuntry??? Is that true????

Can you help us, how to go ahead about this, we really don't want to stay apart , you know how this is hard...

pls suggest some steps or any agent who can help. we are ready to pay the fees....

Pls help

Thanks,

Mr Worried


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Mr worried of India, thank you for reading about visa's for Saudi Arabia and asking some wonderful questions!

If your fiancé is planning to exit for a vacation and not return then she will not have a final exit stamp in her passport and she would certainly have problems getting a visa if she wanted to return to Saudi Arabia at a later date and possibly other countries in the Gulf.

However the lack of final exit visa for Saudi Arabia is unlikely to have any effect with regard to gaining a visa to enter any other country, but the lack of references from her employer and so forth may cause problems with finding work at a later stage in her career, after all who wants to employ someone that may walk out on her job? This is more of an issue in my mind.

She should talk to her employer if she truly wants to leave and they may allow her to leave without problem with her accrued benefits.

Or you could wait another year of so for her to finish her contract and have no worries at all.


Naseer 5 years ago

I was working in saudia and then i went on holidays and could not return back now my iqama is expired and i am in pakistan since 1 year after completion of my iqama it was not my final exit can i can come to saudia again with different visa and different company please help me out in this regard


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Naseer, my understanding is that you will be unlikely to be granted a new visa for Saudi Arabia as you will be seen to have broken your contract with your original sponsor by having not returned from your vacation to complete your contract.

You could consult agencies in your home country to see if there are any ways around this as I know people who have returned on new passports, after all it is not uncommon for two people to have the same name!


Help-to-You 5 years ago

Help

Hi LeanMan, that is very good information about Working in Saudi Arabia, moreover, there are many of agencies at Saudi Arabia helping and supporting Expats or interesting businessman or even Job seekers to enter the Saudi Arabia with business visas. They are good in doing business visas and open a business opportunities.

I recommend on of them as below:

www.eservices.net.sa

I hope this will help someone,,,,,,,,


Rizwan 5 years ago

Sir i want to check my visa saudi arabia so tell me web sid......im w8ing your Ans....?

my Id

veer.rizwan@gmail.com

veer7878@yahoo.com


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Sorry Rizwan I have no idea what your actual question is about your Saudi Arabian visa...


syed adil hussain 5 years ago

hi leanman my name adil i live in Karachi Pakistan wish to work in Saudi Arabia but here in my country so many recruitment agencies they charged very much amount for work visa and also they make fraud's and cheat people and use wrong working contact which is changed when the person reached in KSA

I AM FINANCIALLY NOT WELL SO I AM SEARCHING PROPER COMPANY OR PERSON WHO GUIDE OR ARRANGE WORK VISA FOR ME WITHOUT ANY FRAUD AND CHEATING SO PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT I DO AND WHERE I GO TO GET CORRECT SUPPORT

LEANMAN I HAVE MY 8 YEARS MENTALLY RETARDED SON FOR HIS BETTERMENT AND REHABILITATION I WANT TO EARN LOTS OF MONEY CAUSE I WANT TO WORK IN KSA PLEASE HELP ME


syed adil hussain 5 years ago

hi leanman i am syed adil hussain please note

MY ID s_adil_h@yahoo.com

92 21 312 2180895


ruwaydah 5 years ago

my family and are interested in traveling to bahrain in order for myself and my children's time on our family visit visa to "restart". The problem is my husband is a student here in saudi with an iqama.His school is not issuing exit/re-entry visas at this time. What I need to know is can he purchase an exit/re-entry visa at the border or does he need on prior to Leaving saudi? We are all American by the way..


Sebastian 5 years ago

Hi,

i`m on business visa in Saudi, i have found different company which i will going to work with them. Question is, if i can work with this visa with different company or i need new business visa.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Sayed; sorry to hear about all of your problems, the only way you will know if an agency is not going to steal your money for a Saudi Arabian Visa or send you to the wrong job on a lower salary is to speak to others who have used the same agency. I know this is a major problem in many countries, please talk to people you know have been to Saudi Arabia and ask them about the agencies they used.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Ruwaydah; your husband can only exit if his sponsor issues an exit/re-entry visa for Saudi Arabia. Without this visa he will not be allowed to exit, and if his sponsor is not issuing them then you have a problem! This is one of the problems within the Saudi system you are totally at the mercy of your sponsor, if they wish to not let you travel then you cannot, you are a prisoner!

Sebastian; Strictly speaking you can only legally work for the company that sponsored your business visa, it is illegal for any foreigner to work for someone that is not their sponsor. However if you current sponsor is on friendly terms talk to them and if you are lucky they will not mind what you do - otherwise you will need to leave and return on a new Saudi business visa, this time sponsored by the new company you wish to work for.


N3O 5 years ago

hi leanMan.. I have received a visit visa valid for 90 days from a company in KSA..i want to know that can this visa be extended into a contract or do i have to exit the kingdom first??


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

N30 a visit visa does not allow you to work, I would be surprised if that is what you have been issued. If you work on a visit visa the company has no need to pay you!!

You should be issued a Saudi Arabian work visa which will be converted into an Iqama as you complete your probation period (90 days).

If you do have a visit visa then yes you would have to exit the kingdom before you could be issued a work visa for Saudi Arabia, a contract to work is one of the requirements required for the visa application.


N3O 5 years ago

thanks...actually i am a bit confused by the complications of the process.. The company is sponsoring my visit even my airline tickets..is there any way for me to know whether it is a visit visa or work visa?? i am a professional engineer... and can it be converted to iqama as an engineer.i mean engineers do get sme previliges..kindly let me know..i am all confused.. :-(


NEO 5 years ago

actually i am confused by the complications of all this process... so is it possible for me to know what type of visa is this?? the company is sponsoring me and even my airline tickects... i am a professional engineer..so if it is a bussiness visa or that probation period you are talking about..can it be converted to stay as an engineer.as engineers do get special previliges..kindly help me out..i am all confused :-(


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi again Neo, it should say on your visa application what type of visa it is; I would assume that if you are being sponsored by a company to work that it is either a business visa or a Saudi work visa.

The work visa is straight forward, you will go there to work and after 3 months they will convert you over to your Iqama which is your residency and working permit.

Sometimes companies will bring you over on a business visa, in this case you will have to leave before the visa expires and apply for a new one before returning, a game I played for 9 months as the GM of a company! This is not strictly the way a company should bring you in but many do - especially if they have problems getting work visas due to not employing enough Saudis. The one bonus with this type of visa is that if you decide you wish to leave you can just get a flight and go - once you have your Iqama / work visa for Saudi Arabia you have to get an exit and re-entry visa, something that your employer can refuse to issue!

You can ask your new company what type of Visa you have (unless you know someone who can read the Arabic in your passport), they will be able to tell you as they are the ones who applied for it.

You should also ask them what your job title is on your visa, some (many) companies bring people in with job titles other than the jobs they will work in. So you can have someone who is the GM of a company with a visa / Iqama that says he is "labour", a distinction that can cause problems if you wish to bring family or even at times leave to visit Bahrain.

Good luck - I hope you enjoy your stay in Saudi Arabia, I certainly did!


N3O 5 years ago

Thanks alot..you really cleared my mind.. just one last question though... will it be clearly mentioned on my passport that what kind of visa it is?? work visa or Business visa?? coz i am sure now it is not visit..


N3O 5 years ago

And also if it is a work visa for 90 days..will it be necessary for me to get my degrees attested and also pass the medical tests?? agency here is not helping at all..everybdy got a different point..


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

N3O; If it is a Saudi work visa you will have to have the medicals and get your degrees attested. Visit the website of your local saudi embassy (links below for US and UK) and have a look at their pages for visa requirements where they spell them out.

If your agency is really not being any help and they have been appointed by your sponsor in KSA then tell them as they will do something about it!

You should have filled in a form to apply for your Saudi visa - unless the agency did it for you - this will also clearly state the type of visa required. It will be written on your passport when you get it.


Neega 5 years ago

Hello,

My friend works in Saudi. He has taken a bank loan there. I am living in india and would like to transfer some indian rupees to him (INR to SAR).

I checked on internet and could not find good info on sending money to saudi arabia from india. If you have any posts or forums can you update those here.

Is there any limit in sending in Riyals for personal use?

Which is safe wire transfer or paper cash outs from one country to another.

Where can i get a good deal in the exchange rates?

If you try to reply early this will be helpful.

Thanks,

Neega


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Neega, most people use western union, that is about as much help as I can be! When you send riyals out of Saudi Arabia there are limits based on your visa, profession and nationality.


saam 5 years ago

i got married 6 month back,my husband lives in saudia he has got labour visa,,can u plz guide me how i can get there,i have got my nikkah nama translated and attested by saudi govt,what r the possibilites for me to get a visa


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Saam, if your husband has his Iqama then he can apply for a family visa for you to join him in Saudi Arabia. However if his job is "labor" then he may have problems getting approval for you, you should also be aware that you will not be able to legally work if you enter the country on a Saudi family visa.


Fiqi 5 years ago

Excellent hub man.

I actually look forward to open a butcher in Riyadh......any ideas.

LeanMan???????


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

If you want to be a butcher in Riyadh Fiqi, first get the right Saudi Work visa, and don't sell pork!


saam 5 years ago

thank u very much for reply,i have got MBA degree and vast experience in school admin,n i have heard that husband can not call his wife in saudia as per laws if he has got labour visa and earning is limited


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Saam, they announced a few years back that anyone, no matter what their work status, can apply for a family visa for Saudi Arabia - however that is no guarantee that your husbands application to bring you will be granted.

Maybe if you have good qualifications you should apply for a job in Saudi Arabia and be with your husband that way.


syed 5 years ago

Hi Thanks for sharing the details,

I am an Indian working in Bharain.I wolud like to visit saudia. Can you help me and let me know how can I get visit visa for saudi arabia? Can I get visa on arrival also in saudi.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Syed, you must apply for a Saudi Visa in advance of traveling, they will not let you on the flight without one! You must first find a sponsor in Saudi Arabia, either for business, work or for family visit visa. The only other alternative you have is to apply for a visa for religious reasons if you are Muslim.


jm 5 years ago

im waiting for visa for other company, if the visa release.. i going to leave my current company... maybe , how long it takes they can release the visa form other company.?


ahmad 5 years ago

I am working in architectural cunsulatcy .i m an architect engineer.i get the good offer from an other office,then i go on exit without NOC and then i want to come back within month,then wat is the procedur.is it possible to enter in the kingdom without noc on diff sponcer.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

JM, it will depend on how fast the new company will process the Saudi work visa. But you will need to be transferred from your current sponsor if you have not yet completed your contract. If you have completed your contract then you will have to exit first and re-enter on your new visa.

Ahmad, the same goes for you, if you have not completed your contract then you will have to be transferred from your current sponsor to the new one, which of course they could deny. But to exit and try to come back on a new Visa is risky as you could find yourself without either job!


jm 5 years ago

Actually my employment contract in my current sponsor ends this nov. 25, 2011... if the visa is release.. i will resign immediately and come back with new visa, is it possible? do i need a NOC letter for it.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

JM. If your contract ends then yes you can leave - but read your contract as you may find that it will just continue if neither party gives notice to end it which is normally the case in Saudi Arabia. But make sure this new job is a sure thing before you quit if you need the work!

As to coming back; contact the company you hope to work for and ask if there are any issues, I keep hearing people saying that they will have to wait a year before they can apply for a new Saudi Arabian work visa to return but I have never seen anything in writing and some of my friends have just left one job and returned in new jobs within 3 to 6 months without issue!


saam 5 years ago

can you guide me how can i get work visa???moreover,,i heard that saudi govt do not issue visas during hajj,,if so than can u tell when do they open again for visas


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Saam, if you have read about how to get your Saudi Arabia work visa and the various comments below then you should have a fair idea as to how to go about getting your visa. I can't repeat it all again, go back and read what is above and all of the comments. If you have a specific question then I will be happy to answer it. But basically you need a job offer and your sponsor will apply for your Saudi work visa for you, you then have to get that processed in your home country.

I believe that the Saudi Embassy in your home country will be available during Hajj, although they may be closed for a few days for national holidays but you should be able to find that on their website.


Ken 5 years ago

Hi there,my brother was a civil engineer in Saudi Arabia and was on two year contract.He went on vacation to his back home on 23 rd month of his contract and officially his contract was not terminated .He never returned to Saudi Arabia again and now can he go back to Saudi or any other Gulf countries on employment visa.His iqama is already expired.Is is true that if you go to the Saudi embassy in your home country,they would cancel your Saudi visa? I will really appreciate your thoughts on these concerens.thanks


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Ken,

Officially if you want to leave Saudi Arabia at the end of your contract you have to go through your final exit process to gain all your benefits and to ensure that all of your debts have been paid up and so on. Failure to do this basically means that your brother ran out on his sponsor - this will not look good to any new employer in the gulf!

I don't think you will have any problem getting a job in any other country in the gulf and applying for the relevant visas but trying to get a new Saudi work visa without having done a final exit may be difficult! It may also be wise to have a clean passport (get a new one) before applying for a visa with any country that knows about the Saudi visa system.


Ken 5 years ago

Hi LeanMan,thanks a lot for the advise.You are awesome.

Ken


cheabdu 5 years ago from Tunisia

Hi LeanMan Thanks for the article, i have a complicate case i hope you can advise me haw to follow it, i got a commercial multiple visa for KSA on September 9th, when i checked the first time i got it , i found that the validity is written 30D while i checked the duration of stay mentioning 180 days and written multiple entries, i checked with the guy at the saudi embessy and he advise that is not an issue and the important that duration of stay is 180 days,i traveled in september i spent 30 days in KSA and everything went fine , yesterday i traveled again and i did the checking from my home country i took the flight as usual and during the bording at the transit country for the flight departure to Riyadh , the guy at the gate told me that my visa is not valid "or better to say as i got it in the report wrong visa " , the point here my wife was with me and she got a single entry visa and it is written in her passport that she is in my company and her visa was issued reference to my visa, they refuse as well to let her to travel alone despite her visa was 100 per cent correct , i tried to explain them that if the visa is wrong why they have allow me to take the first flight and they provide me the boarding pass also why they have allow me to travel in september if the visa is wrong "it is the same airline" and it is my 6th trip to KSA with this airline bt before i was getting a single entry visa, anyway they requeset me to try to contact to Embessy and to get a fax from them explaining that it is miss tape, it was impossinle for me to get the embessy as it was a weekend , i spend a night in the hotel of the airport and i booked a way back to my home country so far the mistake of 30 days has cost me 1200 euros . my question here normally we have wright or wrong visa but not something between? and if i will calim all the cost accumlated do i need to claim them against the airline or the Embessy? , i will follow up with the embessy om Monday and i am interested to take this to the court against the airline company as the way haw i was treated is so rude, Thanks for your advise.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Cheabdu,

I am sorry that you have had such a bad time with your Saudi Visa - I too have had problems with Saudi Business Visas; but I ended up trapped illegally inside Saudi Arabia rather than not able to enter. Half the time the sponsoring company and the embassy do not know what they are doing with the Visas.

If you have a sponsor inside of KSA they are the ones who should have checked your visa and ensured that it was correct for what you were doing, if the visa is at fault then it is their problem - but whether you could get any money from them will very much depend on them!

If this is an arrangement purely through the embassy and your visa is not what you asked for then I suggest you take it up with them, but I would not hold your breath if you are looking to get money from them!

If your visa is still valid and the airline is at fault then the airline should compensate you fully - if you persist!

Good luck, I wish I could help more but the only people who can really help you with your visa are your sponsor and the embassy. They will be able to tell you the full details of what you can and can't do with your visa.

As to your poor wife; if her Saudi visit visa is linked to your current visa and it is invalid then you will have to get a new one!


Cheabdu 5 years ago

LeanMan much appreciated for the kind answer!i will let you know the answer from the Embessy.


merlyn 5 years ago

Hi leanman, thanks for your informative hub. i have a friend from US marine corps whose presently based in London and would like to visit me here in jeddah, ksa before the year ends. i have no idea if it would be possible for him to come here, i know the difficulty in obtaining a visa. can you advise what he can do? thanks and best regards.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Merlyn, it will be very difficult to get a visit visa as he will need to be sponsored by someone who is family within Saudi Arabia. There are some Saudi Visit visas allegedly available through selected travel agents for package tours in KSA but I really have no idea about these and don't know anyone who has actually met or even knows of anyone has taken this option!

The only real option that I can think of is if you are in the military too you could get who ever sponsors your unit within KSA to sponsor a Saudi Arabian Business visa for your friend.


SONAAA 5 years ago

Hi LeanMan,

AM working in saudi arabia from last 8 months....i want to resign from my present job and want to go to europe. if the employer is not giving exit can i go in exit rentry visa.my contract is for 2 year...will be there any probelems for me.


mohd aijaz 5 years ago

hi hub, nice work man actually i want to work in saudi arabia , i completed my college , and also having 1 year of experience as a office assistant , so please guide how to come and work in saudi arabia with full details please..


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Sonaaa, your employer may allow you to leave your contract earlier but don't expect any benefits! Talk to them, but be aware that if they will not release you they may also withhold Saudi exit / re-entry visas to prevent you from running out on your job.. If you do skip your contract don't expect to get issued a new work visa for Saudi Arabia at a later date.

Hi Mohd, I have another hub about finding work in Saudi Arabia, just go to my profile top right and follow the various links from there.


Adnan 5 years ago

Hi leanMan, I have received a temporary work visa valid for 90 days..i just want to know wether it can be converted into permanent residence or iqama..my profession being engineer..it is also mentioned on my visa..or do i have to leave the kingdom and re-enter with iqama..cuz i am not giving any medical reports now..so how can they convert my visa to iqama without checking my medical records..m confused :-(


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Adnan, I am not sure exactly what type of Saudi Visa you have.. In normal circumstances the company will get you a Saudi Arabia work visa that allows you to stay and work for 90 days, before the end of the 90 days the company must convert your visa into an Iqama - you will do the medicals in KSA (as well as having done medicals outside Saudi Arabia to get into the country!)

Alternatively you may have a Saudi business visa in which case you will have to leave and reapply.

Ask your Saudi sponsor as they will be able to tell you exactly what you need to do.


Adnan 5 years ago

thnx for replying..is it possible for me to know from the invitation letter i got from the company in kingdom?? or when my visa is stamped?? on the invitation letter it is written "ziyaara amal laday"..i donot know what it means..


Adnan 5 years ago

if it is business visit shdn't it be like "ziyaara al-tijaara" or smething..the agency isn't co-operating at all..nd the company isn't reponding to my messages..i donot want to get stuck in the kingdom..nd m afraid that on a business visit they might not even pay me..


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Adnan,

I am not sure what it means.. Your agency and company should be able to tell you, be firm but polite and ask for a response about what Saudi Visa you have been given.

If you receive no reply despite follow ups then you will have to make a decision as to whether you travel to Saudi Arabia or not.


Muslimah 5 years ago

Asalam Aleykum!. Thank you very much for sharing your experience in KSA that might be very useful for people who are interested in working there. May God bless you for helping others.

My husband and I are planning to move from the US to Saudi with our kids. We are a muslim family and our intention is to reside in an islamic country, In God's willing. He has no company sponsoring him, since he works in retail here, no college degrees either. He has a cousin who lives in Riyadh on a labour iqamma and has told him, that since we are american citizens, we can go on a visit visa, and once we're there, get a job and later turn the visa to work visa. Sounds very hard for me to believe that. I would really appreciate it if you can tell me if you've heard about this, or if we have any other choices. How about setting a bussiness there?? Is there any minimun amount of investment required for a foreigner??. Thank you so much in advance :)


Jack 5 years ago

Hey LeanMan,

You seem to know more about this subject than our Saudi HR guy!!!

I am a British national working currently in Riyadh and probably will leave before my 2 year contract expiry. I am not sure if you would know anything about my query below.

If I leave with a Final Exit from my company, will I be able to come back on a new VISA and how soon?

Thanks a million in advance.


ismail 5 years ago

i want work visa for saudi arab. please tell me the visa agency contact details. my e mail adress is. smlbhtt@gmail.com or cell phone number o3244405057


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Muslimah,

Currently there is a 10%+ rate of unemployment amongst the Saudi population and they are trying hard to reduce this by restricting the number of foreigner workers. To work there you would have to find a sponsor / employer, you can only work for that sponsor - not yourself! With no degrees your husband would find it hard to find anything other than a labor type job and the wages for those are very much aimed at the third world countries, around $250 to $350 per month is not unusual!!

You cannot get a Saudi Visit visa without a sponsor unless you are going on a vacation package through an approved agent - so it would be very difficult to find yourself a job.

Some people "sell" Saudi work visas, the idea being that you come there and work for yourselves or find work whilst you are there - but this can be very expensive and there is a chance that you could actually be trapped into cheap labor with your sponsor as working for anyone else is illegal! So beware!!

Hi Jack,

You should be OK as long as you have a Saudi final exit visa, a few of my friends have recently been "sacked" from good positions as companies have tried to remove foreign workers.. two of them have returned with new employers and work visas within six months without problem.

Ismail,

I offer free advice here but I am not a recruitment agency!! If you want to find an agent search the internet or read my article on finding a job in Saudi Arabia; the link is below.


Jack 5 years ago

Cheers mate...


Alhasan 5 years ago

Hi LeanMan,

Thank you for sharing.

I have 2 questions for you:

If you are given 180 days visa, does that begin with issue date for the visa or when you first go to KSA?

If I go by the end of these 180 days, can I stay a day or two after it is over or do I have to leave before no matter what?

Thanks


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Alhasan, your duration of stay is 180 days from when you enter, if you exceed your 180 days you are liable to fines and possible imprisonment! Also check with your sponsor as on previous business visas that I have had they had to be officially stamped every 30 days or I had to exit and return each month, otherwise they would become invalid!


MR: SK 5 years ago

hello

hope some one can help me giving advice regarding this below issue. my friend left baharain on holiday but after sometime riots starts there so he couldn't go back ,the company he worked lost their business as well.now he was trying to go to another country so he called up his sponser to cancel his visa but he refusing to cancel his visa.is there any other option to cancelhis visa with his old sponser please advice...


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Mr SK,

The visa will only be recorded in the country in which he was working and his lack of official exit will only matter in that country.

Applying for a Saudi work visa or any other gulf state visa should not be a problem. If stamps in the passport are an issue and you wish to hide them to avoid questions at a latter time just "lose" the passport and have a new one issued..


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Mr SK,

The visa will only be recorded in the country in which he was working and his lack of official exit will only matter in that country.

Applying for a Saudi work visa or any other gulf state visa should not be a problem. If stamps in the passport are an issue and you wish to hide them to avoid questions at a latter time just "lose" the passport and have a new one issued..


zalan 5 years ago

hello guys. i have a question regarding to saudi visa. my employer asked for a visa in saudi arabia, he only aksed for my passport copy. is that enough without the medical check to obtain the visa?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Zalan, not 100% sure where you are in the Saudi Visa Application Process; if you are in the process of being offered a position then the sponsor will have to apply for your visa within Saudi Arabia (maybe only a passport for this part of the process). They will then send the paperwork to you and you have to meet all the requirements for the Saudi Embassy in your country to issue the visa to you including medicals.

Is this what you asking? Please feel free to clarify if you need more information.


TCgal 5 years ago

Hi LeanMan

Thank you for your informative hub and for sharing your experiences and providing all your advice.

My husband works in Saudi Arabia and has been there since February this year, in and out on the various visas. He has been working there on his iqama for the last 6 months, which unfortunately reflects that he is labour.

After months of waiting and a year spent apart, all documentation has recently been submitted for my dependant visa but his company has just informed him that the rules have just been changed again and under no circumstances will wives and children be allowed to join their husband who is in the country as labour force. Are you aware of this recent change having been implemented?

How do we go about dealing with this and who would be the best party to speak to in terms of motivating or even paying for it if need be.

Thanks for your help.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 5 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi TCGal,

If your husband's company has a government liaison officer who's task is to go do all the leg work to chase through visas and other official government related paperwork get your husband to talk to him directly rather than just HR. He may know a way to expedite your Saudi family visa.

Most HR departments are staffed with Saudis who have little idea of HR as HR is now a Saudi only job and they have got rid of many true expat HR professionals so many don't know what they are talking about!!

Failing that tell your husband to go directly to the government department / building that deals with the issuing of family visas and talk directly to someone there (just ask around and someone will know where to go). He may get lucky and find someone who is willing to help as most Saudis actually respect the family unit, and an under the table gift - but don't offer a bribe, they will ask or make very clear indication that it is required!!!!

Failing that if your husband's profession is far from Labor he can petition his company to update his Iqama accordingly, although this will also rely on the companies relationships with the government in getting this done.


Sahil 4 years ago

hi leanMan.. i am a fresh civil engineer..my cousin in saudi arabia is willing to send me an "azad visa" or "independent visa"..what it is?? and do i have to consider somethings before actually buying it..it's cost is 15000 SDR...is it also by profession..it is for 3 years..if i get a job in some company can i transfer it immediately...plzzz help..it's a big decision for me.. :)


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Sahil, find a job by using some of the many services on the internet (there are some links below). If you find employment your sponsor will pay all of your expenses!

All Saudi visas have a sponsor, and you can only work for your sponsor. This means that if you work for someone who is not your sponsor it is illegal, a sponsor can also deny a request to transfer sponsorship, force you to work for them, deny you holidays and so forth! Better to get a Saudi Arabian work visa through a reputable company than rely on some dodgy deal!


shahzad 4 years ago

my one friend is wanted (Harouf) form his sponsor,

and he want to go back home country,

so , my question can he come back in saudi arabia on new visa, if yes then , is there any special requirement from his ex-sponsor.

Your reply is appreciated.


shahzad 4 years ago

Hi LeanMan,

i have one question!

My one friend is working in riyadh, his sponsor living in hasa, his sponsor gave the Harouf (wanted) without any reason. it means his visa has been expired.

now, what shall he do, i told him go back pakistan and come again with new visa from another sponsor,

so, i want to make sure with you, is it possible or not.???


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Shahzad, If his Saudi visa has expired then he will have trouble being able to exit as no one will be able to give him a Saudi exit visa! His sponsor will be liable for fines for failing to renew your friends Iqama, but I guess he will claim that your friend is a runaway after all he is now working illegally in Riyadh rather than for his sponsor!

You friend faces imprisonment and deportation unless he can find a way to get an exit visa or get smuggled out of the country some how!

Many people in his situation just continue to work as best they can and continue sending money home until they get caught or they go and sit under the bridge in Jeddah to await deportation.

Alternatively your friend can go to his embassy for advice and help but don't hold you breath for too much help - I have seen huge crowds of illegals outside various embassies over the years waiting to be sent home!!

If your friend does get sent home, he can return but use a NEW passport without any Saudi stamps etc as the Saudi system is not smart enough to know you have been before if you have a new passport number! Unless of course you friend has had his fingerprints and eyes scanned!!!

If his bio data has been taken then he can only return if he gets a final exit without problems!

There are many other countries to work in within the Middle East so not all is lost!


khalid 4 years ago

Hi , i'm a British national on a 90 day business visa in Dammam , and i'm considering taking a new contract in another Gulf country .

The issue is that my sponsor wants to extend my business visa for another 90 days without me leaving KSA , ( he says this is possible ) and i want to ask you if this , or do i have to go to Bahrain for 24 hours and re-enter ?

if i decide to leave the country and go to another gulf state , do i need a final exit stamp even though i'm on a 90 day business visa - Do i need permission from my sponsor to leave the country on a business visa ?

if not , do you think the authorities in another Gulf country would stop me entering on the basis that my saudi business visa is still valid ?

Also , my sponsor hasn't been taking my passport to get it stamped every month , and its due to expire in 3 weeks . can they imprison me for this ?

I had no idea about the monthly stamping process before reading your comments to others ;

k.bentoua@hotmail.co.uk

many thanks !

khalid from Bournemouth


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Khalid,

If you are on a business visa you can leave anytime, your choice you don't need your sponsors permission. It will not affect your ability to enter another country in the gulf.

Ask your sponsor about stamping, maybe it is not required now, my last business visa was 3 years ago and everyone had to either leave to Dubai and Bahrain every month or get someone to stamp the visa.


shahzad 4 years ago

Dear Mr. LeanMan

thanks for your effort so far.

As you discussed above, Actually his sponsor is regret now, and he is agreed with him to send him back home, and also he is ready to give him N.O.C (no objection certificate). in that way, i think he can come on new visa on the same passport without any difficulty. In Addition, he don't have any police case, like murder, rubbery, so 5 years bond case are also not applicable on this person,

Pls suggest,

waiting for your reply.

Many Thanks.


khalid 4 years ago

Hey leanman , thanks for your quick reply ! Just one more thing .... if another firm within saudi wanted to employ me could i realistically transfer over to them if i'm on a business visa ? i know that you explained that i could leave the country without my sponsors written consent , but could i re-enter immediately on a new business visa and go work with another firm in another saudi city for a better salary ?

is there anything to stop this happening , and would i have to go back to Britain in order to get the new business visa to work for a new firn , or could it be done by going to BAHRAIN ?

my current boss has stated in my contract that if i try and leave i will have to re-pay all expenses and that he will try and claim compensation if i work for one of his competitors up to 2 years from the date that i leave him but in reality , could he find me and implement this - especially if i switch firms and cities within KSA ?

many thanks

khalid


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Shahzad,

He should have no problem in getting a new visa to return then once he has left as long as he can find a new sponsor. Good Luck

Khalid.

No problem in getting a new Saudi business visa to come and work with a new company, you could do this from Bahrain, I have known others get new visas from there and Dubai over the years rather than going to UK.

Your current employer could cause you problems if he finds out that you are working for a competitor, Saudi is a country in which no one wants to upset anyone else so you could have a problem if your current employ contacts your new employer! In Saudi most firms are family owned and it is surprising the links you find that exist between these familys and businesses!!


Sajid Vohra 4 years ago

I need your help. I have worked in Saudi Arabia fir 2 & Half year. I have signed my job contract for 2 Yrs. After completion of Job Contract employer has offered me new contract which i have refused. After that employer has informed me that my new contract offer is under reconsideration. Before verbaly they informed me that you will get good salary & post in your new revised contract. After that for SIX month there was no any message from the HR department. When i was doing follow up with HR dept. they have given same answer like your new contract is under reconsideration. After that my vacation came & i went on vacation. Before coming back from INDIA after vacation HR people has informed me that there is no any change in your Revised contract. So i have refused the new contract & informed them that i will not come back. Now i don't have EXIT visa & i want to know how i can get the EXIT visa. I have contacted my employer for NOC but they are not ready to give. Now i have one JOB offer in K.S.A. & i want to go again in Saudi Arabia but i am not able to enter because i don't have EXIT/NOC. Please tell me how i can get EXIT/NOC. Thanks : Sajid


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Sajid, if you did not have your fingerprints and eyes scanned then you can just lose your passport and start again, if however the Saudis have your biometric data then you will have problems getting a new Saudi work visa.

You don't say how long ago you left Saudi Arabia, is it possible to return to your "current" employer and officially resign your position and thus get an official final exit visa from Saudi Arabia?

If not then you are very much at the mercy of your employer and if they refuse to help you then there is little you can do apart from apply for jobs elsewhere in the Gulf region.


Resmin 4 years ago

i need your help. i got new visa from a company and i want to go and comeback in new visa. my current employer ready to make final exit without any problem. my i am afraid for saudi new law (nidaqat). becz i am here already 8 years completed. kindly advise me is there any problem in i am enter in saudi? i hope you will give good advise.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Resmin,

If your new company has a Saudi visa for you already then there is no problem, they would not be able to get the visa if there were. If you are worried talk to them I am sure they will advise you.


Resmin 4 years ago

thanks for good answer. and i want to asked to you one more.now days saudi government ruling nidaqat program. it will deffec the new visa comer or not?


Resmin 4 years ago

When i am enter in the airport Nidaqat program will stop my enter ? becz i am here 6 years completed. i heared about that. kinldy clear me plz plz


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Resmin, if the company you are going to work for has had your visa approved then there is no problem.


resmin 4 years ago

Sir,

my son is under my sponsorship and my wife an other company sponsorship. i want to come back again new visa so i want to transfer my son under my wife sponsorship it can be or what document we have to submitted?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Resmin,

First get your wife to check if she can sponsor your son, not all jobs will allow you to sponsor family despite what they say publicly - there are still people being refused family visas because they are "labor".

Go to the same place you went to to sponsor your son originally and go from there.


abc 4 years ago

hi leanman

thats a grt thing u doin in clearing doubts that might not be answered otherwise correctly by many.

i just need to know if the profession on the visa is changeable aftr a while on entering saudi.

thnx


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi ABC,

Thanks for the compliment.. It is possible to change your profession on your Saudi Iqama once you are in the kingdom but it will come down to your sponsors relationships with the relevant ministry, the availability of a position with the right job title and if your sponsor wants to make the effort - most would rather just say they can't change it and do nothing!! It is unlikely that you would be able to get it changed in my experience and from mail that I receive!!


abc 4 years ago

thnx


Tahir 4 years ago

Is it possible to buy a company visa for an engineer in kingdom?? if someone is settled there..can he do that?? nd to be clear i am not talking about the "Azad Visa or independent visa"... the company contract based visa for an engineer..is it possible??


Ubaid 4 years ago

Hi Mr. LeanMan,

Your comments, views and experiences were very much helpful to Hundreds of readers...my sole question is that; I was recently (7th December to be precise) shortlisted by Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah for a Skype interview which I attended online, 2 days later, I was also directed to take a proctored written assessment test online, which I also did, the next email I received from them was that I should send my passport for them to be able to process a visit visa for me to come for "Selection Interview" in January, this I was not clear with, so I contacted the guy that proctored me for the written test, he told me that, that is good news for me, but what I am curious of now is that this is my 'FIRST' time of hearing anything such as "Selection Interview" what are all the previous ones conducted called? anyway, the issue in contention is: with this visit visa, does that mean I would have to get out immediately after their so-called "Selection Interview" or if I continue staying, does that make me illegal?

Thanks.

Ubaid, Nigeria.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Tahir,

You cannot officially buy a visa in Saudi Arabia as your visa is gained by a sponsor (either an individual or a company) and you can only work for and be paid by your sponsor.

The visas that are "for sale" are from individuals and small companies who sell their visa entitlement to make money - this is not legal, and in theory you should only be able to work for them!

If you want to work in Saudi Arabia apply for a job and work hard to get one..


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Ubaid,

A Saudi Visit Visa will have a defined length of stay, maybe 30 days. Your potential employer will tell you how long and they should arrange your flights and accommodation within KSA for your interview.

Good luck, many companies have long drawn out interview procedures and they all differ. However if they are going to the expense of bringing you to KSA for an interview they obviously think highly of you.


other 4 years ago

Why would anyone want to visit in such a hate filled, backward, gender apartheid, racist, terrorist and racist teaching(read what they teach to their children in schools), fundalmentalist teaching, slavery , inquisition and witchcraft era tactics filled country. The soon the US gets out and all expats get out the better the world will be without Saudi or it's disgusting clerics. Let them live or die on their own without the west's help or interference. GET THE HELL OUT OF THIS COUNTRY. STOP FUNDING TERRORIST.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Other... Glad to see that you are an open minded understanding type of guy yourself, not the sort of person to make sweeping generalizations!


A Muslim 4 years ago

@LeanMan

Thanks for all the information. As a Muslim I find it really heart breaking to see such a country going against fundamental teachings of Islam. And then everyone starts to view Islam as a fanatic religion because of it's misrepresentation. Allah (The One and Only God) has a severe warning for those who oppress and spread injustice whether it be against muslims or non muslims.

Please watch this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsmYQl3xy_Y

have a good day :)


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi "A Muslim" and thank you for reading, not sure if you need a visa for Saudi Arabia or if you are already there! Many of the people in Saudi need a good lesson in what it means to be Muslim as most are Muslim in name only not action!


Stephanie 4 years ago

Thank you for all this beneficial information! My question is, if you are in Saudi on a business visa for 3yrs and your sponsor continues to have your visa stamped every 30 days, are you able to stay for that entire duration? Will they begin to think that you are trying to reside there and force you to leave?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Stephanie, a Saudi business visa is generally only valid for 3 or 6 months, after that you have to leave and apply for another visa which can take a week or more depending on where you are. I have had my business visa refused before and had to leave within 5 days despite having over a month left on the visa. This is not a good way to do business in Saudi Arabia as I then had to cancel all of my appointments with clients and so on.

I used a business visa for almost a year (four 3 month visas) without too many problems. But if you are going to be staying 3 years then it is better to get a Saudi Work visa.


Hamid 4 years ago

Thanks for the useful information. I have recently received a "work visit visa" invitation letter from a saudi company. On the invitation letter my profession, name and nationality etc are mentioned (in arabic). There is also a column for validity or duration ( m not sure cuz written in arabic)..It says "30 days-single entry"..now i want to know that my duration of stay in kingdom is same as the validity of visa?? i am confused.please help..


Hamid 4 years ago

And also i have heard that now they are also issuing "work visit visa" for 11 months also..do you have any intel on that?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Hamid, the best thing to do with your Saudi work visa is to just ask your sponsor (employer) what it is valid for, after all they will be the ones that are in the most trouble if they allow you to overstay etc. I have not heard of a "work visit visa" unless you are talking about the column heading which is for both work and visit visas.

Check what your profession is on the visa also so as not to have any surprises later on, it is quite common for even engineers or management to have a profession of "labor" on their visa as the company is using it to get around restrictions for non-Saudis doing various jobs for which they cannot get visas.

They are now pushing hard to reduce the number of expat workers by reducing the job positions open to them, the length of stay etc.


Hamid 4 years ago

thanks. yes "work visit visa" is new type of visa. It is same as "business visa".. bt it specifically for work purposes for an employer not for business..my profession states " Quantity calculator".. i am an electrical engineer..and one condition is to have a degree in the profession stated..i am not sure in which category this job lies..will it be a problem..my uncle forwarded my CV in the company and they sent me the invitation letter through email..so what's your say on the profession issue?


Hamid 4 years ago

and regarding "work visit visa"..it is clearly stated on the invitation letter issued by mofa..in the "type" column.."zyaara amal" which means "work visit".


asad 4 years ago

im interested in a filipino girl but she is christian im muslim.. i wana marry her.. is there any legal way in saudi arabia??


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Hamid, as long as you have a degree then there should be no problem even if it does not match exactly the profession. My visa said I was a business analyst which was nothing to do with the job I was doing. You are not "labor" so you should not have any problems with regards to family and getting exit/entry visas for weekends in Dubai etc.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Asad, go with her to the Philippines embassy and enquire there. There should be no problem as long as you can provide the required paperwork which they will detail for you.


Maria 4 years ago

Hi Mr. LeanMan,

That was a great article I have ever read so far about Saudi Arabia aside from the topic of bad driving. It is very informative and I couldn't agree more esp. about lost certificates. My husband's company lost all of his precious certificates and blamed it on some agency. But at least, they finally came up to a solution after my husband went to the roof for their carelessness. I am a Filipina living with my husband (who is an American) here in Riyadh. He is working as Director which made us eligible to bring my mother from the Philippines to visit us here in Riyadh for several months. My question is, since it will be my mother's first time to enter the Kingdom, will there be no problem if we fly her from Philippines to Bahrain passing through the causeway to enter Saudi Arabia? We have a friend (American) who is also working here in Saudi, brought his wife and kids for a one month visit through Bahrain coming from London, and there were no problems at all, and he said it was a lot easier and faster as compared to arriving in Dammam or Riyadh airport (im sure you know how Saudi Arabia airports are..). Does family visit visa owner needs to be issued iqama or of some sort? He said his wife and kids were taken some pictures and did some documentation but were not clear on what documents were issued to them. Another thing is that, our friend's wife and kids are British citizens, and my mother is a Filipina, I am afraid that Filipino citizens who are first time to enter Saudi Arabia needs to be arriving in Saudi airports for registration purposes. Honestly I am thinking that if our friend's wife and kids can enter without any problem, why would there be any for my mother? But sadly, it's not always the case, especially for a Filipino.... If you can give me any information or advice about this matter, it would be gladly appreciated. Thank you so much.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Maria, I will be honest I know little about the facilities for "new" arrivals on the causeway with regards to Saudi Arabian visit visas. However I have never had any problems or major delays in the airports, my wife (also a Filipina) came through very quickly and some of my friends families also were processed quite quickly.

My only experience with the causeway was massive delays, which is the opposite of your friend so I guess things vary considerably!

As to paperwork there is no Iqama for Saudi visit visa holders.


Wafa AbdelAziz 4 years ago

I just wanted to thank you so much for all the patience and help you have rendered all these people on here! Your The Man, LeanMan!! I would love to move to Medina, how easy is it to find an apartment and what kind of income would I need to make to live comfortably with 4 kids, and any info on schools in Medina?? Thank you! Thank you so much in advance Goodman


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Wafa thank you for reading about Saudi Arabian Visas, as to Medina I know very little first hand if I am honest as I am not allowed to enter there. Assuming that the cost of living is similar to the rest of the country then you can find a comfortable apartment for 30-40 thousand SAR per year. Maybe another reader can give some more up to date info on Medina.


Frank 4 years ago

Hi, My daughter wishes to go to work as a nirsu in Saudi and she has been offered a job by a compamy there. The problem is that she has received all the necessary Visa's and paperwork associated with her job, but now they are insisting that she has to travel to Kenya to get her Nursing Certificate stamped, and this is apparently only done in Kenya. This means that she has to travel from UK to Kenya just to get this stamp. Do you have any idea or suggestions regarding this. My e-mail is fwlouis@live.com if you have any suggestions for me to pass on to her. Thanks


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Frank, I guess the nursing certificate was issued in Kenya. Why not just get it sent through a reputable mail carrier and have it done that way unless your daughter wants a vacation there, I spent 6 weeks there a few years ago and I loved it!

The Saudis can be quite pedantic about paperwork for Saudi work visas, i went through all sorts of problems with them with regards to paperwork whilst inside KSA. When I applied for my wife's visa to join me in Saudi they refused saying that my educational certificates needed to be stamped by the Saudi embassy in the UK. The Saudi UK embassy refused saying that they don't stamp certificates and promptly lost my certified original and I had to get a new certificate and get it all certified again.. In the end it turned out that the department in Saudi were just pushing for some money!


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Frank, I guess the nursing certificate was issued in Kenya. Why not just get it sent through a reputable mail carrier and have it done that way unless your daughter wants a vacation there, I spent 6 weeks there a few years ago and I loved it!

The Saudis can be quite pedantic about paperwork for Saudi work visas, i went through all sorts of problems with them with regards to paperwork whilst inside KSA. When I applied for my wife's visa to join me in Saudi they refused saying that my educational certificates needed to be stamped by the Saudi embassy in the UK. The Saudi UK embassy refused saying that they don't stamp certificates and promptly lost my certified original and I had to get a new certificate and get it all certified again.. In the end it turned out that the department in Saudi were just pushing for some money!


mohammad noman waheed 4 years ago

dear sir assalam oalaikum i ma muslim ineed warkvisa to saudiarabia jaddah for 1year visa


aldwin 4 years ago

Good day! I would just like to ask if it's possible for my employer to get a visit visa for my girlfriend and find a job here in saudi? actually we have 2 kids but cannot marry cause we are both legally married. This is a big problem for us and also I want to bring my kids here


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Aldwin, it is highly unlikely that your employer will allow this as it goes against everything they believe! You cannot bring a girlfriend to Saudi Arabia!

Even if she finds a job and gets her own Saudi visa to work in Saudi Arabia it would still be very difficult for you to see her unless you managed to arrange things to be on the same western compound.


BADRUL HASSAN KHAN 4 years ago

dear sir

i need your help.can you send me reply about saudi work visa how many days before we can renewal.

thanks & regards


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Badrul, you will need to ask your sponsor and your local Saudi Embassy how long it will take them to process your Saudi Work Visa renewal as they are the ones that process. Your sponsor should do the bulk of the work for you.


Mrs Ali 4 years ago

AOA

Is there any way we check our submitted visa status online by IQAMA number??


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Mrs Ali you can check the progress of your visa application on the MOFA website, the link is in the useful link section below.


Zeenat Samina 4 years ago

Hi Lean,

I had been living in KSA from 1985-2007, then I moved to my country and now I live in England.My friends parents who are in Bangladesh now are wanting to get a visa for Hajj, however, it seems difficult for him to afford a hajj visa for his parents.Can you please suggest me on this as I do not know the visa rules nor do i know if companies sponsor a hajj visa....

my email id is zas1bee@bolton.ac.uk

your suggestions will be highly appreciated


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Zeenat, companies do not sponsor a hajj visa. You apply for them through an authorized travel agent, the cost however is on the person making hajj or their family.


Mr Worried India 4 years ago

Hey Lean,

After long research on net, i found your blog is the best help i can get.... I am married and my wife is working in one of the Saudi government hospital as nurse in ICU. Her bond is for 3 years and that will get complete in AUG 2012.

But due to family issues, I have asked her to give emergency resignation and she is trying for the same. NOT sure here how soon they will leave her.

The hospital staff told her bunch of non-sense as follow

1 They can not accept emergency resignation? They are saying it's a new RULE.

2 If they do, then she will not get the EXIT stamp.

3 She will loose her gratuty money for her 2 years and 6 months service.

4 She will not get the experience letter from hospital.

5 She will not get the NOC letter.

This is most worried as we are planning to settle down in USA, USK or AUS. So in future she wants to work. But we think since we don't have NOC letter from Saudi no one will give her the job, Is this true?

6 She can take a experience letter from a doctor from the hospital, but does that hold any value?

Pls help us to provide the answers. We are really worried and they have asked us to take a decision in 24 hers. Hence we need your blessings.....

Pls help us, we are waiting for the answers eagarly.....

Mr Worried.


KumarIn 4 years ago

Hi,

I have joined the company 7 months ago at Riyadh. I got the Iqama but the contract was not signed may be due to the reason that the company has new setup in KSA. I was asked for signing on fres offer letter 10 days ago.

I have better job offer from other company giving good salary and profile.

Please advise on how can I proceed?

Your support will be highly appreciated!


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Mr Worried India,

The problem in Saudi Arabia is that in general the employer / sponsor has all of the power. Saudi Labor law is actually quite fair and on the whole favors the employee but many companies will disregard it knowing that it is both difficult and very time consuming for an individual to take them to court over it and therefore most employees just accept what they can get!

A company can refuse to let you go until the end of your contract, without their co-operation you cannot get an exit visa!

The NOC letter has no purpose outside Saudi Arabia, so if your wife is not looking to return then no problem. However if she wants to get a new Saudi Work Visa then she will need this if she wants to return within one year.

It would be better if possible if she could remain to finish her contract both with regards to her bonus and also having a recommendation letter for future employers!


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Kumarin,

It does not matter too much if your contract is signed or not, you cannot transfer sponsorship unless your current sponsor will agree to it. Without his agreement you will have to leave the kingdom for a year before you can work for someone else.


Akbarali 4 years ago

Hi

This is Akbar, i was applied Saudi visa but still i am not get it, please tell me , how to do check my online status


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Akbarali go to the MOFA website (link in the section below) and you can check from there.


Tala 4 years ago

Firstly, thank you so much for your article and responses, I have read them all! My husband is British and has been in Saudi on. 6 month business visa, but has to leave every month and re-enter. I am an Australian living in the UK and would like to visit him. Is he able to sponsor me on a business visa for a visit? I rang the Saudi embassy in London today and the lady said I would need a letter from the MOF and his employer and fill in the online form. I am not sure she uderstood me, but I did say he was on a business visa. Can he still sponsor me to visit him if he doesn't have his iqama? We are both Muslim and if I was granted a visa to visit him, do you know if I would be allowed to join him for umrah while I am there. Your help is very much appreciated, thank you!


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Tala, your husband could not sponsor your Saudi visa as he is only on a business visa, but his sponsor could if they are willing. Once you are within the kingdom you are pretty much free to do what you like within the restrictions placed upon you as a woman in KSA. (carry a copy of your marriage certificate whilst you are in the kingdom to prevent problems!)


Kevin 4 years ago

Hi LeanMan,

My wife is a teacher, I am retired and both British Citizens. My wife has been offered a position in Riyadh by a recruiter. The recruiter has sent this message last week:

Are you aware of the laws in Saudi Arabia?

your husband will not be able to accompany you to Saudi Arabia for at least three months if you get the job.

My wife has responded with the following as yet no reply:

I would be very concerned not being able to travel with my husband as it part of my culture that married females are accompanied by their husbands.

Reading your hub and the embassy visa section it seems that as long as my wife is sponsored, I can be added as a spouse on that same sponsorship. I would just submit my paperwork with my wifes for entry into Saudi.

Or am I being to simplistic, will my wife have to travel to Saudi, then submit paperwork for me from within the country or should this be done before she travels.

Great informative site.

Thank you in advance.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Kevin,

normal practice is for a worker to enter the country on a work visa for a three month probation, at the end of which the Saudi work visa is converted to an Iqama or residency visa. Once you have your Iqama you can apply for dependent visa for your spouse and any children which could take anything from a few days to three months in my last attempt!

Most companies will not allow your spouse to join during your probation period, I recently had the opportunity to change sponsor, but they wanted my wife to return home during my probation which put a stop to the transfer as far as I was concerned!

You could ask your wife's sponsor to provide a visit visa until she has her Iqama. You should also check if your wife's position will allow her to bring her husband as not all job holders are allowed despite what they say! You should also check where she will be housed as I have had communication from a couple of women teachers at universities in the kingdom who have been moved onto female only compounds by their employer and now have minimal contact if any with their husbands!


yanexis 4 years ago

A warmth thanks to your informative hub.

I have one question. Does it really require to settle my credit card before leaving/exiting the kingdom? can i pay it back home? thank you very much.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Yanexis, before you will have your Saudi final exit visa issued you must ensure that all debts are settled. If you are leaving on a normal exit reentry visa for a holiday then no problem as no checks are made.


Nur Abd azeez 4 years ago

Salam alaykum , i want you to help me in getting the saudi arabian visa .. can yu help me ?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Nur, I don't offer job finding or visa services but there are many agencies that can help you with your Saudi Arabian Visa. Make sure you select one through references as there are many less than reputable companies out there.


Joy 4 years ago

Hi LeanMan,

My sister is working in Saudi ministry as a nurse. Now she resigned and got the final exit. She is Indian nationality. My question is whether she can exit to any other country or final exit to home country (India) is compulsory? She is planning to visit UAE in a visit visa. Can she come directly from Saudi???


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Joy, your sister can go anywhere she likes to go, however her company are probably paying for and purchasing the ticket so she should discuss this with them.


Joy 4 years ago

Thank you soo much for your quick responds Leanman!! Thanks


Rayyan 4 years ago

What is the maximum age to get labour visa for saudi arabia. Pls give me correct age some one waiting for visa.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Rayyan, I will be honest I have no idea off the top of my head. Get yourself a copy of the Saudi Labor law (just do a google search) and have a quick read.


Arslan 4 years ago

Hi. I want to know " Is visa validity and duration of stay the same??..in case of visit visa?? and both of these are mentioned on passport or just one??


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Not always, sometimes the validity is longer than the duration of stay.


Raheel Shafi 4 years ago

Can i get driver visa in 22 years old age


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Raheel, yes you would be eligible to get a work visa for Saudi Arabia if you meet all of their other requirements and can find a sponsor.


abdul khader 4 years ago

Dear friend ,

By god's grace you are so helpful .Helping all those who had issues. Thank you very much..


AHMAD 4 years ago

Is it possible to extend saudi visit visa without leaving the kingdom?? what's the procedure and how long it can be extended?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Ahmad, I tried to find out if I could extend a business visa without leaving and was told no, I would assume that the same would be true for a visit visa nut it may be worth contacting your embassy to find out.


Zara 4 years ago

Hi, Very good article and helpful too... Im not sure if someone has queried this already, but does the company take your passport and keep hold of it?... i am about to pay an agent for a contract in tabuk KSA. They want all documents ofcourse and im paying 500 quid for everything... hope i dont get ripped off.

Thanks


ZaraOh 4 years ago

Hi, wonderful article and info there.. interesting missions you have gone through too. I have been accepted for a Job in Tabuk KSA. The contractors forwarded me the agent they deal with. I am to go and provide the necessary docs. plus i have to pay 500 pounds for the medical report visa etc from my own pocket, so i hope its not a rip off. I was wondering do companies keep employee's passport once in ksa?..i would rather have it in my posession.. i dont want it all screwed up and folded and returned to me in the end. Do you know any info regarding this?

Thanks


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Zara, yes once you are in Saudi Arabia your sponsor / employer will take your passport, this is normal practice. Mine was covered in stickers by the company and had various things stapled to it and looked like it had been in a war!

As long as you are going with a reputable agency then not a problem your employer should refund that when you get to Saudi Arabia, but medicals are required for the Saudi work visa. That being said, their requirements in the UK are very expensive, when you are in Saudi the tests done for your Iqama are supposed to be the same but take about 5 mins and cost a very small percentage of what you pay in the UK..


ZaraOh 4 years ago

Thanks for that info Leanman...wow i did not really want my passport to be taken and covered in stickers and staples lol. It just makes one feel a little insecure. Yes it is working out to be expensive here in London. I did do as much checks as i can to see if the agent and clinic they are sending me with is reputable, hope im not wrong. Thanks alot for being helpful, your time is much appreciated.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Good luck with getting your Visa Zara, do you already have the paperwork from your sponsor in Saudi for the visa?


ZaraOh 4 years ago

Thank you, yes i received the contract from AL KHALEEJ UNIVERSITY...I signed the contract and sent it back. They then sent me some documents such as the medical report form and visa form that i have to take with me on monday when I have my blood tests etc. The agent who is processing my visa said they charge that much because they do things quick and their clinic is registered to be accepted my saudi. They also told me to bring my passport, i guess i will receive it through the post once stamped... sometimes i feel like im asking basic questions that should be obvious, but i like to make sure as some countries just dont do things you expect.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

I had big problems finding somewhere in the UK to do the medical tests and I think my first time cost far more than you are quoting. I am sure you will be fine, it is very different to getting a visa for most other countries but the financial rewards when you get there are very worth it.


ZaraOh 4 years ago

Thanks a lot for that, you actually made me feel better :)

I better not complain then as you have had it harder and yet appreciate the benefits you received. I will go along with it..I told my friends i just found a great hub with all the answers....how kind of you... appreciate it!


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Good luck with your Saudi Visa, let us know how you get on and how life is in Saudi for you when you get there.


ZaraOh 4 years ago

All the best to you too..thank you..i shall give an update once i get there..should be interesting, hopefully! :)


hussain 4 years ago

hello my Friend, i need advice from you regarding DUBAI visit visa, well am working in KSA since 10 months in private firm as MARKETING MANAGER my iqama profession is BUILDING ELECTRICIAN, I want to visit Dubai for 5 days for some personnel work. i would like to know the procedures of getting visit visa to Dubai.

thanks

hussain


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Hussain you should not have any problems getting your visa, as long as your company issues your Saudi Exit and re-entry visa.


hussain 4 years ago

thank you Mr LeanMan, i appreciate your advice and your blog :-)

thanks

hussain


Mrsworried 4 years ago

Mr Leanman, thank u very much for ur advices, really amazing, God bless u..

My husband is working in saudi on a labor visa, we got married in my country (morocco) n of course its not possible for him to bring me on a family visa, so he bought me a maid visa..m actually so worried n aksing lot of quetsions, i hav an MBA n work experience and my husband doenst appreciate teh idea of me working there..m actually afraid of any complications once i am there, my husband keeps telling me that he wants me there fast and that i shouldn't worry, that once i am there we will get married again in saudi n he will transfer me on his iqama..

what do u think of this situation..thank u:)


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Mrsworried, it is possible for you to both get married there and that would not be a problem, however even if he is on a labor visa he may be accepted to bring you on a family visa with your current marriage certificate.

Also who is the sponsor for the maid visa, I had a friend that bought a girl through a Saudi who then "kept" the maid for a year as they decided they needed a maid!


harun mohammed 4 years ago

we have saudia visas for people seeking jobs in saudia.in case of anybody with interest contact me on har.moha@yahoo.com or from 0725701613 {kenya}


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi harun, thanks for your message, however anyone that is tempted beware of cons as there are many out there - if you asked for money up front then it is likely you will just lose your money!


Sachin 4 years ago

Hi, Please letme know if there will be any problem in future for getting UK/US/EUROPE visa stamping if my passport is having Saudi Visa stamped. I came to know UK/USA visa gets rejected if we work in Saudi. Thanks


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Sachin, As far as I am aware a Saudi Visa in your passport will not affect you ability to go to either USA or UK.


sabina 4 years ago

need an advise from you Mr LeanMan.i am from mauritius.. i am trying my best to settle in saudi arabia with my husband and 2 kids please help me sir what should i do to get a minimum 3 years visa


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Sabina, I assume that your husband is working in Saudi Arabia so he will need to apply for a family visa in Saudi Arabia so that you can accompany him. His sponsor / employer will be able to help him in this.


Omer Nouman 4 years ago

hi ,

im working in a Contracting COmpany in Saudi Arabia. Im on Student visa & Working illegally , One day Suddenly some labour officers came n took my iqama & took a copy of it with them. so will i be facing any penalty or direct exit?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Omer, its hard to say unless they communicate with you. What does the company you were working for say as they are likely to be the ones in trouble for employing you illegally?


ZaraOh 4 years ago

Hi Leanman... its me again.. ok i have another query if you know....apparently i was told by the agency that before i go to the clinic for the medical report i might as well wait for a letter from the institute in saudi. The letter they are referring to is called a 'power of attorney' ..why would i need that?... they have not replied to me yet. thanks


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi ZaraOh, have you spoken to the institute directly? Look them up on the internet and contact them to ask them if you are worried about the agency. I cannot see what the purpose of a power of attorney could be when trying to get a Saudi Visa, I am sorry but this sounds a little wrong!


ZaraOh 4 years ago

Thanks LeanMan, i was curious as to what the power of attorney would be used for?.. the company seem legit as far as i can see...but that just confused.. the agent who are dealing with the visa said they are waiting for a visa block number as well...i was wondering what would be a standard check list after a company offered a position to get a visa? i know the obvious passport.. certificates.. medical report and letter of confirmation to say i have been offered the job. I have not paid anything yet.. i will double check again i guess... thanks a lot.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

When a sponsor (employer) applies for a Saudi Visa for an expat visa they are given a visa number when it is approved which becomes your "sponsorship letter" when you apply for your visa. Until you have that there is no point doing anything as nothing is yet agreed - many companies are having problems getting and renewing visas in KSA due to new rules which prevent them if they have not employed enough Saudis. As to the power of attorney I really can't see a purpose for that!


ZaraOh 4 years ago

Oh ok thanks a lot.. what you say makes sense.. hopefully they mean a sponsorship letter and not power of attorney... i will give them a call later and hopefully clear things up.. appreciate your time..thanks!


Fahad 4 years ago

i would like to inquire is there any restriction impose on issuance of work visa on certain cetegories, if so which are those jobs against protection of local peoples job.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Fahad, there are restrictions on many positions now with regards to them only being available to Saudis (Such as Human Resources) and also restrictions placed on companies with regards to how many expats they can now employ in relation to the number of Saudis. Many companies however if they can still get visas will employ an expat for one position but gain a visa for another that is allowed so many do not follow the rules anyway!


Irfan khan 4 years ago

Hy dear respected sir my question is just new over there he dint like the job there mainly what agent person promise him about job he dint get job can he return with in two days back to country or stil he need to take exit visa from his sponser or what please suggest me how he can come back to india my family is to worry about him


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Irfan, if he does not have his iqama yet he still has the option to leave, however his employer could insist on him paying back air fare etc before he leaves so be careful. I have known people who have got on a plane and just gone home in their first few weeks in the kingdom.


Pargar 4 years ago

Hi Lean man...great hub and great info.thanks.Just wondering, I have been offered a teaching position in Saudi for a year but I dont want to stay for a year for a umber of reasons. 3 to 6 months is ideal. If you leave after this amount of time, can an employer stop you....or if it after the 90 days, are you alowed to leave to get your permanent visa. Do employers usually retain a percentage of income to lock you into the country as well as refusing exit. What is the best way to play it if you want to go for a short stint? Is that possible? thanking you for your answer in advance.


Pargar 4 years ago

Hi, just to follow up on my previous question, the company is Aramco. Doe it make a difference which employer you have to make it easier to leave after 3 months? I have heard that after 3 months you need to leave the country and go back to the UK to get your permament visa. If so that would be perfect for me but I am wondering how easy it is to cut adn run at that stage. Thanks again.


John 4 years ago

I only have a degree from a brasilian university, and im having trouble getting it attested. Would it be worth trying with a fake degree and attestment? Or would that have dire consequences?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Pargar, when you take a job in Saudi Arabia you will be given a contract for the number of months they expect you to work and they expect you to stick to it! When you arrive they will take your passport (most companies) and you will only be able to leave if they return it and of course once you have your Iqama (Saudi residency and work visa) you will have to have an exit re-entry visa to travel which is issued by your sponsor.

If they get an idea that you are going to "run" then they are unlikely to allow you an exit if they need you in your job. If you do run you will also find it impossible to return if you want to work for another employer!

It is also not good practice nor fair on any employer to leave before the end of a contract!


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Pargar, if your initial entry is on a work visa then you will not have to leave to get your work visa converted to an Iqama.

Saudi Aramco is one of the best companies to work for in Saudi, if you have no intention of working your contract then do not go! You just make things more difficult for those of us who do want to work a full contract.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi John, I would guess that would depend on how good the fake was!


ZaraOh 4 years ago

Hey i applied to Aramco..i would love to take the contract if they gave me a job... most positions want male...but if you dont want the contract pargar...hand it over to me lol. By the way i got the visa block number for Al Khaleej Tabuk University. There is no power of attorney letter... i think they confused the wording.. Now all of a sudden i have read some negative reviews ...oh well i guess there is only one way to find out huh.


Mohsin 4 years ago

Hi Lean,

Great job, Could you kindly help me by advising me that

I have received and accepted an offer from saudi company. Do you know, How long it takes to my sponsor to send me visa slip for Electrical enigneer.

Warmest Regards


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Good luck Zara, I hope that it all turns out fine for you..


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Mohsin, it depends very much on the company as to how quick they are in processing your Saudi work visa number, it could take a few days, it could take months.


Mohsin 4 years ago

Thanks,

Until now, It has taken a month approx.

Any way thanks a lot for your response.

Keep it up.

take care


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Try contacting the company directly to see what is happening, if you chase them then they may hurry along if they think that you may go elsewhere..


Rakesh Sumesh 4 years ago

I am offered a visa as a driver while I am being hired as a Manager Admin. How tricky is it? I am told that their factory is still under construction and only once it is operational will the VISA's be issued for regular employees. Is it true? I smell something fishy here. I am thinking of not accepting the offer. Am I right?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Rakesh, it is often the case that people will be issued visas that do not reflect the jobs that they do, I have met western CEOs with Iqamas that say they are electricians and engineers. But this is not ideal, a Saudi Visa as a driver is about as low as you can get in the pecking order so you could be denied many basic rights such as travel and face problems sending larger sums of money home as well as problems if you wish to bring your family. In my experience once you have your Iqama the company will do nothing to update your job title. I am sure if they thought about it they could get you a visa with a more suitable job description even if it is not the final one that you would end up with.


priya 4 years ago

hi sir my husband is working in ksa as an accountant i want to go there with my 3 years old baby so plz tell me the process of visit visa and requirement peper.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Priya, your husband should speak to his sponsor and they will help him to arrange your visa.


bernie 4 years ago

Hi LeanMan,

Can a Saudi company apply for a visit visa directly from the MOFA in KSA. They want me to visit them for an interview. However when applying from another GCC country, in my case Qatar, they require a no objection letter from my sponsor here. (kind of difficult to get a no objection letter from them for a visit to KSA for a job interview i could imagine). Hoping you know


priya 4 years ago

thank u very much 4 ur help


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Bernie, the visa is granted through MOFA in KSA and you will be given the visa number and told to process that through a Saudi Embassy by providing all the relevant paperwork. I have never heard of the requirement for a letter of no objection being asked of from a company outside of Saudi Arabi for a visa.


shahid 4 years ago

Hi,

I am currently working in UAE and my company has offered me a job in one of our new projects in Jeddah and have agreed to transfer me to KSA. The offer is good and I want to move to Saudi. I don't want to cancel my USE residence visa and I want to know whether I can get keep my UAE residence along with the KSA work visa?

Regards,

Sid


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Shahid, I don't know anything about the residency permit process in the UAE, but the Saudi one you would have to have your sponsors permission to leave and the maximum time you would be able to leave for would be 90 days.


shahid_786 4 years ago

Hi, leanman great job man.I have one question. I was workinh with a contracting company in KSA with 2 years contract.The company ended his last project in november and was nat have any more project hence there was no over time infact the salary was not paid properly, so I declare emergency and came back to my home country on my own expenses on exit/re-entry.now I am at my home from last 2 months my re-entry is expire also my iqama is expire. now can I apply for new wok visa in KSA or any other gulf country plz reply


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Shahid, if you did not leave on a final exit visa you will have to wait for a full year before you return to Saudi Arabia as long as your employer has not filed a case against you as a run away; go to the MOFA website and enter your Iqama number to find if there are any problems. Also if you had any loans or credit cards or other bills that were not paid you could end up being arrested when you return. The year wait will not apply to any other country so there is nothing to stop you working elsewhere.


shahid_786 4 years ago

thanx


venus 4 years ago

Hi Mr.Leanman, Just got home last Jan.20,2012 with final exit From KSA. Now I got a new employer, sent all my documents & passport for stamping but was rejected due to no middle name in my passport.I already presented my previous passport& my birth certificate but still rejected.I have worked for almost2.3yrs already how come i was given a visa Before and now they keep on rejecting it..Any suggestion for my situation? Any possible documents need to show them?

Godbless


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Venus, they can be quite pedantic about minor things when applying for a Saudi Visa. If you have no middle name and that is clear on all of your documentation I suggest you try again or try phoning the embassy to talk with someone directly.


venus 4 years ago

thnks again..Godbless


priya 4 years ago

hi sir

i want to do job in ksa so what kind of job i wii find there as a foreign girl.can i do teaching there? how can i find job there


Will 4 years ago

Hi Leanman,

Hoping to get some advice on my girlfriend who is employed as a private nurse (still domestic helper). She is a Filipina national and wants to get out of KSA immediately. She contacted the Philippine consulate and spoke to someone in their POLO division on what options she might have. Basically she is without many options. Seems like it is up to her sponsor on whether she is released. Just wondering if you have any suggestions for someone to get deported very easily. Her indentured servant job needs to end soon. I look forward to your advice.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Priya, there are teaching jobs for women in Saudi arabia and you would be able to get a Saudi work visa for this if you can find a sponsor. In the section below there are some links to other articles, one is about finding jobs in KSA.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Will, to leave KSA you need an exit visa, either a Saudi final exit visa or an exit re-entry visa, both of which require your sponsors co-operation to be issued. Many domestics and other workers especially from countries like the Philippines and Indonesia are refused holidays by sponsors as they fear they will not return (plus the sponsor should pay the ticket!) She really is at the mercy of her sponsor and this is one of the problems of taking employment in Saudi Arabia. Her options are to persuade her employer to let her leave or to work till the end of her contract. If she runs away then it will become harder and more dangerous to leave as she will become an illegal with no valid visa or Iqama and likely to be arrested and put in jail.

If you have money then it is possible to be smuggled out (but this can also be risky), I had my wife sent back to the Philippines (I am married to a Filipina) as she had visa problems but it cost me almost 10,000SAR. If you want to contact me directly use the "contact leanman" button below my profile picture top right.


Muhammad A. M. Saleem 4 years ago

Thanks for this very informative article. I would like to ask you that what is the minimum time taken to return to Saudi Arabia, if someone goes on Final Exit from a company and wants to return on the work visa of another company.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Muhammad, if you have a letter of no objection from your previous sponsor you can return any time, otherwise you will have to wait at least one year.


Hamid 4 years ago

Very nice job dear, hats off to you. what i have noticed that getting a Saudi work visa is something very tough. you are getting people aware, that's worth praising.

actually i am from Pakistan, and want to work in Saudi Arabia, but im afraid i cant stay there for years, i want to have a work visa that allows me to come back to my country at-least twice a year. can you tell me if this is possible?..... and addition plz it u can tell me how much a business graduate can earn monthly while working on an entry level job being a fresh graduate. Regards....


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Hamid, the number of times you can return home and the length of your holidays are something that you would have to agree with your employer (sponsor), within Saudi Arabia they are the ones that will process and grant you a Saudi exit and re-entry visa allowing you to go home and then return. However be aware that some unscrupulous employers may make promises that they later fail to keep and there is little you can do about it!

As to wages you can check on Bayt.com the wages that others are paid for various jobs within KSA.


Hamid 4 years ago

Thanks alot dear,

Regards........


Taalib Pugh1 profile image

Taalib Pugh1 4 years ago from Wilkes Barre Pa

Thanks! This was very helpful info.


mahabub basha shaikh-India 4 years ago

this is not so much of helpful,because i just searched for the age limit for any employee who want to go for some employment from Indian region,but it was missing and lot was missing here and sorry to say,it is not that much helpful who search for some thing in practical sense so try to inject useful information in professional manner...


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Mahabub, if you want to read up on Saudi Labor law then please find an article about such, this is a webpage giving advice about getting a work visa for Saudi Arabia and gives links to just about any obscure piece of information that you may wish to find through places such as the Saudi Ministry of Affairs and various Embassies. There are many rules and requirements and they can differ from country to country and also vary over time and depending on the job you wish to apply for and so forth. Trying to put a comprehensive list of everything on one webpage would be just about impossible and make for very boring reading, however follow the various links and you may just find what you are looking for.

Search google for Saudi Labor Law (english translation unless you can read arabic) and somewhere within its 245 articles you should find what you seek. However even if says 60 for male workers under article 74 section 4 that does not mean that an individual company will accept workers at that age.


missy 4 years ago

hi i would like to ask for your advice. I am going vacation with a reentry visa and i might not come back if i will be hired in kuwait but i have a loan in the bank. I do not want to escape from that loan. I really wanted to pay it but after 1 year. is it possible for me not to come back to kingdom but i will pay the loan after one year if ever i will get hired in kuwait?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Missy, it is illegal for you to not pay a loan in Saudi Arabia and you would be arrested if you returned to the country having not paid it. That being said if you never return or you pay the loan from outside the country then that will solve the problem.


Imran 4 years ago

Hi LeanMan, you are putting great information very useful. i only keep reading ur comments these days.

Please guide me.

I am offered a one University Teaching job in Damam, What things i shud be careful. Also tell me My passport is valid upto 2015 but it is full with other visas only one page is left balnk for the next visa which i keep for saudi arabia..is it oki for them please respond


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Imran,

If I were you I would go get a new passport with extra pages - the Saudi visa takes up a full page and they will want another blank page to make all their stamps.....

As to taking a job in Dammam it is a nicer part of Saudi Arabia and far more relaxed than Riyadh. It may be worthwhile contacting others that work there through sites such as linkedin so that you can get first hand information about your potential employer. You can also check wages through bayt.com to see if you are being offered the market rate for the job.


Hafeezullah 4 years ago

Dear sir please sanctioned and approved an appointement in Jiddah Airport


Mr.Ambitious 4 years ago

Dear Lean ..Its a great job u r doing.Your hubpage is really a treasure for the seekers.Hearty congrats!!..I am planning to start a business in KSA and I got a sponsor also.We are 4 partners and the sponsor is one among us.Is there any legal contract in KSA to be registered with Govt. which protects the interests of the investors?..Its a workshop we are launching and is it difficult to get indian visa? (I am an indian).The visas provided by our sponsor was rejected since they were unskilled category (House driver and plumber) as we already worked in Qatar as engineers which is skilled category .The embassy people ask why an engineer in Qatar want to go KSA as a plumber now..How to over come this problem??.. Pl advise...


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Mr.Ambitious, you could use a business visa (multiple entry for 6 months) to be able to build and run your business. I am not sure of the specific rules regarding the formation of a business with a Saudi partner but I am pretty sure that the Saudi would be the one with all of the control. All businesses have to be registered and it would be the Saudi partner who would do this all in Arabic. Once the business is registered it would be able to sponsor you for a work visa relevant to the business, if you employ less than 10 people the number of Saudis employed under current rules would not affect visa eligibility. Once you employ over 10 there are rules regarding how many Saudis you HAVE TO employ.

Good luck with your business, I hope that answers your question, if not please feel free to get back to me.


Ambitious 4 years ago

Many thanx Lean...This is really helpful and of course I will be seeking your comments for the problems to come


ZaraOh 4 years ago

Hi Mr Leanman,

Remeber me 4 months back lol... I finally received my visa last week and my ticket. Gosh, i started off smooth and had some blocks to jump in the way... it took them 3 months to correct a typo that occured their end. I even told them to cancel everything and return my 550 quid i spent for my medical and attestations etc.. but somehow they managed to correct a letter. YEY!.. now lets see how things goooo.. here goes.. wish me luck!

Just thought i'd let you know :)

Thaks again!


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi ZaraOh,

Good luck, hi hope that things work out OK after the initial visa problems. I hope you enjoy Saudi.


kazimo 4 years ago

Hi Leanman,

Very Helpful info.

Can a Business visa be converted to work/iqama staying within KSA, i mean not returning back?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Kazimo,

Unfortunately you have to leave to apply for your new visa..


vikky 4 years ago

My wife and kids are not on my ICAMA and they are in India. But can I bring my mother on a Visit Visa?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Vikky, as long as you have an Iqama then you can apply for a visit visa for a member of your close family and it should be approved. Good luck.


vikky 4 years ago

Dear LeanMan Thank you very much


Mrsworried 4 years ago

Hello LeanMan

thank you very much for your great effort on this page, God bless u

can u pls help me on this m really confused.;

my husband has a student visa, so to join him here, he got me a maid visa, when i first arrived few months back, my sponsor was at the airport alone with my husband to receive me, and so far all is well, i hav absolutely no contact with the sponsor n im kind of having a normal life here, however, i miss my family a alot n i would liek to go and visit them in my country, should my sponsor be present again in the airport to receive me everytime i leave this country? fyi, m still on his sponsorship...

thanks a lot


Prejan 4 years ago

Hello,

Am about taking up an appointment with a leading airline in KSA, as I will be eligible for staff travel which will afford me discount tickets to travel home regularly, what hiccups do you forsee with getting anf exit/re-entry visa live once in a month.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Prejan

As exit / re-entry visas are at the discretion of your employer then it should not be a problem, after all they expect you to travel regularly. Good luck I hope that you enjoy working on KSA.


Prejan 4 years ago

Thanks Leanman.

Is there a price tag associated with the exit/re-entry visa and for how long do you think the average request time for this takes with the organization?

I also seem to get the opinion that one needs to resign from one's present employment before I can be issued with a business visa, is this correct as it would be sucidal to resign from from current employer from my home countryand present this with my visa application. then what happens for whatever reason, your visa gets rejected


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Prejan,

Your company can apply for your exit/entry visa online and print it out for you there and then with their company stamp, so it will only take as long as your company takes to process it; ask a few weeks in advance is my advice as most companies are slow, that being said your company must have a fairly good process in place as people are traveling all the time. The cost is not that high, just a few hundred riyals. But if you take a multiple entry/entry visa and do not use you will then be fined!

As to your business visa they will not check your current employment situation before issuing it so there is no problem with remaining in your current employment until you are ready.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi MrsWorried,

Your situation is not that unusual; you will need to involve your sponsor to get your exit and re-entry visa approved if you wish to travel and yes your sponsor should be the one to collect you from the airport. My wife was left there 2 days (before she was my wife) by her sponsor and was not allowed to leave with her sister who also works there or any other family. I would suggest you contact your sponsor long before you plan to travel to make arrangements.


sana 4 years ago

can a women under age 25 get a bussinesss visa to ksa.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Sana,

As long as your husband (or father if you are not married) says that it is OK for you to travel. Women in Saudi Arabia are not able to travel internationally without permission from a male member of the family.


Owais 4 years ago

Hi,

Can you please tell me how much does it cost an employer to arrange a Visit work visa or Ziyarat Amal visa for a employee.

I am in a situation where an employer from Pakistan arranged a visa stated "Ziyarat Amal" for me to work in saudi Arabia on their project, but due to some uncleared facts and their refusal to send me a contract copy through email for my review I refused to go, As I am in a different city and the employer is in some other city of Pakistan. I have also paid him Pak Rs. 60,000 for this visa. Now i had asked them to return my Passport back and they are saying that it is not possible without clearing their dues as they had paid charges to saudi embassy for issuance of visa and its processing. on actual visa 200 Riyal is written as its fees. can you please guide me what are the total of charges includes in issuance of this visa by employer?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Owais

If you visit the website of the Saudi Embassy in your country you should get a page where they will detail out the fees for the granting of a visa.

I don't know the laws in your country but certainly in mine it would be illegal for someone to hold my passport and refuse to return it. It is not something that could be held as payment for a debt!


wakeup 4 years ago

pls. how can i track down a fraudster soccer agent who stay in jedah saudi arabia. he collect money for visa and i.v for soccer trial, and promise to get them the deal ,but got a fake visa and a fake i.v ,which the player cant even use to travel. the name of an agent is doucoure mohamed,with email address Real Talent. arabian football scout@yahoo.com......pls. you can get back to me through this email address wakeupbigtymeryahoo.com.thx.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Wakeup, if someone wanted you to come they would be paying for the visa! Don't fall for scams like this. Hopefully someone else will read this and avoid this scam.


habibimom 4 years ago

Hi, Lean Man,

First off- please forgive my venting, but reading from your experiences, I am sure you will understand. I truly appreciate the time that you took to write all of this useful information. I wish I had found your site before coming here. 4 months ago I took an Education Specialist job here, making twice as much as I did teaching back in the US. My husband also took a job here, making double what he made back in the US also. His parents and brothers even live here. While single, we both traveled the world and lived abroad. So we wanted the same for our children.Yet, we are both so unhappy with our decision to move here. The main reason-our children's international school...which we are paying a ridiculous amount of money to.Its just not quality education. The kids are happy in school and learning much about other cultures here. However, the education can in no way, be compared to the quality in the US. The schools here are merely businesses, without the children being the priority-just the money is. On the other hand, I am still on a visit visa, which is being renewed by my job each month. I am continually told that my work visa is in the process and that I will get my iquama soon. Why do I think it is just lies? I am getting so frustrated that they do not seem to have the power to get our iquama's, that it makes me just want to leave KSA altogether. I mean, what are gaining from it-- just money? My visit visa is not even multiple entery/exit, so I literally feel trapped. Now, I just want to leave for a week and take a mini-vacation, just to get my head on straight, and they told me that it may not be possible, if my visa is not approved. However, my visit visa expires during Hajj, meaning it needs to be renewed next week...meaning I will have no passport to take a mini-vacation during Hajj. I am so tempted to just leave, but then my tickets would most likely not be paid for. Oh, my, I think KSA is making me crazy. The job is so great, as well as the pay. I am normally a patient person, but I dont' want to be involved in anything illegeal. We just furnished our home and also paid 1/2 of the school year for the kids school. It would be crazy for us to leave, but that is all I can think about. Please advise in any way you feel you can. Thanks in advance!


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Habibimom (great name),

Sorry that you are having such a hard time of settling into Saudi Arabia, but what you are going through is very common for many expats. Saudi Arabia is VERY different to any other country I have ever been to and I have been to quite a few over the years. I certainly would not bring school age children to Saudi unless I really had to. The best I can suggest with the children's education is to ask around all of the other expats that you know that have kids if they know of a better school. You may also want to think about hiring a good tutor to help them out.

As to your visa, many businesses are suffering with regards to getting work visas as they are not employing sufficient Saudis. They are therefore unable to get work visas for their staff. Go to the MOFA website and check your companies status with regards to Nitaqat using your visa number (I am not 100% sure if it will work with a visit visa but I would imagine that it would.) If your employer is in the wrong (Red or Yellow) categories then they will not be able to get you a visa!

I spent almost a year on visit visas due to a previous employer being out of favor and unable to gain more visas, it is not fun having to keep renewing them! But you can still earn your money and work on regardless - but you would not be officially employed and would not have true employment rights should things go wrong!!

You can contact me through my profile page if you need any more help (link top right, unless they have moved it again!)

Good luck and I hope that things improve for you.


Habibimom 4 years ago

Hi LeanMan,

I just wanted to give you an update. It is now November 10-weeks after Haaj. I still have no Visa, but have been told that I will be getting a 6 month iquama. On all the website from Saudi, I see no such thing. I see the residence visa-but that does not permit one to work. So again, my employer is either lying to me, has no power to get me the right visa, or has no intention of it. However, I have super news! During my frustrations, instead of leaving the country and continuing to mope here-since I really couldn't leave anyway.....I have been offered a new job. It is KAEC and has a wonderful school with accomodations for our family and free tuiton for our children! However, I am just waiting for my passport to be returned and to see which visa will have been given to me. I would love any advice or suggestions you may have, in regards to resigning. Thanks so much! -habibimom


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi habibimom.

I hope that I don't bring any bad news! Your visa can only be transferred IF your original sponsor agrees. So if they decide not to allow you to leave their employ you are stuck! Such is life within Saudi Arabia.. Let us know how things progress..


nawaz 4 years ago

i have been working saudi arabai last six years in govt field, now i looking to bring my family to saudi by visit visa. is possible to bring?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Nawaz

Talk to your sponsor to help you arrange a visit visa, I am sure they will help you.


Asi 3 years ago

Hi LeanMan

Im a Sri Lankan and I got job offer from a leading company at KSA. My job proffession is "Marketing Specialist". This is a family visa status. My question is, If i want to travel Baharain for once in a month or twice, what kind of a Visa i should have? Can I travel their with ordinary Working Visa or do i need Multiple Entry Visa?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Asi

You will work within Saudi Arabia on a work visa which will be converted into your Iqama. If you want to leave Saudi your company will get you an Entry-Reentry visa each time you want to travel. You will normally have to pay the cost of the visa and your company is able to refuse your visa (and many do at times). If this is a professional position within a leading company then you should have little problem with this.

"Family visa status" depending on your company does not refer to your actual visa but the ability for you to be able to bring your family on a dependent Saudi visa. Some companies will support and even pay for this and others do not.


Habibi Mom 3 years ago

Hi Lean Man,

Update-I was dying to leave KSA the last few months. My company got my iqama and exit re-entry for me and my children and now I feel more at ease. It took 6 months for this all to be done even though I am working under a top Saudi family and am a US citizen. So, for everyone reading-I just wanted to share that patience here is different than anywhere else. I think now that I have realized that things get done 10 times slower here-it doesn't mean that it won't get done. Now, I will move forward and try to find positives for every negative that is encountered.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Habibi Mom

Glad to know that things are finally sorted out; I always tell people to never take things personally when Saudis don't get things done in a timely manner - it is not personal they are just so inefficient. I got to the point where I just carried on with my life and my work, if the Saudis were behind and I could not continue my work I did what they did best and relaxed also. There is just no point trying to push them most of the time, it tends to cause more problems than it solves.

As to finding positives; I always looked at my bank balance each month! There were usually thousands of positives there to help me with any problems with Saudi visas or any other issues.


Kyle 3 years ago

Very informative. I wanted to travel to KSA, and this helped a lot.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Kyle, glad you enjoyed. Hope that you will enjoy working in Saudi Arabia and that you will not have any problems in getting your visa for Saudi.


imransh 3 years ago

Hi, I am a doctor and I was offered a job in saudi arabia in november last year that i accepted. i got my visa stamped in december and then the agent told me to wait for the air ticket that my sponsor was supposed to send. unfortunately somehow i didnt get the ticket and the agent was telling a new story each day . i told him that i can buy myself this ticket but he showed me paper from the sponsor stating that "please do not send anyone witout our issued tickets". this kept on going untill yeaterday when my agent called and said that i should buy myself this ticket and leave. my visa is expiring tomorrow so i asked him to get visa extended that he said cannot be extended. and if i will not travel on this visa than i will be blacklisted by the embassy for the next 2 years. now somebody told me that i should get some no objection certificate from the sponsor that is ministry of health but i have never travelled to saudi arabia so how can i get any such certificate.

is there any way i can get this visa extended or get it renewed? or i am just blacklisted for 2 years?

i shall be thankful for your time


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Imrash

I am not sure if you are blacklisted, you have not actually entered the country and it is not your fault that you have not traveled. Contact your employer / sponsor there in Saudi Arabia and try to talk to them regarding the situation.


Abdulwahid 3 years ago

Hi LeanMan,

Am not happy with my company/sponsor.

If i leave KSA with Exit/Re-entry?

How long will it take me to get another job back here?

Thanks


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Abdulwahid,

If you leave Saudi on an Exit / Re-Entry visa rather than finishing your current contract you will have to wait for at least 1 year before you can apply for another visa. This does depend on your nationality but for most countries it is one year. However if you leave any debts or any other problems you will have problems and may be arrested on your return.

Saudi is not the only country in the middle east that employs many expats; you may be able to find work elsewhere without having to wait the year. good Luck.


DeepThinker 3 years ago

Hi LeanMan,

Thanks very much for posting your experience and sharing your knowledge base. It certainly has helped me to understand the visa process and the risk with certain types of visa.

I am an IT professional well settled in Canada, a multinational ICT consulting company has offered me a permanent position based in Riyadh. They wasnted to pursue the option of business visa and then iqama in 6-8 months of time. Which means I will come back to Canada to apply for the employment visa after 8 months or so and return to Riyadh upon successful visa stamp. I raised concerns over the Business Visa and showed unwillingeness to accept the offer, so in return they offered something called temporary work visa and visit visa for my family, which I do not see any different than a business visa option. This would require visa renewal/stamping within KSA every month (done by an outsource company specialised in this area) until they get iqama from their quota which they claimed to get every year.

Now my question, is there still a quota system for companies there. As I understand "nitaqat" system has totally changed the game there. and ICT consulting firms there have very limited saudis working due to the nature of thier services. Otherwise how will they be able to issue employment visa (iqama) as they may never be able to maintain saudis required ratio. Additionally, visa renewal every month appears to be a bug risk since I will be moving there with my family including school going kids.

Regards,


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Deep Thinker,

Visas in Saudi Arabia are a little bit of a risk at any time with the country trying very hard to get its own people employed. What they are talking about is still a visit/business visa and to be honest many companies use these on a temporary or even longer term basis. If the company however is having problems with gaining your work visa now then why will this change in 8 months time? Taking a job with a company in Saudi is always a risk and you will have to weigh those risks against the compensation that they are offering which is generally quite generous and of course tax free.

I have had problems with using business visas in the past and having to have them stamped, but I have also known people that have used them for a long period of time and continue to do so without issue. If the company appears to be organized and reputable then you may have no problems at all.

As to the Nitaqat system it has forced some companies to hire additional Saudis in non-existent positions as a company overhead just to keep the ratios correct.


Deep Thinker 3 years ago

Hi Lean Man,

Thanks for your quick reply to my post.

Yes, thats exactly my point that if the company has problems issueing visa at this time then what will change in 8 months? I asked this exactly to the company, and they said that they also have a quota for each year that they will be issueing the visa from.

Anyways, I have declined the offer as I do not think their offer was worth the risk that one has to take.

Best regards,


Doc 3 years ago

Hey, thanks for the post. I read most of it, but haven't had a chance yet to read it completely in detail. I am a physician and am looking to find work in KSA. I have two options, find a hospital, likely in Madina, or open my own clinic. I like the "my own clinic" idea but need advice and resources for both options:

#1 - how do I start the process of opening my own business, what are the requirements? Where can I read more about this?

#2 - how do I find hospitals that are looking for Docs? Where can I find placement agencies that will do this for me?

Thanks in advance....


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Doc,

I assume you are not a Saudi so you will need to find work in a hospital. Saudi hospitals advertise in much the same way as any other hospital around the world for its doctors so get onto the various job sites and agencies and I am sure you will quickly find some work there.


Deep Thinker 3 years ago

Hi Lean Man,

Two weeks after I declined the offer, the company came back with an option to also apply for dubai residency as a contingency in case of any unforeseen issues with saudi visa stamping until they apply for iqama based visa. In this case I may also be able to open a bank account in Dubai. It's obvious that the company is facing trouble getting talent to help them with a national level project in saudi.

Although it certainly gives some contingency, but I am still unsure whether to proceed or not. They have got some quotas for other countries but Canada and they expect to get canadian quota in 8-9 months.

Regards,


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Deep Thinker

They obviously want you and are willing to help ensure that you are happy and secure in your work. As I have said before, I have known people that have worked long term on a Saudi Business visas with regular renewals without problems and of course others (including myself) who have had nothing but problems with them. That being said even when I had problems all of my expenses were fully covered by my employers so I had extended holidays back home without having to worry about flights etc.. If you have a base you can go to in Dubai then you will not have far to travel while things are sorted out.

Good luck; personally if the salary is worth it I would take the risk - it is also worth it just to see how people work in other parts of the world. I hope that they sort you out a work visa quickly.


Deep Thinker 3 years ago

Hi LeanMan,

Thanks a bunch for responding to my message. I have finally accepted the offer. The company will be covering all expenses for any unforeseen issues related to the visa. Also they will process my family visa along with my visa so they will stay with me from start. One caveat which I still need to resolve is getting my child admitted to a good school. I understand a valid Iqama is a requirement there but I heard schools are quite relaxed on this condition as along as sponsored company provides all required reference letters.

Also no bank account could be an issue but I think I may be able to open a bank account in Dubai after I get the residency visa.

Thanks!


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Deep Thinker

Good luck with your new position; keep us posted as to how you get on.


usman 3 years ago

hi i want a saudi visa for AUTOCAD Operator


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Usman; you need to find a job with a reputable company that can sponsor you in Saudi Arabia, you can't just pick up a saudi visa in the street!


xxx 3 years ago

As i am writing this now, my temporary work visa expires after 5 days from now and Iv not heard anything from my company. Whats gonna happen to employee if in case the company has not been able to process my Iqama?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi XXX, if your visa expires then you will be an illegal and your sponsor should be responsible for your repatriation and any fines if the reason for your visa expiring is his. However what usually happens is that sponsors just continue to keep their employees working until they are caught by the police or have other problems.

Talk to your sponsor and find out from them what is going on; maybe your Iqama is being processed. If you get only excuses talk to your embassy.


mattspatial 3 years ago

Hi LeanMan,

Are family members allowed to work in KSA? I have a job contract and will be coming to Riyadh but not sure whether my wife can also work.

Regards,

Matt


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Matt

You can only work for your sponsor in Saudi Arabia and as you will be their sponsor they will not be able to work for any other employer in KSA.

The only exception to this is that the government has relaxed the rules for private and international schools to hire expat wives as teachers as otherwise there would not be enough teachers in the country to run these schools. However like anything in Saudi it could change tomorrow.

Officially if your wife or child wants to work they would have to transfer their sponsorship from you to their new employer and this could cause problems. I have been contacted many times by wives who have been refused holidays at the same time as their husband, been made to move to other cities or even forced to move into female only accommodation. Also women who have had to remain employed in the kingdom alone when husbands have been sent back home. So beware having your wife transfer sponsorship away from you!


king1 3 years ago

is it possible to seek severals employer at thesame time?for more option..tnx


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

It would be possible to try to get as many jobs as you like but you will only be able to enter the kingdom on one visa for one sponsor.


Uni1 3 years ago

Is date of arrival in KSA not paid by the employer?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Uni1, I am not sure what you are asking, but all of your Saudi Visa expenses should be paid for by your sponsor and you should not be having to pay anything out of your own pocket.


AG23 3 years ago from Bangalore, India

Hello Leanman,

My employer is in a hurry and has asked me to enter on a visit visa and also says that in the meantime the work visa process will go on. Is it good to accept this and enter on a visit visa. How will the salary and payment be done in this case as i read somewhere that if we are to receive any income, the business visa does not work. Please advice.


Sugeetha 3 years ago

Hai sir, I came in saudi arabia 4 months ago in a company labour visa (2year contract). supervisors mentally torture me,so I want go for exit.

I am an indian female....please tell me the needful information


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi AG23,

Many people start working on a business visa and this does not usually cause many problems. You may have to have your salary paid into your account in your home country although it is possible to cash a cheque using your passport as id, but your employer will likely want to hold your passport!


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 3 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Sugeetha,

Contact your embassy for help and talk to your fellow workers for help. You do not have to put up with poor treatment.


ZeeGee 2 years ago

Hi there! Thanks a lot for that useful information! Just one question regarding the final exit. I went on a final exit on October this year (2 months back) and came back with a new Labor visa (company said we will transfer it to your profession in 2 weeks). I have been working here for 6 weeks now but the company is not providing me what they promised i.e. Iqama with correct profession and family visa. So i have decided to resign and go back on final exit again. So my question is that if i leave in a months time, will i be able to come back on a new visa given my circumstances, or is it better to come on a business visa for the first 3 months?

Thanks!


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi ZeeGee

Be aware that the company may attempt to recoup its recruitment costs including flights before it allows you to leave if you are leaving so quickly after arriving! I am sure that they are holding your passport so you will have a huge problem with just resigning and leaving!

If they do allow you to just leave then there is no problem with returning on a new visa.


elarrazabal 2 years ago

One question I will be doing one last interview in KSA for this company. Considering I am unemployed in order to speed up the visa application process the headhunter has asked me to get a letter from a spanish company saying I work for them when I don´t. I have spoken with a couple of friends and they refuse to write this letter in the company's name due possible legal implications

Are there any other options to get a visa for this job interview? Should I leave the responsability to the company or the headhunter?

Thanks a lot for your help,

Enrique


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

You need the letter for your business visa which is how they will get you into the country. A business visa should be for one company doing business with another however it is usually misused in the manner you are discussing above. If you don't have a company that will provide you with a letter just "create" your own company and write your own letter.

Become "xyz consulting" and have your "company secretary" (this could be your mother, brother, pet dog, etc..) write the introduction letter for you. The headhunter will be able to tell you exactly what to put in the letter. I have done this in the past as well as submitting paperwork for a business visa without any letter at all without any problems.


Hershey 2 years ago

Is there a need of exit clearance if you have a dependent or visit visa


karen 2 years ago

hello ...can you help on this...my friend is a filipina and already in dubai having a tourist visa..then one of her friend help her to find a job , but unfortunately it is in saudi arabia . she will be a domestic helper of one of the residents there ...what are the steps to do so she can go to saudi as a legal worker tnx


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hershy; In most cases those visas are entry and exit.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Karen,

The employer/sponsor will provide here with a visa number. She then needs to go to the Saudi Embassy and complete all of the paperwork for her work visa (just check the website for the embassy). This can be done either from Dubai if she will be there long enough to complete it or from the Philippines.


mrs umer 2 years ago

sir can a married woman get visa for saudi arabia with her child?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Mrs Umer,

You can get a dependent (family) visa allowing your child to enter, however you will need the permission of the child's father or male guardian.


zie 2 years ago

Sir my husband already in jeddah for 2 months with business visa. The problem is how can I visiting him since he cant write to me invitation letter ( no iqama, his company based in dubai not saudi)


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Zie,

He cannot sponsor you to visit while he is on a business visa. If his sponsor is able and willing they could issue you with a visa allowing you to join your husband.


tea 2 years ago

Hi my husband is on a 90 day working visa. If he gets no iqama can heexit the country withaut his employers permition or will? He is working near jeddah. Please advise me as I am really worried. T


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Tea, as long as the initial visa is an entry / exit visa which it should be then he will be able to exit within those 90days.


raj 2 years ago

even if have an opportunity to earn millions of dollars , I will not go and live in Saudi Arabia .


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Raj,

Glad to hear you have such commitment. However many of the people that go to work in Saudi Arabia are escaping poverty and will take any work that comes there way no matter how much the risk. This is why the People in Saudi Arabia can get away with exploiting them and treating them so poorly.


Umar 2 years ago

Hi Lean,

How are you doing?

I born and brought up in KSA and lived there for 18 years then moved to UK.

I really enjoyed reading all of it.

I been to KSA last year when my dad sponsored me for family visa, i stayed there for 3 weeks. This year i am planning to visit them again, i was wondering if my brother can sponsor me for family visa? He is a doctor.

Thanks


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Umar,

I should think that your brother will be able to sponsor you on a family visa, nothing to lose from trying.


Umar 2 years ago

Hi Lean,

Thanks for your reply.

I one more question on ID card (iqama). My dad has been living there for over 40 years now, he is 65 years old no longer working, his iqama is going to expire in Aug this year. His company has asked him to do the transfer as they no longer need him.

Can my brother bring him under his sponsorship or can son become a kafeel of his father in saudi arabia? I heard that its 50/50 and it all depends on ministry.

Thanks


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Umar

In theory he should be able to, especially after being there so long. However you never know how the officials in Saudi will behave. I have had problems with gaining family visas in the past and had to pay a bribe (more like blackmail) before they would process the paperwork. So be careful.


Umar 2 years ago

Many thanks for your advise.

Could you also please advise on finding IT jobs in KSA? I live in UK and found it very hard to get a jobs in KSA even they can't be bothered to reply, may be its their mentality . In UK, hr department at lease let you know about the outcome of your application.

I am earning decent wages in UK but like to work in KSA for a decent company, my observation is that there are already too many south asians living in KSA who are willing to work on low wages so why companies want to hire someone from overseas unless there is really a shortage of certain skills.

I think doctors and Engineers are in high demand.


imran 2 years ago

Sir I need a visa for Saudi Arabia and I m work in Saudi Arabia


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Umar,

Wages offered are very much affected by the nationality of the applicant so an Indian IT graduate would likely be offered a significantly lower salary than the equivalent from the UK.. As such many companies do recruit from the cheaper countries unless they are looking for specific skills and experience or are just trying to show off that they have more westerners!

All you can do is just apply to every job that you like the look of and make sure that your resume is as tailored as possible to maximize your chances of being selected. Very best of luck.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Imran

You start applying for jobs in Saudi Arabia - don't fall for any scams where you have to buy a visa for Saudi Arabia and then have to find work when you get there. This is illegal and many people find themselves turned back at the airport or deported soon after they arrive.


Fazal laiq 2 years ago

Hello sir....

I am from india I have a degree in electrical engineering recently I gave an interview for the post of electrical engineer for MARINE FORCE CO. contractor company of MODA (ministry of defence & aviation) saudi Arabia but the problem is that they issue a helper (labour) visa instead of engineer visa is it safe to work in labour visa as an engineer. ......please suggest me what to do......if possible give information about the company.

I am waiting for your response.

My mail.id is fazallaiq88@gmail.com


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Fazal,

Many companies will have used their quotas for various visas or they will want to employ a foreigner in an area in which they are not allowed so they will issue the person with a visa with the wrong description. The problem is that you may end up being treated very differently and your entitlements can be very different if you are a laborer rather than an engineer. That being said I have met company general managers who have visas that say they are engineers and such like. My visa has never reflected the jobs within which I have worked.

If you can contact other people that work within the company from your country and see how they are treated; you can use linkedin to find them.


Sansoona 2 years ago

Hello sir,

I have been living in KSA for almost 2 years now under a family visit visa. I have to renew the visa every 3 months by leaving the country, so I travel to dammam by plane for cheaper flight and then take a bus to Bahrain to start the renewing process and then wait in Bahrain for the next bus ride to KSA. Last time we renewed the visa, we took a taxi and the driver happens to know the process well. We were able to do the process without having to get into Bahrain ...just going through some windows and stuff on the border. Are you familiar with that? If so, can you please tell me what the steps are because it was our first time and we forgot where to go and what to do and we want to go with a relative this time.

Waiting your reply...thank you!!


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Sansoona,

I have had business visas stamped monthly without having to leave Saudi, but once the company failed to stamp it and I had to be smuggled out of the country with a full family that had also overstayed due to the company's failures. I am not sure if the stamping was done officially or if it was done by a friend of the government relations officer as many others I know were having to leave regularly to Bahrain and Dubai. Certainly to renew my visa I had to leave the country.


raj 2 years ago

hello sir am raj come from india thru agent am pay for work visa saudi 8000 rial in india then am come thear It happen my owner change many driver last five year.now am drive his car for last 2 month his pay me only 12 days slry only every saudi thinking other country pepple are dog sry sir i have no words for explain so many prob


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Raj,

You should never pay for a visa to work in Saudi Arabia! There are many out there that will take advantage of people. Go to the labor court or ask your embassy for advice and help.


jo 2 years ago

hi sir i got British nationality im in Saudi now got 6 moths business visa . someone told me i can change my current visa to iqama if i can find the right person to do the work for me . any advice for me plz?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Jo,

You can do anything in Saudi as long as you know the right people and have the money to pay the "incentives". However the official route to get an iqama is to have a work visa through your sponsor (employer). You cannot just swap a business visa for an Iqama.

Beware of doing anything that is not strictly legal, especially if you are having to hand over large sums of money. I get messages from people that "buy" visas and iqamas and then find themselves deported straight after for working for someone other than their sponsor and other issues. Saudi is clamping down on the illegal workers in the kingdom and that means you could easily find yourself sent home or otherwise exploited if you do not have an official iqama and work for your sponsor.


Sunshine 2 years ago

Hello LeanMan,

Thanks for the information. I recently completed my MA in TESOL and I started applying for jobs in Saudi....I haven't heard from any of the jobs yet but I was wondering if my 3 children and husband will also be granted a visa? I know men can easily get visas for their wives and children but can wives also do that? I also heard that anything is possible in Saudi but what is the likelyhood of getting my family to move with me at the same time?

My husband does not have a degree so he cannot apply for a job there. He has his own business now....if he get to come with me is he allowed to a business there?

Thanks much!


Saleem 2 years ago

We have a Manager age above 60 Years how to apply business Visit visa and what are the requirement

Dubai - UAE


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Sunshine

Yes you can bring your husband and children with you on a family visa. There should not be a problem with that.

Officially your husband cannot work as he is only allowed to work for his sponsor and you will be his sponsor. However it is not impossible to work illegally and there are many businesses that he could run from home without it being a problem. However if he took a job in Saudi and was sponsored by his employer you could end up with problems; I have emails from couples whose employers have transferred them to different cities and separated them from partners. Also a female teacher who has been forced to live on a single sex female compound even though she has a husband who is now unable to be with her. Just think carefully.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Go to the Saudi embassy website, the link is in the article. That will give you all the information you need.


Sunshine 2 years ago

Thanks for the quick response. It's a scary move to make specially with three little kids it would be tough to move back if things don't work out.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Sunshine, Just remember that you need the permission of your sponsor before you can leave. Without a Saudi exit visa you will not be allowed to depart. Also as a woman you cannot travel without the permission of your husband or your sponsor.


Leen33 2 years ago

Hi LeanMan,

I like your profile pic, you seem like a really cool helpful guy!

Would you by any chance know or confirm if..... I marry in KSA as a non saudi to a non saudi... Do i have to transfer my sponsor onto the husband

:(

I mean i have my own sponsor I was told i dont have to and then i got told i do.

??


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Leen33

You can stay with your current sponsor, that is not a problem... Remember that is you do transfer sponsorship to your husband you will not be able to legally work as you can only work for your sponsor. But staying under your employees sponsorship does mean that you do what they say and that means if they decide to move you to another location or refuse you holidays there is little you can do about it.


Leen33 2 years ago

Yes, that is why i do not want to transfer, i will not be able to work legally etc. Thanks.

Now I have to get a letter of no objection or power of attorney from my father in UK to give me permission to marry. Apparently, I have to get it translated and stamped by UK foreign office and saudi embassy. I am 30 odd but i still need written permission. Have you heard of this before?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Leen33

You are in Saudi. You need your father's/Sponsor's/Husband's permission before you do anything!


Tbouzidi 2 years ago

Hi,

i have a work visa not yet expired, and i haven't Iqama, i need to leave the country, is it possible or i wait the exist from th employer ?

Thanks


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Tbouzidi as long as your visa says that it is an entry/exit visa then you can leave. I have known several people leave within their first month in Saudi.


aafi 2 years ago

sir kindly tell me is it possible to issue a working visa for 50+ male person?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi aafi

The answer is yes.


apaj 2 years ago

quick one for you... I'm in Saudi on business and I've been offered a job with a company out here is it possible to change my business visa to a work visa without having to go back to England and applying again?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Apaj

Anything is possible if you know the right people, however the usual route is to go back to your home country to process the visa.


khanhas 2 years ago

Hello Lean man. Hope this will grab your kind attention. Need some advice on changing my employment now in K.S.A, from the current employer who brought me in here on a business work visa,obviously against our agreement during interview. Now they show real bossism and demand me to wait until mid next year to get me in a position I can bring in my family. I haven't signed a appointment order since I came in, and seriously thinking about finding a new employer. Do you think I am inviting trouble for me with this way of dealing with it? waiting for your kind advice...


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 2 years ago from At the Gemba Author

As you are only on a business visa you are not officially employed by anyone in Saudi so you can take this opportunity to network and find a new sponsor to employ you. I did this myself after spending time with one employer who kept promising to get a work visa but kept failing to deliver; I ended up working for a client on a much better salary.

With a business visa you can leave Saudi at any time as long as your passport is in your hands.

Once you are home you can then process the visa from your new sponsor.


khanhas 2 years ago

That is great Master. Thanks a lot!

Amjad Khan


Trefla Steriade 24 months ago

Hello Lean Man,

I have arrived in KSA last week with a Bussines Visa which has a validity of 180 days , multiple entries, and duration of stay of 90 days. It is required for this visa to be stamped every month or to be stamped after 90 days? And where do I have to stamp it?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 24 months ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Trefla,

Speak to your sponsor and ask them for the specific requirements of your visa as they will know and are of course responsible for you during your stay.


Trefla Steriade 24 months ago

Thank you for your response Lean Man.

I have to ask you another thing: the visa was issued from the embassy in my home contry on 26.11.2014 and I arrived in KSA 0n 4.12.2014. The 90 day period duration of stay starts from 26.11 or from 4.12?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 24 months ago from At the Gemba Author

90 days from entry so 4.12.


Trefla Steriade 24 months ago

Thank you for your response.


Al-hadzrie 24 months ago

how many days waiting for processing by agency for working visa stamping?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 24 months ago from At the Gemba Author

You will have to ask the agency what time they will take.


Mohammed 23 months ago

hi Leanman,

there are many victims like Your friend, i am getting offers from India for Saudi Arabia, I would prefer Dubai, Qatar or Oman in the middleeast who are bit cultured, atleast they would not say, "we don't want u to shit in our country". Thanks for your post god Bless you.


PCnair 23 months ago

HI Mr. LeanMan...

Our company bringing some workers under work visit visa from India to KSA next week. It is Multiple visa, validity 90 days and Duration of stay is 30 days and we are planning to keep them for 3 months. It is understood that we have to do the exit/re-entry before each 30 days. My doubt is whether we can do the visa extension without going to nearest country for exit/re-entry every 30 days? Also kindly let me know if you have any agent/travel agent in KSA? Please help by giving your comments.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 23 months ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi PCnair,

You are talking about a business visa rather than a work visa by the sounds of it. After 30 days the people should enter and return. However if you talk to the people that approved your visa and ask you may be able to find a way to have those visas stamped without exit. I know that in the past I have had similar visas stamped without exit.


Maria 23 months ago

Hi Tony!/Leanman! I find your site very interesting! That experience you had in that Saudi nightmare was stressful just by reading it. I imagine how the family felt during those times. Good thing you found that guy. Anyways I will be working in KSA soon as a nurse and I already have my visa. However, the date in my visa was way back 02/12/14 and the validity is 90D. Would you know if I can still use this visa or do I have to get a new one? Your reply would be very much appreciated. Thank you!


PCnair 23 months ago

Thank you Mr. LeanMan. I will try with the Jawazat for the renewal of Work Visit Visa without exit/re-entry. Anyway thank you so much for your commends and suggestions...


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 23 months ago from At the Gemba Author

Check with your sponsor Maria regarding your visa dates as they can be quite confusing. Good luck there in Saudi.


nick 23 months ago

Hi Mr. LeanMan

I have recived my work visa and it's mention validity is 90days and duration of stay 90days.. and i got some problem with my passport ECNR and my visa validity is over so i can not enter saudi arab? Please do let me know..

Regards

Nick


nick 23 months ago

Hi Mr. LeanMan

I have recived my work visa and it's mention validity is 90days and duration of stay 90days.. and i got some problem with my passport ECNR and my visa validity is over so i can not enter saudi arab? Please do let me know..

Regards

Nick


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 23 months ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Nick

All you can do is get in touch with your Saudi sponsor and get the visa issue sorted out with them.


jim 18 months ago

what about government issued visit visa's?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 18 months ago from At the Gemba Author

All visas to Saudi are issued by the Government Jim, what is your specific question?


Cman 14 months ago

On a work visa to work in Saudi Arabia states you have to have updated shot records, physical from your doctor, police records. None of this was done. Is my visa legal that was given to me from my employer ?


Gman 14 months ago

On a work visa to work in Saudi Arabia states you have to have updated shot records, police reports, and a full medical physical from your doctor or the company doctor. None of this was done. Is my visa legal ?This visa was provided by the company I work for.


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 14 months ago from At the Gemba Author

Cman, as with a lot of things in Saudi Arabia it is not what you know but who you know and often short cuts are taken for many things. The chances are that your visa is perfectly legal but you can check through the ministry of foreign affairs as they have a page on which you can check the status of your Iqama - www.mofa.gov.sa


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 14 months ago from At the Gemba Author

You can check the status of your Saudi Iqama by going to the ministry of foreign affairs website: www.mofa.gov.sa


chuck 12 months ago

Hi,

My company wants me to pay for my working visa (as they say) for the sum of 6600SAR is it really necessary?

Hoping for your reply.

Thanks,

Chuck


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 12 months ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Chuck

It is the responsibility of the company to pay all recruitment and visa expenses... Do you really want to work with a company that is asking you to pay your own? Can they afford to pay your wages? Will they pay your wages and all of your other benefits?


Chris 11 months ago

Hi,

If a person has a business visa with 90 days validity (Multiple Entry - 30 Days Stay). Does that mean he has to leave Saudi Arabia at the end of 30 Days and Come back again into the country. Or is there another alternative process or step that can be done to avoid traveling out of the country.

Regards,

Chris


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 11 months ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Chris,

Talk with your sponsor. many can get the visa stamped every 30 days for you without you having to leave the country. That being said however I have been ordered to leave Saudi when the visa is taken for stamping despite still having time left on the visa. This has happened on more than one occasion and caused me to quit my first job there as you cannot work as a consultant if you don't know when you are going to be there and when you are going to be forced to leave.


Ayaz Akhter 6 months ago

Dear Sir,

i have a question regarding my visa. I received a work visa from my sponsor in saudi arabia to work for him which consist of 90 days, I have passed almost 1 and a half month in saudia but i want to travel back to my country (Pakistan) for some family reasons is it possible to do so? and i dont have a akama (resident card or permit ) yet?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 months ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Ayaz,

Your visa will likely be a entry/exit visa if you check. As long as it allows you to exit then you can leave; likely at your own expense. That is of course if you have your passport or if your sponsor will release it.


faiza 6 months ago

My cousin got a job opportunity in Riyadh. He is electrical engineer having 8 years of experience in Pakistan. All his documents have been sent by company. The problem is that he is unable to get protector certificate due to a plastic surgery scar on his neck. He was burned 12 years ago in an accident and had a plastic surgery thereafter. When he go gor GCC medical examination, Dr. said to my cousin that if employer gives him NOC (no-objection certificate) then he will be allowed to go Saudi Arabia. is it still possible for my cousin to go abroad?


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 months ago from At the Gemba Author

I have no idea about the process for medicals; it is best that he speaks directly with his Saudi sponsor/employer to sort out the issue with his visa.


Cubber Cat 4 weeks ago

First , thank you and good job this is all quite informative and helpful. After reading all this I feel like I have an idea of what to expect. I am a female sports teacher of African descent. I have been offered a job as a swimming instructor by a Saudi leisure company, they say they will pay for the air ticket, and visa fee but medical will be on me...They also said they cannot offer a work permit at the moment and will instead offer a business visa(I am so hoping that this does not mean that my visa will be indicated labor but professional as this is skilled labor). I now know that with this visa I cannot get a phone, I am paid in cash and I cannot send money. How then does one survive? keep 3 months salary in cash in the house, is internet easily available? I guess I am just looking for someone to tell me that all will be well. Who can I complain to in case of a delay in salary, or medical insurance cover? Thanks again


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 weeks ago from At the Gemba Author

Hi Cubber

If you are there on a business visa you have no protection at all regarding your wages etc. You can however still get a phone and send wages as many places will still do so even if you only have a business visa, they certainly did for me anyway. When a Saudi company recruits they are responsible for all of the costs including your medical, however they are not recruiting you as in theory you are coming there to do business with them, not to work for them! More often than not, companies will issue business visas when they have issues getting work visas, or if they only want someone for a few months; so beware.

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