Saudi Arabia: Short-Term Work Visa Validity Extended From 90 Days to Six Months

April 30, 2021

Overview

In March2021, Saudi Arabia launched a new 90-day Temporary Work Visa. According to an announcement made by the government of Saudi Arabia earlier this week, this visa will now allow holders to stay for an initial period of six months. Holders of this visa can also apply for a one-time extension of the visa for a similar length of time.

Employers that are looking to bring foreign nationals to Saudi Arabia for short-term work may now do so by purchasing quotas of the new Temporary Work visa online. The visas are valid for one year from the date of issuance and allow foreign nationals to work in the country for up to six months in that one-year period without having to apply for residence or a work permit.

Key Points:

  • The Temporary Work visa now enables foreign nationals to work in Saudi Arabia for a maximum six-month period with multiple entries. 
  • Foreign nationals applying for this visa will not need to obtain residency or a work permit. 
  • Temporary Work visas will be valid for one year from date of issuance. 
  • Employers can purchase quotas for the Temporary Work visas through the Qiwa platform; no office visits or documents are required.

What Are the Changes?

This visa program originally only allowed foreign nationals to work in Saudi Arabia for a 90-day period. Now, visa holders can stay for an initial period of six months. The purpose of this visa is to make it easier for employers to allow their foreign national employees to visit Saudi Arabia for short-term work.

Employers that want to obtain quotas of these visas must do so through the Qiwa platform. Packages of quotas can be purchased in quantities of one, five, 10 or 50. Once they purchase the visa quotas, the foreign nationals intended to use them must obtain the visa sticker from a Saudi consular post or visa service agent before traveling to Saudi Arabia.

There are certain eligibility requirements employers must meet to obtain the Temporary Work visa quotas, including:

  • Employer’s commercial registration must be valid. 
  • All foreign national employees must have valid work permits. 
  • Employer must be compliant with Saudi Arabia’s Wage Protection System. 
  • Employer must have a Medium Green color status or higher of the Nitaqat color categories. 

Looking Ahead 

The Temporary Work visa is a great opportunity for employers looking to send employees to Saudi Arabia for short-term work or projects without having to apply for long term work permits or seek residence in the country. Foreign national employees will now be able to have the option of taking multiple short-term work trips in and out of Saudi Arabia over a one-year period or remain in Saudi Arabia for six months to work on longer projects.

Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.

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