Saudi Arabia is an excellent place to work and live if you want to get valuable experience and enjoy multiple advantages. In addition to pleasant temperatures, residents here also benefit from a lack of income tax and excellent job opportunities. But before you submit your application, you must study the Saudi Labor Law. By the end of this article, you will know everything about getting your first work visa for Saudi Arabia.
No doubt Saudi Arabia is a land of opportunities for skilled immigrants. However, there are a few sectors that have the most vacancies for employees:
Oil and Gas
Oil and gas are the main assets of Saudi Arabia. For this reason, the employment market has a huge demand for exploration, drilling, and refining. For anyone from Pakistan who is looking for career-changing opportunities in KSA, you can contact one of the top recruitment agency in Pakistan for Saudi Arabia.
Construction and Engineering
Saudi Arabia has one of the tallest buildings with the latest infrastructure. This demands the need for professionals in the fields of construction, engineering, and architecture.
Finance And Banking
The finance industry in KSA is always looking for professionals in the banking sectors like HR Managers, accountants, administrators, etc.
Realizing the need for technology in almost every business, the demand for top IT professionals from around the globe is always on the rise.
Requirements For Visa
In order to apply for a KSA Work Visa, it is mandatory to have a sponsor. Otherwise, one cannot be eligible for the permit even if he or she fulfills the requirements.
Moreover, The sponsor is responsible for most of the application processing and the applicant must provide the essential documents as per the Saudi Labor Law.
Documents Requirements For Visa
Before applying for a KSA Work Visa, make sure to compile the following documents:
|A Passport||Use a passport that is valid during employment.|
|A Photograph||Color background with 4.5 cm height and 3.5 cm width|
|Payment Proof through the Enjazir Website||Enjazir is an online portal through which applicants apply and pay for a Visa in Saudi Arabia|
|An employment letter||The letter must have verification from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Saudi Arabia Commerce|
|Character Certificate||Proof of no criminal record from your country’s police|
|Medical Tests Clearance Report (3 copies with verification)||HIV, Syphilis or VDRL, A full hepatitis B profile, Hepatitis C Abs, Urinalysis, Liver function tests, Chest X-ray, and Pregnancy test for females.|
|Am Employment Contract Copy||A verified copy from Saudi officials.|
How to Apply For Work Visa?
Follow these steps to submit your visa application as per Saudi Labor Law:
- The first and foremost is the verification of the sponsor’s registration in the Saudi Ministry of Affairs.
- The employer will submit an application for the work permit with the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Labor
- To submit your application online, go to the official website of Ejazgir
- Make sure to fill all areas carefully without errors
- If the application gets approved, the Ministry of Labor will notify the Saudi Ministry of Affairs to issue a Visa Authorization Number.
- The employee will submit the application to the Saudi Embassy, along with the above-mentioned documents.
- The Embassy will issue the Visa within two to three weeks after payment through Ejazgir.
Note: if you are someone from Pakistan who is looking for new job opportunities in the Gulf, you can contact one of the top recruitment agencies in Pakistan for Saudi Arabia.
People often get confused about computing the total working hours in Saudi Arabia. According to section 98 of KSA Labor Law for expatriates, any employee can work in a private company for up to 8 hours a day or 48 hours a week in total. However, there are a few exceptions to this:
- As per Article 101, an employee cannot work for more than 11 hours a day
- Moreover, the company cannot force a laborer to work 5 straight hours without allowing a 30-minute break for meals, prayer, and rest.
- According to section 102, this rest period for meals and prayers will not count in the working hours. For instance, if you working from 9 AM to 6 PM with a one-hour break, you are actually working for 8 hours
- Likewise, any Employee working in Government sectors can work up to 40 hours a week.
In the month of Ramadan, there is a special relief in the working hours
Article 98 of Saudi Labor Law states:
- A Muslim can work up to 6 hours a day or 36 hours a week
- A non-muslim can work up to 8 hours a day or 48 hours a week
If a company requires some additional work from the employees, they will have to follow the provisions of Article 107 of Labor Law which states:
- Any work that exceeds the daily limit of 8 working hours or 48 hours a week will be considered overtime for the employee.
- The company will have to pay 150% of the normal pay rate.
- Any work during public holidays like Eid vacations or weekends will also count as overtime.
According to Saudi Labor Law, the work visa is valid for one year but it allows the flexibility to move in and out of the country for a total of 90 days.
Is there a Minimum Wage by Saudi Law?
There is nothing specific about the minimum wage as per the KSA Labor Law. However, in order to be eligible for a special Saudi Employment National Program known as Nitaqat, a Saudi employee must earn no less than SAR 4000 a month.
Like in any other country, the employees in KSA will also have special leaves from work throughout the year. According to Section 109 of the Saudi Labor Law for Expatries:
- Any Saudi employee who has been working for more than 5 years can take 30 days of annual leave
- Whereas, the worker whose work experience is less than 5 years can avail of 21 days of annual leave
There are certain other circumstances where Saudi Labor gets to enjoy some additional leaves:
Dhu al-hajj is the last and one of the most sacred months in the Islamic Calendar. Muslim employees can take Hajj leaves for up to 15 days. However, this happens only once in the whole service period for anyone who is performing Hajj for the first time. To be eligible for this leave, the laborer must have a working experience of at least two years in the same company
A Saudi Worker can take leave during any illness or sickness for up to 120 days per annum, which starts from the first day of leave. However, the employee must have a working period of more than 90 days as per Section 53 of Saudi Labor Law for this grant. This leave can either be continuous or intermittent. however, there are a few exceptions to consider:
- For the first 30 days, the employee will get a full wage.
- For the next 60 days, the wage will be three-quarters of the salary.
- But for the last 30 days, the worker will not get any pay.
Islam is a religion that values motherhood a lot. Therefore, the Saudi Labor Law for Expatriates provides a special period of rest to all the females working in Saudia Arabia. Moreover, this maternity leave is valid for full wage payment.
- Any female can take a 10-week maternity leave
- This leave can start 4 weeks from the delivery date
- Under any circumstances, no women can work during the first six weeks following delivery
- One can take an additional two-month leave. However, this period will count as unpaid leave.
- In case a child needs special care after delivery, the maternity leave can be extended to 1 month with full wage payment.
Any Muslim female employee whose husband dies will have a four-month leave with full payment, starting from the date of the death of the deceased spouse. However, a non-Muslim worker can have a leave for fifteen days.
Apart from these occasions, Saudi Labor Law also allows leaves with full payment in the cases below:
|Paternity leave: Three days leave for a male worker|
|Marriage leave: Five days leave for any employee who is getting married|
|Examination leave: Depending on the examination days, this leave is for those who are studying along with their job|
|Compassionate leave: A five-day leave for the death of a close relative or family.|
What is Iqama?
A Visa that allows an immigrant who is working in Saudi Arabia under an employment visa to become a permanent resident is known as an Iqama. To apply for this, a local laborer from KSA acts as a sponsor and submits an application on behalf of the applicant.
The processing fee of iqama varies with the change in the policies. As of July 1, 2020, the applicant must pay 650 Saudi Riyals for either applying for a new one or renewing the existing one. For convenience, one can pay the amount in three installments:
|1st Installment||163 Riyals in initial 3 months|
|2nd Installment||325 Riyals in the next 6 months|
|3rd Installment||488 Riyals in the last 3 months|
Saudi Arabia is a great country with amazing opportunities for skilled workers. However, they have strict policies regarding work permits. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the Saudi Labor Law and then apply for the Visa accordingly. Or contact marfaoverseas for more information.