Jobs in Saudi Arabia demand more than the Saudi work permit, Saudi visa and just the obvious Saudi CV and Saudi cover letter writing and translation – they require thorough preparation for successful passing of Saudi job interview. You should be prepared to take Saudi Arabia as it is with all of its difficulties, contradictions and challenges. You will be confronted with problems that in all possibility did not even cross your mind when you started the Saudi job search.
Do not take too lightly the influence the Saudi visa can have on the outcome of your adventure! Think, for example, you will experience the unfamiliar immigration rules and practices, strange job application procedures, bizarre job selection trends and weird management culture.
Most visits to Saudi Arabia are trouble-free but you should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers like restaurants, hotels, clubs and shopping areas.
In recent years, the Saudi authorities have carried out a number of investigations and operations against terrorist networks.
You should exercise a high level of security awareness and monitor local news broadcasts and consular messages. Ensure that your travel documents and visas are current, valid and secured in a safe place. Carry a photocopy of your travel documents in lieu of the originals. Maintain a low profile, vary times and routes of travel, and exercise caution while driving. Making local contacts quickly and seeking support from other expatriates will greatly increase your comfort and safety.
Passport and Saudi Visa
All nationals require a passport valid for a minimum of six months prior to the expiration date. Often a sponsor will hold a visitor’s passport. In these cases, you will receive a receipt. Such a receipt will be satisfactory where a transaction may require a passport.
Passports bearing Israeli, Egyptian or Jordanian border stamps may cause some problems. The Saudi government bans Israeli nationals from entering the country.
A person in Saudi Arabia on a visit visa may not take up employment, for which he or she must have a work permit and a residence visa.
Citizens of the following countries can obtain visitor visas upon arrival at a port of entry for a fee of SAR 8:
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, U.S.A., Vatican.
All other nationals need advance visas, which can be obtained through Saudi Arabia Airways offices as the airline has an online facility to process the visa through the Ministry of Interior. The process can take up to a week and may require a fee.
Visit visas are valid for 30 days within 90 days of issue and one entry.
A Saudi individual, a company or a resident foreigner (who is a relative of the visitor) while is in Saudi Arabia must sponsor a visit to Saudi Arabia.
Requirements for an Entry Visa in Saudi Arabia:
To obtain a visit visa for a visitor, a Saudi sponsor or company will require:
- Visa application and security form completed by the sponsor
- Copy of the visitor’s passport
- Copy of the sponsor’s signature as registered for business purposes
- Copy of the letter of invitation stating the purpose of the visit from a sponsor to a visitor.
Usually, the sponsor of a relative is expected to be earning at least SAR 450 per month if s/he works for the government and at least SAR 650 if s/he works in the private sector.
Normally a visitor goes to a Saudi Arabia embassy to have a visa processed and passport stamped before travelling to Saudi Arabia. However, a Saudi Arabia sponsor can use a faxed copy of the visitor’s passport to obtain a visa in Saudi Arabia. The sponsor then faxes a copy of the visa to the visitor (to enable him to travel to Saudi Arabia) and meets him at the airport with the original visa. The sponsor deposits the visa papers at a special counter in the arrival hall and the visitor must pick these up at a similar counter inside the immigration area in order to complete entry formalities.
Requirements for obtaining an Entry Visa for US nationals through the Saudi Arabia Embassy:
- Valid passport with a minimum of six (6) months prior to the expiration date.
- Two (2) completed the current visa application forms.
- Two (2) photographs.
- Fee: U.S. passport $50.00 for single entry and $175.00 for multiple entries. Contact your home country Embassy for other nationalities.
- Business Visitors require a letter from a firm requesting the issuance of a visa and guaranteeing the applicant while in Saudi Arabia.
- Visitors of Friends and Relatives require Holding No Objection Certificates obtained by relatives/friends in Saudi Arabia.
- Persons Going For Employment:
- Government Contract: a copy of the Letter of Appointment from Saudi Arabia.
- Private Sector: Work Permit issued by the General Department of Immigration Affairs in Saudi Arabia. (If a spouse or family members are accompanying the applicant, a Work permit, No Objection Certificate or Letter of Appointment must indicate that.)
Passports sent by mail should include a pre-paid, self-addressed envelope (registered mail) for return.
Cash, money order or company check should pay fees. PERSONAL CHECKS ARE NOT ACCEPTED.
Contact the Consulate or Embassy of Saudi Arabia in your home country for further information about Saudi Arabia visa
Up to two one-month visa extensions are possible. To do this, you need to make an application to Immigration before the existing visa expires.
Once the visa has expired, a visitor who overstays his or her visa will be required to pay a large fine (SAR 10 per day). Until you pay the fine, you will not get permission to leave.
Travellers who leave Saudi Arabia without completing Saudi exit procedures may also be required to pay large fines and/or be imprisoned if they return and attempt to depart from Saudi Arabia.
Vaccination certificates are not required. However, travellers arriving from areas infected by cholera or yellow fever may need proof of inoculation.
Other Saudi Visa Info
To be successful in your Saudi job search and get the job you want, you need to prepare a Saudi cover letter and Saudi CV which you must email instantly to the prospective employers selected during a job search in Saudi Arabia.
When you receive an invitation to the Saudi job interview, you may apply for a Saudi visa and Saudi work visa/permit. Then prepare yourself for a job interview and take a look at the Saudi dress code because how you dress is one of the most important attributes in not being hired for available jobs.
Check the job interview dos & don’ts, job interview tips and other job search skills pages.
In addition, on the international info, job search, visa, work permit, cover letter, CV & resume, job interview and dress code pages you will find many useful tips for overseas job seekers.
Good luck with your Saudi visa.