Saudi Arabia announces new temporary work visa

Monitoring Desk

RIYADH: Amidst the rapid development phase, Saudi Arabia has launched a new Temporary Work Visa as the demand for skilled short-term workers in the kingdom continues to grow.

The new Temporary Work Visa aimed at streamlining and expediting the process of bringing in short-term labor.

This marks a departure from the previous Work Visit Visa, which was primarily limited to technical and specific roles, such as engineering, often used in the oil industry’s rotational workforce in the eastern province.

According to Sara Khoja, an attorney with Clyde & Co in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the new visa is a game-changer as it opens doors to a much wider range of individuals.

Working visas in the kingdom have predominantly been restricted to male workers or older female workers, usually above the age of 40.

However, the introduction of the new Temporary Work Visa brings simplification to the invitation procedures, making it more accessible and flexible for a broader demographic of workers.

Compared with the previous visa, the Temporary Work Visa is much easier for foreign workers to acquire. “You need someone in Saudi Arabia who actually invites you; they will be sponsoring the visa,” Köllisch said.

“So that entity should have a commercial register within Saudi Arabia, that must be a Saudi commercial or Saudi entity, either a single merchant in Saudi Arabia, a branch of a company or an independent company itself; it should be distinct.”

“It’s not something that an individual could apply for or obtain by themselves,” Khoja said.

“It has to [come from] a Saudi company, well-established, registered with all the relevant authorities, registered with the Ministry of HR. And it would apply through an electronic platform for this business of bringing an individual in on a temporary basis.”

The visa usually lasts for a year but allows entry into Saudi Arabia for periods of up to 90 days at any one time during the yearlong period.