The employment visa

The employment visa is a visa that permits an expatriate to work in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the sponsorship of a Saudi Company or a Saudi citizen. This visa takes from 2 weeks to 2 months to obtain from the embassy, if all documents are secured prior to applying. However, it can take more than a month to obtain all the required documents.  The documents include a medical checkup, a police clearance report and attestation of all degrees and certificates.  This visa must be obtained from the country of citizenship and is valid for 3 months. 

The Iqama

An iqama is a residence permit issued to those expatriates who arrive in Saudi Arabia on an employment visa. The Iqama is valid for a period of 1-2 years. This is an essential document and may be requested at banks, hospitals, and several other places. It provides an expatriate with legal residence permit for Saudi Arabia, for the period of its validity.

It must be noted that Saudi Embassies across the world deal only with registered visa agents and not directly with individuals. The authorized visa agency can submit the visa application on behalf of individuals. Therefore, it is imperative to go through a registered agent at the time of processing your visa. Further, it is also important to be aware that the visa process may be both time consuming and tedious. Therefore, prospective employees must be patient and thorough with their paperwork.

Based on our experience with various registered visa agencies, we have identified few agencies which have better turnaround time than others.   ICEAT would recommend one such agency to you. You will need to contact the agency as early as possible in order to process your visa.

A checklist provided in the following pages will provide you with a list of required documents that will help you in procuring the relevant documents for the visa application.