March 5, 2021

Short-Term Work Visa Introduced in Saudi Arabia

A new short-term work visa has been announced by the Saudi Arabian authorities, which is expected to be multi-entry, and valid for up to one year. The Temporary Work Visit Visa (TWVV) will fill the gap in the system that the discontinuation of work and commercial visit visas has left since 2019.

Since then, there has been no suitable visa available for companies needing foreign nationals to complete work activities on a short-term basis in Saudi Arabia. The TWVV should now fill this requirement to the advantage of employers, permitting foreign nationals to perform work activities for up to 90 days within the one-year period.

To be eligible, employers will need to meet prescribed Saudization ratios, be classified at least as “medium-green” in the Nitaqat scheme, comply with the Wages Protection System’s obligations, and ensure that their entire foreign employee population has valid work authorizations.

Assuming the employers are eligible, they will be able to purchase a visa quota via the online Qiwa portal. Once purchased, they can be allocated to individual visa applicants. The visa quota will be valid for one year from the date of purchase. The purchased visa cannot be transferred to another entity and if unused, can be cancelled and re-allocated to the employer’s overall visa quota balance.

The TWVV quota is currently available for employers. Applicants, however, will still be required to obtain their visa sticker from the Saudi consular post or authorized visa agent in their country of residence, which may not be currently feasible due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions.

For further information on the new temporary work visa in Saudi Arabia, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team.

Leanne Cottrell

Leanne Cottrell

As Head of Immigration with Sterling Lexicon, Leanne leads a team of specialists who are responsible for ensuring the entire immigration process is smooth and stress-free for clients, assignees and their accompanying family members. She brings over ten years of experience in strategic immigration management, planning and consultation to her role, and has cultivated invaluable knowledge and experience in processing countless global migration applications. As a trusted partner, she consults with clients on everything from policy considerations and cost or efficiency improvements, to the impact of opening offices in new locations. Leanne is a frequent presenter and author on global immigration topics and trends.

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