As you may know, Saudi Arabia is one of the most appealing business destinations in the Middle East. As a result of its developed economy, the country attracts investors and specialists in various fields looking for good jobs in other parts of the world. Consequently, some people decide to immigrate to Saudi Arabia to full fill their career or business goals. However, it does not matter the way you want to use to immigrate to Saudi Arabia. Our services can help you find the best type of residence permit.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about immigrating to Saudi Arabia. Let us observe:
- What is a visa?
- What are the types of visas you can find in Saudi Arabia?
- How is Saudi Arabia diversifying its economy?
- What is it like migrating to Saudi Arabia through employment?
- How can we help you get more information about immigrating to Saudi Arabia?
1. What is a visa?
Firstly, to enter any country you will need a visa. Therefore, let us break down the concept of what is visa. As we mentioned before a visa is a travel document issued by a foreign country. As a result, it provides permission to gain entry into that country.
Depending on the duration or reason for the trip and the country of destination, it may become mandatory. It is a document that allows the stay in a country by a person who would not normally be authorized.
Each country has an official website available to the public from which the visa can be applied for. It is the country of destination that is going to issue the document. Therefore, you can make the request on the website of the country of destination. Likewise, the information and documentation required vary according to the country of origin and destination. Also, to help you deal with the overwhelming process of obtaining one, you can always hire visa services.
2. What are the types of visas you can find in Saudi Arabia?
It does not matter the reason the person decides to immigrate to Saudi Arabia. It can be for a simple visit to establish the conditions for opening a company. For example, you will need a visa to enter Saudi Arabia.
In case he or she wants to stay in the country, they or will need a residence permit or visa. The main visa available for immigration to Saudi Arabia are:
2.1 Employment or work visa
Those who acquire employment visas have the authorization to enter and stay. Additionally, as the case may be, they can carry out any activity in Saudi Arabia. Indeed, they are very varied and depend a lot on the type of job, position, and company that the employee is applying for. In some cases, they allow the person to later apply for lawful permanent residence.
2.2 Escort visa
The entity grants this type of visa to an applicant who wishes to accompany someone to the Kingdom. Additionally, they reserve this visa for accompanying members of applicants of the Saudi commercial visa. Also, it can be the spouse of the visa applicant or children below the age of 18 years. In some cases, they can also grant this visa to an attendee of a patient traveling to Saudi Arabia.
Likewise, the sponsor, residing in Saudi Arabia, must apply for a letter of invitation from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Once they grant the request, the MOFA will send the visa authorization letter directly to the Embassy. Indeed, the escort visa can be either a single-entry or a multiple-entry visa.
In addition, the single-entry visa has three-month validity from the date of entry into the KSA. On the other hand, the validity of the multiple-entry visa can be up to six months or two years.
The escort visa does not allow applicants the right to reside or work in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Additionally, overstaying the visa validity can lead to fines, prosecution, and deportation.
2.3 Student visa
It is a visa for people who want to visit Saudi Arabia through a work and travel program. It is also for those short-term students who need practical experience not available in their country, in order to complete their academic program. Going through an immigration process can be difficult, however, doing it with the right kind of support can make it easier.
3. How is Saudi Arabia diversifying its economy?
Just as the reduction in mineral prices hit our economy and opened the eyes of the authorities to search for new engines. Likewise, the same seems to have happened in Saudi Arabia, where the government has just approved a plan to diversify the economy. This is due to the face of a fall in oil prices that seems to be serious this time.
Saudi Vision 2030 is a plan to reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil, diversify its economy, develop public service sectors and support small and medium-sized businesses. Accordingly, the Kingdom has intensified efforts to increase employment opportunities for Saudi citizens and to increase the participation of Saudi women in the workforce.
The Ministry of Civil Service asked all government ministries and departments to have no more expatriate workers by the year 2020. Jobs in shopping malls, and business activities in twelve categories of retail sales, are also restricted, exclusively to Saudi citizens.
3.1 Government program
The initiative is called the National Transformation Program (NTP) 2030, prepared by 24 entities, and approved by Prince Mohammed bin Salman. This aims to achieve economic change in times of cheap oil, after a discussion with the Council of Economic and Development Affairs.
The country considers the need to achieve changes in the generation of income from sources other than hydrocarbons. Last year represented 70% of the government’s income, which means a high dependence on the said sector and a high vulnerability of the state finances.
To do this, it is identified that industries such as mining could become generators of about 450 thousand jobs. This is according to the NTP, thanks to state investments in promoting their start-up phases.
As part of the NTP, it is also contemplated to introduce indirect taxes, and reduce electricity and water subsidies. Additionally, they are spending on public salaries. Likewise, the sale of the state oil company of Saudi Arabia Oil Co. and the Saudi Aramco company, to the sovereign fund of the kingdom, is being considered.
3.2 End goal
For the first time in many years, the government recognizes that if the country’s economy is not diversified, the country’s social and political stability is at stake. Now, each state entity must translate the NTP into concrete actions in the different sectors.
The final objective is to generate income from different sources and this allows for modernizing the economy and reducing the intervention of the State. However, as this will not happen overnight, the royal government will promote the process with significant investments in the prioritized sectors.
Despite the fact that the IPO of its national oil company is at a standstill, Saudi Arabia maintains its project to reduce its dependence on oil and orient its economy towards new technologies, thanks to the investments of its sovereign wealth fund.
Foreign investor fears held back the fund’s ambitions fears following the diplomatic crisis between Canada and Saudi Arabia. As a result of the Canadian ambassador being expelled for criticizing the country’s human rights situation.
3.3 Advantages of the Saudi economy
The large-scale public works policy undertaken by the government, as well as foreign direct investment and the strength of the banking and financial system, have allowed the country to become the top regional economy and one of the largest in the world. However, as we mentioned above, the economy of Saudi Arabia depends almost entirely on oil.
The Saudi Kingdom was able to reduce its budget deficit (from 17.2% to 8.3%) by tapping into its foreign exchange reserves and issuing bonds. From then until now, Saudi Arabia has managed to continue reducing its deficit with a combination of asset withdrawals, and it is projected to fall to 1% of GDP by 2022.
Tourism generates very high incomes (nearly 4 million tourists per year), in particular, due to the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, which all Muslims are expected to undertake at least once during their lifetime.
The plans of public investment include different projects industries, among which is the development of the extensive petrochemical complex of Sadara, and large infrastructure projects such as the expansion of the country’s rail network and Riyadh metro construction.
On the other hand, you should know that access to the Saudi Arabian market is not easy. This is due to companies’ regulatory entry barriers, as reflected in the Index of Regulatory Restrictions on Foreign Direct Investment of the OECD, which places it as the third country (behind China and Myanmar) that imposes the most restrictions on the entry of foreign investment.
4. What is it like migrating to Saudi Arabia through employment?
You might find it surprising that finding employment in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not that complicated. Saudi companies that hire foreign employees are always looking for highly skilled people in important sectors, like oil and gas exploitation. As a result, overseas citizens can obtain temporary or long-term residence permits.
In case you are deciding whether to relocate to Saudi Arabia based on employment, the procedure is rather simple as it must be completed in a large percentage by the employer. Therefore, you must ensure a job offer and contract with a Saudi company, which must start the hiring procedure with the Ministry of Labor.
Once you complete all the formalities at the end of the employer, the Saudi embassy or consulate in the employee’s home country will issue the work visa. After the arrival in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the foreign visa holder will obtain a residence permit from the Ministry of Interior. Next, you will see some of the main aspects to consider for immigration to Saudi Arabia based on employment:
- The applicant or foreign citizen must have a valid employment contract, which will enable him/her to work for the company hiring him/her.
- The employee must be based on specific education or experience that the competent entity must approve.
- It is crucial to highlight that the processing time for the work visa takes between 2 and 3 months.
4.1 Things you need to know
Additionally, the employee can change the company he or she works for During their stay in Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, it establishes a No Objection Letter from the former employer. They grant temporary work permits to employees whose companies do not have an established presence in SA.
Consequently, it is an option for foreign enterprises to set up liaison offices in Saudi Arabia to prospect the market. In case you want to relocate to the kingdom of Saudi, you can rely on our specialists.
5. How can Company Formation Saudi help you get more information about immigrating to Saudi Arabia?
Relocating to a completely different country can be quite complicated and stressful. However, do not worry; we have 20 years of experience helping people from around the globe. Therefore, you do not have to go through tedious processes to achieve your goals and dreams in Saudi Arabia. In addition, our company has an array of services at your disposal such as:
- Payroll services.
- Legal services.
- Virtual office services.
- Accountant services.
- Company formation services.
- Branch services.
Find out all the things we have to offer by contacting us. Call us at +971 43 316 688. You can also reach us by messaging us via email through firstname.lastname@example.org.