Travel & Tours

Saudi Arabia introduces short-term visa to work for 3-months

Saudi Arabia has introduced a new short-term work visa that can be issued immediately without documents. The visa allows businesses to issue a temporary work visa that allows the holder to work for three months from the entry date, over a one-year period.

Details about the visa

This visa, which can be extended for a similar period of time, allows the holder to work for a set period of time without the need for a work permit or residency. The business owner must submit the visa request on Qiwa Business which is an electronic platform that provides access to the Ministry of Human Resources’ various labor-related services.

The company hiring must be active and have a valid commercial registration, with the exception of activities that do not require commercial registration, according to regulations for the temporary work visa service. Additionally, the businesses must not have any expired work permits and must have enough credit on their national unified number to cover their obligations.

Insufficient funds in the unified number of the business on Absher and denial from the Interior Ministry are cited as reasons for rejecting a request for a temporary visa. The temporary work visa balance package can be cancelled and government fees refunded. The cancellation request must be submitted by the business owner or a commissioner, the platform pointed out.

Information for sponsoring companies

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.

What this means for Nigerians

This temporary visa from Saudi Arabia will provide flexibility for foreign workers such as Nigerians to have exposure to the work life in Saudi Arabia. Temporary workers from Nigerian must ensure that the hiring company meets to above obligations to ensure that they are eligible to hire and sponsor.

More details will be released soon on this new development.