Does one need a work permit and/or visa for Saudi Arabia? As UK citizen, you will require both an entry visa for gaining entry into Saudi Arabia as well as an exit visa to depart the country. Saudi visas may normally take up to several months for their processing procedures to complete. Moreover, they can simply get held up on account of lengthy bureaucratic hurdles. If your intentions are to seek employment in Saudi Arabia, it is essential to first secure your desired job prior to making any travelling plans. That will enable you to make every possible effort in obtaining an early Saudi work visa or permit, while your Saudi employer engages himself in completing local formalities in accordance with Saudi visa regulations. As a rule, visiting the Kingdom on casual basis is not permissible under normal circumstances.
To obtain a Saudi visa that allows you entry into the Kingdom, it is essential to have a Saudi sponsor. That person could be your personal local contact in Saudi Arabia or your potential new employer. Such a person or your future employer will initiate the process of applying for a Saudi visa or work permit in your favour and will also arrange completion of essential visa forms for the desired purpose. Most companies in Saudi Arabia hire personnel who are purposely deputed to execute this responsibility. To obtain a Saudi visa, you must be in possession of a passport that will remain valid over the next six month period, a few passport-size photographs along with a prescribed medical certificate, ascertaining your health and fitness.
Should you not be a UK citizen, you may contact the embassy of Saudi Arabia from where you currently reside to enquire about ways of obtaining a Saudi work permit or visa. If you reside in the UK, you may contact the Royal Saudi Embassy in London. On the other hand, it would be considerably helpful to establish contact with the foreign affairs ministry in your own country, or the embassy in case you live abroad, to verify whether there may be certain pertinent issues that require some attention, prior to your consideration of taking up employment in the Kingdom.
Making an attempt to enter the country without appropriate authorisation will not only be futile, it is more likely to result in costing you dearly. Actually, if your plans include flying directly into Saudi Arabia, you will be extremely fortunate to cross the airport immigration desk. Likewise, if you turn up at any of Saudi Arabia’s land crossing points, you will find yourself swiftly, or at time even with plenty of force, turned back. Usually, it is much easier for Muslims to seek entry into Saudi Arabia, with issuance of overwhelmingly large number of Saudi visas for Hajj and Umrah being an effectively controlled and administered process each year.