Saudi Arabia’s Temporary Work Visa for Foreign Nationals

Saudi Arabia has increased flexibility for the engagement of foreign national workforce in the Kingdom through changes in rules of temporary work visa. Saudi Arabia now issues temporary work visa for foreign nationals directly from one of its labor portal – Qiwa. The Temporary work visa permits qualified employees to work in the Kingdom in the visa sponsoring company or entity for a period up to 90 days per entry.

Saudi’s New Temporary Work Visa

Visa for Foreign Nationals

Saudi’s new temporary work visa enables enterprises’ employers doing their business in the Kingdom to apply for and issue a work visa to foreign employees who can work for a period of 90 days from the date of entry in Saudi Arabia.

The temporary work visa is issued electronically from the Qiwa platform and validity of the visa shall be 1 year from the date and time issued on. The companies who are sponsoring the employees for temporary work can apply for the visa through the online Qiwa platform.

Temporary Work Visa Sponsoring Employers in KSA

Temporary work visa sponsoring employers in KSA with required level in the Saudization classification can avail such temporary work visa for its prospective foreign employees. The employers shall also ensure that foreign workers have valid work authorization to perform activities of their employment.

The quota for sponsoring temporary work visas will be limited to 50 for each employer and these visas will not be transferable to other business entities of the Kingdom. There are different eligibility requirements that employers in Saudi Arabia must fulfill to obtain the temporary work visa quotas to hire foreign workers. These eligibility requirements are:

  • The work visa sponsoring enterprise must be active in business operation.
  • The commercial registration of the enterprise must be valid.
  • The visa sponsoring enterprise must have at least a medium green level or higher in the Saudization classification.
  • The enterprise must be compliant with Saudi Arabia’s wage protection system.
  • The visa requesting entities under the same unified number must not have any expired work permit.
  • The enterprise must have sufficient credit in the national unified number on Absher.

Process of Issuing Temporary Work Visa in KSA

The request for temporary work visa in KSA must be submitted by the business owner or a commissioner of a Saudi Company on Qiwa digital platform through the steps given below:

  • Applicants should visit Qiwa website-… and log in to the enterprise’s account.
  • Select temporary work visa service fron e-service.
  • Click on the button to submit a temporary work visa request.
  • Fill the required information in all fields given, and
  • Finally submit the request for a temporary work visa for foreign national.

Qiwa Digital Platform

Qiwa digital platform is an electronic platform that provides online services and solutions to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) to enhance the electronic services offered to the labor sector. It permits employers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to create and authenticate employees’ contracts digitally.

Why are temporary work visas being issued to foreigners?

The amended rules will facilitate many employers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to utilize the temporary work visas for short-term work assignments through a legally-compliant mechanism. Likewise, these rules may also be a precursor to a more foreign national-friendly Saudi Arabia as foreign labor may be required for several VISION 2030 projects.

Kindly note that this article contains specific details that are up to date as on date of publication (check above) and may have been subject to change recently.