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Obtaining a Working Visa for Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has a very lengthy and complicated entry process which will be described in summary form here and further details are always supplied when an individual decides to take up a an offer of employment in Saudi Arabia. On average you can expect to wait up to eight weeks for your application to be processed.

Summary of the General Visa Application Process for Saudi Arabia:

When you have been offered a job in Saudi Arabia your future employer will be responsible for obtaining your work visa authorization code.
Your employer or Recruitment company will then send you your employment contract along with booklets and information explaining the Visa application process to you and what they will require to process it for you.

Your employment pack should always include:

  • A¬†Medical Report for the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Canada or for whatever country you reside in.
  • The Embassy Authorization Memo
  • A Visa Application Form
  • Statement of Religion Form
  • Note about Police Clearance

The first thing you should do is go and see your doctor and get the medical exam completed as there will be lab results required that could take time and they all need to be returned within three months to be considered valid. Your doctor must also complete the official form. Then the form needs to be verified by the College of Physicians and Surgeons or by the equivalent authorizing body in your region. If posting the form to them you might also want to give them the address to send them to and the required postage costs so that they can then post it directly onto Saudi Arabia. The form will also specify all the medical tests that will be necessary.

Make sure your passport is valid and has two blank pages and you have signed it. If there are Israel stamps on your passport you will not be given a Visa to Saudi Arabia.

All original qualification certificates will have to be sent to your recruiter for verification.
You will need your high school diploma or your equivalent and all your documents must be legible in French or English. If you have lost anything you will need an official letter on headed paper with all your qualification details stated on it from the original awarding body along with a copy of the original certificate. You also need to send a letter from a previous employer from your country matching the details on your contract of employment.

Once you have got to this stage you will need to put together and send all the documentation required. It is best to keep copies of everything and send it by courier to be sure of its arrival and to save time.

Documents enclosed should include:

  • Results of mandatory medical tests and if any of them are not ready confirm you will fax and post them on at a later date.
  • The stamped Medical Report completed by your doctor and stamped by the Physician and Surgeons in your region or whatever is their equivalent.
  • The Employment contract which you will have signed
  • The signed Saudi Arabia Embassy Authorization note
  • A name change document if required
  • Your Passport
  • A completed visa application form and if you have opted to convert to Islam the conversion certificate.
  • Six color passport photographs
  • A Police Clearance Certificate dated within three months of the current date.
  • A letter of No Objection, you will also require a letter of release if you have ever worked somewhere else in Saudi Arabia.

After this provided everything is in order it will normally then take approximately ten days for your visa to be issued.
When your Visa is issued the Embassy in Saudi Arabia will stamp the inside of your passport and return it to your recruitment company. They will then subsequently apply for your airline tickets and in due course they will then courier them to you along with returning your original documents. You are now ready to travel.

Please note that visa procedures and requirements change and it is always good to check the latest ones at the Saudi Embassy Visa Section in the country where you live at the moment.