What are the key considerations while hiring an expat in Saudi?

When hiring an expatriate, there are many considerations, depending on the state of the company, the employee’s visa status and whether the employee is already in the Kingdom or would be relocating. Below we break down some of the key considerations companies should consider before hiring an expat.

Saudization level

Companies need to consider their current Saudization level. Are you in high or low compliance? If you hire an expatriate, how will this affect your current Saudization level? Companies must always remain compliant otherwise they may be subject to penalties for falling below the required Saudization ratios for their industry and company size.

Number of visas available

Companies are issued a number of visas on a block visa that they must use within a year. Before hiring a new expatriate, companies must ensure that they still have enough visas available to hire a new employee, otherwise their visa application may be rejected. This is also attached to their Saudization level and will determine whether they are able to obtain new visas.

Visa status of expat already in KSA

The visa status of the expat is crucial for having the visa application accepted. If the employee is already working in the Kingdom, they must have a visa with a transferable Iqama. Also under consideration is the number of times they have transferred their Iqama as there is a limit to the number of transfers allowed. The job title of the employee must also match the commercial registration of the receiving company and the employee must not have any violations on their Iqama.

Can the skill or experience be found from the local workforce?

For companies hiring expatriates, it can be preferable to see if they can find the required skills and experience required from the Saudi national workforce. As this is beneficial to their Saudization ratios and can provide many benefits with higher compliance.