Northman & Sterling

Saudi Arabia Introduces the New Temporary Work Visa to Boost Short-Term Employment Opportunities

As Saudi Arabia powers forward with major initiatives like the NEOM business region and the Vision 2030 strategy, the demand for skilled short-term workers is on the rise. To meet this demand efficiently, Saudi Arabia has recently introduced a fresh work visa named the “Temporary Work Visa,” designed to replace the previous “Work Visit Visa.” This updated visa structure aims to simplify the process for businesses seeking to bring in foreign workers for short-term projects. The new arrangement should effectively facilitate employers in efficiently staffing their business operations.

The Vision 2030 strategy has spurred numerous projects across the country, intensifying the need for additional workers. In response to this trend, a variety of new visa options have emerged in the past couple of years. This is especially vital for projects like NEOM, which require substantial resources. The availability of these temporary visas plays a crucial role in meeting these high resourcing demands.

Work Visa Validity Period

The validity period of the Temporary Work Visa spans one year from its date of issuance. This visa allows foreign workers to engage in work within Saudi Arabia for a maximum duration of 90 days, with the potential for a 90-day extension. Notably, the visa permits multiple entries, granting employees the flexibility to enter and exit the country as needed during the 90-day timeframe.

Benefits of the Temporary Work Visa

The new visa brings several significant benefits. Firstly, it offers a much quicker and simpler application process compared to the previous Work Visit Visa. Obtaining a temporary work visa is immediate, and there’s no need for additional documents like attested certificates for the employee.

Moreover, this visa can be extended while the holder is already in the country, adding an extra layer of flexibility. Unlike the previous restrictions that were often placed on technical professionals like engineers, this new visa isn’t heavily limited to specific roles. Additionally, in contrast to the past, it’s not predominantly exclusive to male applicants.

Given that Saudi Arabia is currently undergoing remarkable growth and is a hub for some of the world’s largest projects, the visa’s advantages become even more apparent. It has the potential to promote increased mobility among multinational employers. This means that employees based outside of Saudi Arabia could explore working within the Kingdom before committing to a permanent move or relocation.

Eligibility Criteria for Obtaining a Temporary Work Visa

To apply for a Temporary Work Visa (submission via Qiwa is mandatory), the employer must fulfill these requirements:

  • The establishment should hold a valid Commercial Register (CR), except for activities not necessitating commercial registration.
  • The establishment’s status must be “Existing.”
  • A Nitiqat rating of medium green or higher is necessary for the establishment.
  • The establishment must have no unfavorable remarks regarding the Wage Protection System (WPS).
  • A sufficient visa issuance balance within the establishment is required.

Please note that applications from employers with expired pre-existing visas will be rejected.

For more details about the process to obtain a Temporary Work Visa in KSA, feel free to reach out to us.

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