Saudi Arabia has introduced a new short-term work visa.

Key Points: 

  • The new Temporary Work Visit Visa is a multiple-entry visa that allows foreign nationals to work in the kingdom for up to 90 days in a one-year period.
  • Employers may obtain quotas for the new visas through the Qiwa online portal. To be eligible for a quota, employers must:
    • Have a valid commercial registration.
    • Be compliant with Saudi Arabia’s Wage Protection System.
    • Have a Nitaqat status of “Medium Green” or better.
    • Ensure that all foreign workers have valid work permits.
  • Eligible employers can purchase quotas in packages of one, five, 10 or 50. One quota costs 1,000 SAR (about USD$267); a package of 50 costs 45,000 SAR.
  • Visas are valid for one year from the date the quota is purchased. Payment will not be refunded after 30 days, including in cases where the visa is issued but the visa holder never travels to Saudi Arabia. Visas are nontransferable from company to company, but unused visas can be canceled and reallocated within a company.

Analysis & Comments: The application for Temporary Work Visit Visas is a two-step process whereby employers obtain a visa quota and foreign nationals obtain a visa sticker from a Saudi consular post or visa agent abroad before traveling to the country. While visa quotas are now available, visa stickers may be difficult to obtain at this time because of COVID-19 travel restrictions. Employers in need of bringing foreign nationals to Saudi Arabia for short-term work are encouraged to work closely with Deloitte to determine their best options.

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