Hiring EU Talent in Saudi Arabia? Here’s What You Need to Know About KSA Work Visas

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s (KSA) recent economic surge has opened doors for international talent, presenting exciting opportunities for businesses and skilled professionals. As more European Union (EU) candidates seek employment in this developing market, it’s important for employers to understand the intricacies of KSA’s work visa process.


This article looks at the essential documentation and information requirements for EU citizens aiming to secure employment in KSA. We’ll explore the kingdom’s evolving economic landscape, provide a sample of key documentation needed from a specific EU country as an example, and discuss the importance of meticulous attention to detail when navigating any international visa or work permit application. Let’s dive in.


The economic rise of KSA and the demand for talent

Fueled by ambitious Vision 2030 diversification plans, KSA is witnessing a significant economic transformation. This growth is projected to continue by 3.2 percent over the next three years and has spurred demand for specialized expertise across various sectors, including technology, engineering, and healthcare. 


Historically reliant on oil exports, the KSA embarked on a strategic pivot towards economic diversification and enhanced competitiveness. The results are promising. Non-oil GDP growth reached 4.8% in 2022, marking a significant departure from oil-driven fluctuations. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is at a record high in KSA; US foreign direct investment stock (FDI) in Saudi Arabia increased from $11.1 billion in 2019 to $12.2 billion in 2022


Companies’ reasons for sending employees to the KSA now extend far beyond the traditional oil and gas sector. With government-backed initiatives like NEOM smart city and the AI hub, the burgeoning technology scene is attracting global tech giants. Fueled by giga-projects like the Red Sea development, the tourism sector presents exciting opportunities for hospitality and related industries. The healthcare and education sectors are also expanding significantly, requiring specialized expertise.


The KSA’s economic dynamism, evolving social landscape, and diverse business opportunities present fertile ground for international companies seeking expansion opportunities.


Essential documents for EU citizens applying for a Kingdom of Saudi Arabia work visa

Securing a KSA work visa as an EU citizen can be complex due to the specific rules and requirements regarding work visas. So that an employee’s application runs smoothly, it is crucial to gather the required documentation and make sure they are translated and legalized correctly.


The specific requirements and documents below are required for Dutch citizens, which we will use as an example. And while there are some similarities and small differences depending on what EU country you’re applying from, this example will give you a general idea of what you will need.


Most importantly, it’s important to make sure to follow the requirements precisely to ensure getting the visa without delays or a denial.


1) Proof of identity and residency

You are required to prove your identity to obtain a KSA work visa successfully. This includes a passport valid for at least six months after your intended arrival in KSA and two blank pages for visa stamping. You must also submit one recent passport-sized photograph with a white background. To prove your residency as a Dutch citizen, you must provide your original council registry proof or original residency permit (ID) if you are a Non-Dutch EU citizen.


2) Work permit

A confirmed work permit was issued by the relevant Saudi Arabian department and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This permit, referred to as a «block visa,» authorizes your employment in the kingdom.


3) Certified medical report

To obtain a KSA work visa, you must undergo a comprehensive medical examination by a licensed practitioner and submit the original signed report. The report should address all requirements outlined in the provided medical report document. The report must be apostilled and approved by the Ministry of Health within three months of issue.


4) Education certificates processed by the correct departments

Original and attested diplomas (or other accepted educational degrees) must be provided and go through the correct legalization steps. This can be lengthy as they may require translation and do require authentication by the Ministry of Education, followed by apostille and legalization through the Saudi Arabian Culture Attaché.


5) Valid employment contract

The original employment contract must also be provided, signed by both parties, and further certified by the KSA Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


6) Certified criminal record check

An original criminal record issued by Dutch authorities within the last three months must be procured. This document also requires apostille certification.


By carefully preparing and presenting the required documentation, you can significantly increase your chances of securing a KSA work visa. While this list outlines the essentials for Dutch citizens, and specific requirements may vary slightly for other EU nationalities, always double-check the most up-to-date information directly from the relevant Saudi Arabian authorities or consult with immigration specialists and documentation partners familiar with the nuances of EU-KSA work visa applications. 


Lex Documents can help you get your Saudi work visa

Navigating the intricacies of KSA work visas can be complex. Lex Documents handles the entire official paperwork process for KSA business visas — importantly, including getting diplomas certified — eliminating the burden for companies and expediting the application timeline.


By leveraging Lex Documents’s expertise, companies can confidently navigate the intricacies of the Saudi Arabia work visa process, ensuring a smooth and successful journey for their skilled workers. 


Interested in learning more about KSA work visas or diploma certification? Contact us and avoid any problems with your Saudi visa application!

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