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Employer offering a business Visa instead of work Visa

Good day,

I got a job offer in Riyadh, but few things are not sitting well with me so need your advise.

I got a married contract for one year (employer said it's renewable). Employer sent me a letter of invitation approved from Ministry of Foreign affairs but after the translation I learn it's an invitation for business visa and company used my current (North American) employer as the اسم جھة عمل المطلوب للزيارة.

I called the employer and he said it will be converted to a work visa once I entered the country, but it may take between 1 to 5 months and I wont be able to bring my family until then.

I just want to know if it's the legit way as I do not want to get into something shady and then get stuck with it.

Please advise as per your best knowledge and experience as it'll be very much appreciated.

Regards,

The_Montrealer :

Good day,

I got a job offer in Riyadh, but few things are not sitting well with me so need your advise.

I got a married contract for one year (employer said it's renewable). Employer sent me a letter of invitation approved from Ministry of Foreign affairs but after the translation I learn it's an invitation for business visa and company used my current (North American) employer as the اسم جھة عمل المطلوب للزيارة.

I called the employer and he said it will be converted to a work visa once I entered the country, but it may take between 1 to 5 months and I wont be able to bring my family until then.

I just want to know if it's the legit way as I do not want to get into something shady and then get stuck with it.

Please advise as per your best knowledge and experience as it'll be very much appreciated.

Regards,

Hey!

At times companies do use the Business Visa. The main reason is either they have run short on the limit to hire foreigners or they have utilized the given number of work visas in the particular year.

There is nothing wrong with the Business Visa. But there will be certain limitations to it.

You will not be able to sign a contract (renting house, getting a mobile phone, purchase a car, lease a car, open a bank account) untill your visa gets transferred into the work visa.

You will have to leave the country to get a new visa once the visa is expired, get a new one stamped and return (probably takes one week).

Many of my colleagues are working on the Business Visa so you should be fine.

I am currently on one of those.
No problem. Except you cant bring your family or open a bank account. You get paid in cash.
I do everything else. I drive, company provides me with house in compound. Ive been on this now for 5 months.
Tomorrow I go back home for my work visa process.
So all good. I have been OK

How long does it take to transfer business visa into work visa? Company told me it may take between 1 to 5 months. What are the chances that it may not get converted into work visa?

The_Montrealer :

How long does it take to transfer business visa into work visa? Company told me it may take between 1 to 5 months. What are the chances that it may not get converted into work visa?

If they are telling you 1-5 months time, i believe they probably have run out of the current year's qouta for the work-visa. The new year starts here on 5th November and I guess it will be done after that. It could take a month or maybe two from there.

The only chance for not getting the work-visa is when you dont have the right documents or the company hasnt been behaving well with the immigration department.

As I see you are very eager makes me believe the job and the package is decent. Id suggest you to join on the new role.

Pls note as compared to developed countries, sorting out things here takes a lot of time. Life (and work) is very laid back. You should not expect to get everything sorted in few days.. :)

Visit / business via can not be converted in work visa in KSA.

sorry

This is true, but you an get an Iqama. I came to Saudi on a business visa and in about six weeks I got an Iqama

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