The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia introduces new work visa

  • Legal Development 23 May 2023 23 May 2023
  • Middle East

  • Top workplace issues

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has recently introduced a new work visa, known as the "Temporary Work Visa", which replaces the previous "Work Visit Visa". The new visa is aimed at making it easier for businesses to bring in foreign workers for short-term assignments and should enable employers to resource their commercial activities more readily.

The Temporary Work Visa must be used within one year of its issue and allows foreign workers to work in KSA for up to 90 days, with the option to extend for an additional 90 days. The visa is valid for multiple entries, meaning that the employees can enter and exit the country as often as they need during the 90-day period.

Advantages of the Temporary Work Visa

One of the biggest advantages of the new visa is that it is much faster and easier to obtain in comparison with the previous Work Visit Visa, as issuing the temporary work visa is immediate and does not require any supporting documents for the employee (eg attested certificates). It is also extendable while the holder is in country. It is not restricted largely to only technical personnel (e.g., engineers) and is not in practice restricted to men (which the old Work Visit Visa were in practice). With the Kingdom experiencing record growth and hosting some of the largest projects in the world, another advantage of the visa is that it could enable greater mobility within multinational employers, in the sense of permitting non-KSA based employees to try work in the Kingdom before making a more permanent move or relocation.  

Eligibility requirements

An employer applying for a Temporary Work Visa (the application must be made through Qiwa) must meet the following conditions:

  • The establishment should have a valid Commercial Register (CR), except for activities that do not require a commercial registration;
  • The status of the establishment should be “Existing”;
  • The establishment is required to have a Nitiqat rating of medium green or higher;
  • The establishment should not have any negative remarks with regards to Wage Protection System (WPS); and
  • The establishment should have visa issuance balance.

An employer with expired pre-existing visas will have its application denied. 

If you would like further information on the Introduction of a Temporary Work Visa in KSA, please contact us. 


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