Northman & Sterling

Exploring Visa Options for Relocating to Saudi Arabia: A Guide for Global Professionals

Relocating to Saudi Arabia for employment involves navigating through various visa options, each tailored to specific needs and circumstances. Saudi Arabia offers various types of visas catering to different purposes, and understanding these classifications is essential for a smooth relocation process. Here’s a guide to the different types of visas available for employees relocating to Saudi Arabia:

Work Visa

The most common visa for employees relocating to Saudi Arabia is the Work Visa. This visa is issued to foreign nationals who have secured employment in Saudi Arabia. To obtain a Work Visa, one must have a job offer from a Saudi employer, who will typically sponsor the visa and assist with the application process. The Work Visa is linked to the employment contract and is valid for the duration of the contract, subject to renewal.

Business Visa

This visa is suitable for those who are visiting Saudi Arabia for short-term business activities, such as attending meetings, conferences, or conducting business negotiations. While it does not permit the holder to take up employment in Saudi Arabia, it is an essential tool for professionals needing to engage in business activities in the country.

Temporary Work Visa

The Temporary Work Visa is designed for individuals who are employed in their home country but need to perform specific tasks in Saudi Arabia for a short period. This type of visa is ideal for projects or assignments that require a foreign national’s expertise but do not necessitate long-term relocation.

Government Visa

Employees who are being employed by a Saudi government agency or are involved in government-to-government contracts can apply for a Government Visa. This visa is generally processed quickly and has fewer restrictions compared to the standard Work Visa.

Family Visit Visa

For employees who wish to bring their family members to Saudi Arabia during their employment, the Family Visit Visa is available. This visa allows family members to stay in Saudi Arabia for a limited period but does not permit them to work.

Residence (Iqama) Visa

Once an employee has entered Saudi Arabia on a Work Visa, they are typically required to apply for an Iqama, or residence permit. The Iqama is a crucial document that legitimizes the employee’s residency and employment in the country. It also allows for easier access to services and can be used for travel within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

Exit/Re-entry Visa

For those residing in Saudi Arabia on a Work Visa or Iqama, an Exit/Re-entry Visa is necessary for leaving the country temporarily and returning. This is particularly important for employees who plan to travel back and forth between Saudi Arabia and their home country.

Compliance in Relocation to KSA

Understanding the specific requirements and purposes of each visa type is crucial for employees relocating to Saudi Arabia. Employees should work closely with their employers and consult with legal experts to ensure compliance with Saudi Arabian immigration laws and regulations. Additionally, staying informed about any changes in visa policies or procedures is essential for a hassle-free experience while working in Saudi Arabia.