Saudi Arabian visas can be complex, requiring expert knowledge to ensure compliance. With the right support you can visit Saudi, ensuring your visa is the correct one for your purpose of visit and is compliant. Below we break down every part of the Saudi visa, the types of visas, the requirements, what you need to apply and staying compliant.
Types of visas
There are many types of visas available for those visiting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is crucial to ensure that you are using the correct visa type for the purpose of your travel. Below we break down each visit visa type and what each is for.
- Work visa, also known as iqama, is for an individual who has been hired in the Kingdom and a visa has been issued for the individual to live and work in Saudi. The employment contract, academic documents, results of medical test must be presented in the Saudi embassy/consulate in the applicant’s home country or to the Saudi authorities by the sponsor to issue a visa number. This visa types gives you the ability to rent a house, open a bank account and attain a Saudi drivers license.
- Commercial visit visa, are used for visiting the Kingdom for commercial purposes such as negotiations, meetings, conferences, sales pitches and investment talks. No work can be done under this visa. This visa can be single or multiple entry and can be applied for 30, 60, 90 or 180 days.
- Business visit visas, also known as work visit visas, are valid for those visiting the country on a temporary work basis. The visa holder must have a sponsor from a business in Saudi Arabia who will issue them a Letter of Invitation (LOI) to use for their visa application. This visa allows persons to work onsite during their visit and can also be single or multiple entry and applied for 30, 60, 90 or 180 days.
- Female pre-approved visit visa, are for women visiting the Kingdom for business purposes. The female must apply to visit the Kingdom, be a minimum of 30 years old and hold a commercial job title. The length of stay and number of entries are subject to the decision of the Saudi consulate.
All travellers to Saudi Arabia must have a valid passport with at least 6 months left, two facing pages and the appropriate visa. Applicants with travel documents should not have any restrictions or conditions which prevents them from travelling.
Exceptions to the visa requirements are those who are GCC nationals, passengers transiting in the Kingdom with valid onward or return documentation within 18 hours with no further stops in Saudi (certain nationalities are not eligible) and those with landing and re-entry permits issued by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For the commercial and business (work) visit visa, the documents required for application are:
- Completed application form (can be provided by Proven)
- Letter of Invitation (LOI) from sponsoring company (can be provided by Proven) and certified by the Chamber of Commerce or a copy of pre-approval for commercial visit visa issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saudi Arabia (refer to the Saudi mission as per point of arrival)
- Original and copy of passport
- Original and copy of residence permit (if not based in home country)
- Copy of ID card or renewal form (if not based in home country)
- Two photographs with white background
- Supporting letter from employer addressed to Saudi Consulate stating the reason of visit and duration required (NOC letter)
- Trade license copy of the employing company
- Only a machine readable passport is accepted
Additionally, for the business (work) visit visa, you must also have the following documentation:
- Supporting letter from the sponsoring entity in Saudi Arabia between themselves and the visitor’s employer stating the nature and duration of visit and Certified by Chamber of Commerce in Saudi
- No objection letter from employer
Compliance is an essential part of doing business in Saudi Arabia and it is crucial to ensure you are following the rules and regulations for your visa when you visit the Kingdom. First, always ensure that the visa you are applying for is aligned with the purpose for your travels. It is important to know the differences between the types of visas before applying.
Visa on arrival is not available in Saudi and visitors are not able to obtain drivers license, lease a residence or open a bank account. They are also not able to sponsor family to visit the Kingdom. To ensure that you are compliant, check carefully the duration of stay allowed, the number of entries allowed and ensure due diligence when finding a visa sponsor and that your visa details are clear and suitable for your visit.
With the right support, applying for a Saudi visa can be made simple. The right partner will ensure that you have all your documentation, you remain compliant and that the process runs as smooth as possible.
If you need a Saudi visa, contact us on +966 11 411 1127 or firstname.lastname@example.org.