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Types of visas for Saudi Arabia

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Types of visas for Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Arabian visas can be complex, which can sometimes lead to difficulty remaining compliant. However, with the right support, your visit to Saudi Arabia can be made simple and worry-free. Below we break down the Saudi visa; the types of visas, the requirements, what you need to apply and staying compliant.

Types of visas

There are many types of visas available for those visiting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Travelers must ensure they are using the correct visa type for your travel purpose. Below we break down each visit visa type and what each is for.

  • Work visa, also known as iqama, is for individuals who have been hired in the Kingdom and a visa has been issued for the individual to live and work in Saudi. The employment contract, academic documents, results of medical test must be presented in the Saudi embassy/consulate in the applicantís home country or to the Saudi authorities by the sponsor to issue a visa number. This visa types gives you the ability to rent a house, open a bank account and attain a Saudi driverís license.
  • Commercial visit visas are used for visiting the Kingdom for commercial purposes such as meetings, negotiations, conferences, investment talks and sales pitches. Work, of any kind, cannot be done under this visa. This visa can be single or multiple entry and can be applied for 30, 60, 90 or 180 days.
  • Business visit visas, also known as work visit visas, are valid for those visiting the country on a temporary work basis. The visa holder must have a sponsor from a business in Saudi Arabia who will issue them a Letter of Invitation (LOI) to use for their visa application. This visa allows persons to work onsite during their visit and can also be single or multiple entry and applicable for 30, 60, 90 or 180 days.
  • Female pre-approved visit visas are for women visiting the Kingdom for business reasons. Females must apply to visit the Kingdom, be a minimum of 30 years old and hold a commercial job title. The length of stay and number of entries are subject to the decision of the Saudi consulate.

Visa requirements

Travelers to Saudi Arabia must have a valid passport with at least 6 months before expiration, two facing pages and an appropriate visa. Applicants with travel documents should not have any restrictions or conditions which prevents them from travelling.

Exceptions to the visa requirements are those who are GCC nationals and passengers transiting in the Kingdom within 18 hours.

Visa checklist

For the commercial and business (work) visit visa, the documents required for application are:

  • Completed application form (can be provided by Proven)
  • Letter of Invitation (LOI) from sponsoring company (can be provided by Proven) and certified by the Chamber of Commerce or a copy of pre-approval for commercial visit visa issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saudi Arabia (refer to the Saudi mission as per point of arrival)
  • Original and copy of passport
  • Original and copy of residence permit (if not based in home country)
  • Copy of ID card or renewal form (if not based in home country)
  • Two photographs with white background
  • Supporting letter from employer addressed to Saudi Consulate stating the reason of visit and duration required (NOC letter)
  • Trade license copy of the employing company
  • Only a machine-readable passport is accepted

For the business (work) visit visa, you must also have the following documentation:

  • Supporting letter from the sponsoring entity in Saudi Arabia between themselves and the visitorís employer stating the nature and duration of visit and Certified by Chamber of Commerce in Saudi
  • No objection letter from employer

Visa compliance

Compliance is an essential part of doing business in Saudi Arabia and it is crucial to ensure you are following the rules and regulations for your visa type when you visit the Kingdom.

Visa on arrival is not available in Saudi and visitors arenít able to obtain driverís license, lease a residence or open a bank account. They are also not able to sponsor family to visit the Kingdom. Ensure compliance by checking carefully the duration of stay allowed, the number of entries allowed. Ensure due diligence when finding a visa sponsor and that your visa details are clear and suitable for your visit.


With the right support, applying for a Saudi visa can be made simple. They will ensure that you have all your documentation, you remain compliant and give you the highest chance of your visa being approved through their expertise.

If you need a Saudi visa, contact us here

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