[Full Guide] How To Get Saudi Arabia Work Visa In 2023

The discussion today is on How to Get Saudi Arabia Work Visa. Saudi Arabia is a viable country to work in considering the healthy economy and job opportunities available.

It is therefore important to know how to get work visas and residency permits for employees that will be relocating to Saudi Arabia for work purposes. To get all the tidbits, including information regarding the application process and requirements needed for a Saudi Arabian Work visa, ensure you read through to the end.

How To Get Saudi Arabia Work Visa (Step By Step Guide)

A Saudi Work Visa allows foreign nationals to stay in Saudi Arabia for 3 months, on a single-entry visa. However, you must have a work contract along with other various requirements before you are eligible to apply.

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Also, you need a resident permit (Iqama) to work in Saudi Arabia, which allows you to work for a specific amount of time (up to 2 years) after which it will need to be renewed by your employer. The Saudi Arabia employment visa is issued to applicants that have already been offered employment.

Once you’ve obtained your work visa and traveled down to Saudi Arabia to resume work, your employer must within 90 days of your arrival apply for a residence permit, which also includes a work permit.

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The residence permit is the standard means of identification in Saudi Arabia for foreign nationals, without it you will not be allowed to undertake several tasks such as opening a bank account.

Importantly, you have to carry your Iqama with you at all times regardless of wherever you go. If you fail to present your card when requested, you could be fined if not produced.

How You Can Apply For Saudi Arabia Business Visa

Saudi Arabia work permit
Saudi Arabia work permit

There are processes you need to follow to obtain your Saudi Arabia Work Visa. We have outlined and compiled the step-by-step guide you can follow through on the visa application process. Importantly, the sponsoring employer must begin the work visa application process. The process includes:

Step 1: The sponsoring employer must be registered with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior.

Step 2: The Ministry will open an immigration file containing information regarding all of the employer’s expatriate workers.

Step 3: The sponsoring employer will apply for a work visa with the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Labor.

Step 4: Once the application is approved, the Ministry of Labor will inform the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry of Foreign affairs within two weeks will issue a Visa Authorization Number.

Step 5: Employee(s) will have to submit their employment visa application to the Saudi Arabian embassy in their home country along with the required documents.

Step 6: The embassy will issue the visa within one to three weeks once approved. The employee can then travel to Saudi Arabia.

Step 7: Once the employee arrives in Saudi Arabia, he/she must apply for Iqama through the Ministry of Labor.

Step 8: Once the approved application is forwarded to the Ministry of Interior through the Ministry of Labor, the residency permit will be issued through the Directorate General for Passports.

The visa application process for an employee is spelled out below.

Step 1 – Obtain your Job/Employment Offer

Foremost, before you apply, ensure you already obtain your job/employment offer from your employer.

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Step 2 – Complete Visa Application Form

You need to complete the visa application form accurately with the right information and attach your passport photograph.

You can as well download the form from the official website. Fill your application, and signed because incomplete applications are will not be accepted.

Step 3 – Passport Photograph Requirement

Affix your passport size photograph. Ensure the photograph meets the specifications outlined.

Step 4 – Gather all Required Documents

Gather all the required and supporting documents needed to process your visa application.

Step 5 – Submit all Required Documents

Once all documentation has been gotten, you are to submit your application along with all documents at the VFS Saudi Arabia Visa Application Centre in your home country.

Step 6 – Wait and Collect your Approved Visa

Once you have submitted your application form including all supporting documents and fees paid. You will have to wait until the process is over and your approved visa is sent to you via courier service or you can pick it up directly at the Saudi Arabia Embassy/Consulate/VFS Centre

How Much Does A Saudi Work Visa And Work Permit Cost?

Furthering our discourse on How to Get a Saudi Arabia Work Visa is to find out the cost of the visa. For a single-entry visa, the cost is $54, for a multiple-entry visa, the cost is $134.

For your resident permit, your employer should cover the cost. Plus, the total fee of the permit is dependent upon the percentage of Saudi nationals that your company employs.

So, if your company has more than 50% Saudi national employees, the overall feel will be SAR 7,200. This comprises SAR 750 for the Iqama, SAR 6,000 for the work permit, and SAR 450 for insurance.

If the company has more than 50% expatriate workers, the fee to be paid will be SAR 8,400. This comprises a work permit fee of SAR 7,200. The price is been reviewed regularly by the government.

Requirements For Saudi Arabia Work Visa

If you want to obtain a Saudi Arabia Work Visa, you will need to have a sponsor in Saudi Arabia and the sponsoring employer is responsible for most of the application process.

However, the prospective employee will need to supply all the necessary documents. We will be listing out and discussing some of Saudi Arabia’s work visa requirements. These include:

  1. Visa Block Number. This is a document containing a specific number that is obtained from your prospective employer in Saudi Arabia. You will be required to provide this number when you apply for your work employment visa at the Saudi Arabia embassy in your home country.
  2. Passport/Travel documents that are at least 6 months validity and 2 clean pages.
  3. Introduction letter from Saudi Arabian Employer. This letter is issued if by a previous employer in Saudi Arabia, acting as a letter of recommendation and good standing. Original copy on their letter-headed paper signed by someone in a senior position must be submitted.
  4. Saudi Arabia Visa Application Form & Declaration. The application form can be downloaded from the Immigration official website. Also, the form is to be completed and signed. Affix passport size photographs to the form.
  5. Employment Contract from Saudi Arabia.
  6. A certified copy of your university qualification, which must be notarized by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission.
  7. A police report of any criminal record.
  8. Travel Proof to Saudi Arabia. You will be requested to submit evidence of travel proof given in the form of flight tickets directly to Saudi Arabia from your home country.

Changing Or Renewing Work Permits In Saudi Arabia

As earlier mentioned, your employer is responsible for the renewal of your Iqama. It is paramount for your employer to start this process early, as fines will be levied if you fail to renew it before your current permit expires.

Interestingly, the majority of the renewal process can be done online, although, in the case of medical examination, you will have to appear physically before your permit is issued.

In the case of transferring from one company to another in Saudi Arabia, you will be required to obtain a no-objection certificate from the employer you are planning to leave.

How Long Does It Take To Process Saudi Arabia Work Visa?

The process normally takes 1 to 3 weeks. However, due to certain circumstances, the processing time can be longer than that.

We recommend that you apply for the work visa early at least 3 months to the time of your travel schedule. Ensure your sponsoring employer also do the same so that you won’t face any issue with authorities when you arrive in the country.


We have come to the end of your discussion on How to Get a Saudi Arabia Work Visa. I believe you have learned all that you need to know regarding the process and requirements that will help you through the process.

More so, you must know that the process should be done very early before your scheduled departure date to avoid delay. Overall, ensure you always move around with your Iqama when you finally made it to the country otherwise you will be fined.