For several decades now, many Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) as well as people from other countries choose to work in Saudi Arabia. If you are planning to seek employment in the Kingdom, first and foremost, you will need to apply for a working visa.
Usually, employers offer jobs in Saudi Arabia through recruitment agencies. In the Philippines, the Philippine Overseas Employment Association (POEA) handles recruitment agencies and job offers, so make sure that the job you’re interested in is duly recognized by this agency.
Guide to Applying for a Work Visa in Saudi Arabia
Getting a work visa for Saudi Arabia will be done in coordination with the recruitment agency and your employer. Before signing anything, see to it that your “employment pack” includes a job contract, medical report, embassy authorization memo, and other important documents.
Here are the requirements for getting a working visa:
- Visa Application Form
- Passport (valid at least two years)
- Photos (2 copies, 4 x 6 cm, white background)
- Letter from Employer in Saudi Arabia (sponsoring the applicant)
- Copy of Employment Contract (signed by the employer and the applicant)
- Transcript of Records (certified and/or notarized by the Commission on Higher Education, Department of Foreign Affairs, and Consulate of Saudi Embassy)
- Medical Certificate (sealed by a hospital accredited by the Saudi Embassy)
- Training Certificate (for skilled workers)
- OMA Certificate (for Muslim workers)
- Driver’s License (for all drivers)
- NBI Clearance
- PRC License (if any)
NOTE: If you have previously worked in Saudi Arabia, include a Release Letter in your application. The working visa fee costs PHP 850.
As cited earlier, the processing of your working visa is done in coordination with the prospective employer and the recruitment agency. This includes medical tests, which should be conducted in hospitals or clinics that are accredited by the Saudi Embassy
Additional Reminders on Visa Applications
- You must be 18 years old and above to apply for a working visa in Saudi Arabia. Otherwise, you are considered a minor.
- The maximum age to apply for a working visa in Saudi Arabia is 55 years old. An employer may still sponsor a person who is older than 55, as long as they are able to obtain a special permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
If you are planning to work in Saudi Arabia, or if you have just accepted a job offer in the Kingdom — make sure that you understand all of these requirements. What’s more, see to it that you are coordinating with duly accredited and recognized recruitment agencies.
DISCLAIMER: The topics presented in this article are for information-sharing purposes only. To learn more about working and applying for a visa in Saudi Arabia, visit the official websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the Ministry of Labor and Social Development.