Azad Visa for Pakistanis

Dear Expats,

Hope you are doing well.

I want to know that I am planning to direct my career to Saudi Arabia. I am in Engineering profession with Experience of 3+ years.
I would like to opt for Azad Visa. My queries are :
Is it legal or illegal?
Do the employers hire on Azad visa holders on job?
What are main pros and cons of Azad visa for professionals?

It is illegal. My advice, try to refrain from posting this type of topics on an open forum.

As creator already said, there is NO such thing as "Azad Visa".  It is illegal and I would advise to not go for this to save yourself troubles in the future.

Hi Taimour,
you will find many who will assure you that azaad visa has benefits and bla bla. Do not believe them, this visa is not a sure shot to get a job. It was a practice years ago but now it is being monitored strictly. People who benefited from it are still in its favor but not everyone gets the same opportunity. this advice is coming from someone who lived here for more than 30 years.

Thanks alot sir for your reply

Azad visa is absolutely LEGAL, who said its illegal , if the is illegal why Saudi Govt issue.. this, Its matter of common sense ,, how could a govt  issue  illegal visa...?  but this is true that finding a good job  on AZAD visa is very hard now days, also there is another disadvantage  the ppl who got azad visa will be paid less than who are haired from abroad.  you can say this ur luck to get a job or not. but again any visa issued by saudi govt is Legal... and u allowed to work on it if your sponsor is will to give u release,

You are mistaken and confusing different things.

Legally, there is NO visa issued by the Saudi Government which is called Azad and allows you to work for any sponsor of your choice.

What this is:   It is a normal work visa issued by a Saudi sponsor who provides an undertaking to the government that he / she is bringing the worker over to work for him / his company.   Up till this point, the visa is legal in the eyes of the law.

But the arrangement privately with the worker is that they can work for anyone as long as they pay the kafeel.   This is a TOTAL violation of Saudi labor and immigration laws.   I have come across many people who were caught working for another sponsor on this so-called "Azad" visa and were then deported / banned.

Please don't comment if you don't know the law and the practices in the Kingdom.

Mask234 :

Azad visa is absolutely LEGAL, who said its illegal , if the is illegal why Saudi Govt issue.. this, Its matter of common sense ,, how could a govt  issue  illegal visa...?  but this is true that finding a good job  on AZAD visa is very hard now days, also there is another disadvantage  the ppl who got azad visa will be paid less than who are haired from abroad.  you can say this ur luck to get a job or not. but again any visa issued by saudi govt is Legal... and u allowed to work on it if your sponsor is will to give u release,

firstly, there is no such thing called 'azad visa', secondly, my reply is not focused on where this visa is issued but about the practice of coming here, paying to sponsor for visa, then pay monthly while searching for job.

There is  one thing which is called NOC or Release , if your kafeel is Agree to give you release  , and you have job opportunity in any other company which is agree to accpet your sponsorship this is  common practice don,t  know why ppl want to be smart here 80%  expats are working at AZAD visa.  i have spent 20 years in Saudi Arabia , Just few moths back i brought my brother on AZAD visa and transferred him to another company with in 2   days. .... dont know why ppl want to get insane and smart by commenting when they dont have personal experience . me myself is on AZAD visa and working with ARAMCO, just got transferred 9 months back. so kindlyy guys dont misguide any one untill u dont have personal findings or experience..

this is valid point. that u have to spend lot of money  untill your not geting good job and get transferred....but  There is such thing which is called Azad visa and according to  MOI past records 80 to 85% Expats are working here at Azad visa.

Again you are confusing practice and law.

There is NO visa with title of "Azad".  There is NO visa which allows you "legally" to work for ANY sponsor.   That is the law.

What you are talking about is practice i.e. a way for people to come and find work here at their own cost.  Do people do it, yes!!.  Do they transfer to other jobs, yes!!.  Is it legal, no!!.

And in terms of personal experience, 2 days I ago, I was with company lawyers in the labor court as one "Azad" visa person who was working for us was caught in a random sweep by immigration in a part of Riyadh  - and we had already initiated his transfer.   End result?    the guy was deported and the person who sold him the visa, has been fined and is potentially facing jail too.  So it is clear that it is not legal and you don't get any protection if you are caught.  If you are not caught, you can transfer to a genuine employer legally and safeguard yourself.

Again your confused my brother , and confusing the things in terminologies. 95 % ppl in this word are not boookish , and they  dont use impressive terms and word ... they just understand local slang  language  ------what so ever its called, or what so ever is the name of visa ..... any visa which have issued from MOI is legal....... now your experience is bad unfortunately... told u 100 of my family member are working here who all came on AZAD visa ...   the matter which u said about person who got caught , he must had work issues with his papers..or there must be some legal deficiencies with your company  .  only the matter is ...if your first sponsor is will to give release  and there is other company which have legal status they can transferred in a day .. i just transferred my brother few weeks ago in 2 days. and me myself working as manager with armco got transferred from AZAD visa.

Let's agree to disagree.

You stick to your opinion and I stick to mine.

:)

thats great of u...

Ehtesham :

Hi Taimour,
you will find many who will assure you that azaad visa has benefits and bla bla. Do not believe them, this visa is not a sure shot to get a job. It was a practice years ago but now it is being monitored strictly. People who benefited from it are still in its favor but not everyone gets the same opportunity. this advice is coming from someone who lived here for more than 30 years.

this is exactly what I was talking about

Still not clear:

- AZAD visa is legal or illegal?
- What are main pros and cons of AZAD visa for professionals?

From a pure legal point of view, Saudi law says that you must work for the sponsor who gives you the visa. And there is no exception to that.  So legally it s clear ie there is no such thing as azad visa and it is illegal.  The other poster is referring to practice ie some years ago, this form of buying visa and working with different people was very common.  There wasn't much enforcement and checks. This started changing in 2012.  Keep in mind that the law was always the same - it's just that nobody cared.  Oil prices were up and the government could afford a lot.

Nowadays, with the enforcement, there are no benefits and all cons.

Agreed there is no such term as azad visa and you will not find any different stamp from embassy in your passport saying that you have an azad visa, instead it's just a normal work visa but people use to call as azad visa as they are free to work anywhere.( before it was but not now)

Now the question is to get this kind of AZAD visa or not.??

Let's c scenarios below.

1. Let us consider that you have some one,  friend / relative who has got you a job in X company, but the X company cannot send you a visa. In this case one can opt for this kind of visa, enter the kingdom make temporary iqama which is valid for 3 months and then get transferred to X company without any difficulties, as nowadays everything is online it's just by 1 click candidates get transferred to other establishment in no time.

2. If you are planning to come on such visa to search job, then my advice is 50 - 50, i cant say dont come nor come, but it depends on your luck. And also on the kafeel from whom u r getting the visa, if he is good then everything is good.

But nowadays there are lot of changes regarding the visa professions. If you are planning to get azad visa on technician / Carpenter / electrician plz refrain from these professions bcz a new law has started called profession test without this iqama can not be made.

Brother inshort everything is possible in KSA. If your kafeel is good..

IF your kafeel is good.... Those are the magic words :).

And don't forget, you pay a lot of costs ie iqama, monthly fees, kafeel markup etc while searching for a job.

If you do find one, remember to transfer immediately and don't start work on the azad visa itself.

And just to help everyone, here is an extract on Iqama violations from MOI website.  If you read through it, it becomes clear that there is no such thing as an "Azad" visa and doing what the "Azad" visa "says" that you are allowed to do, is in fact, highly illegal and if caught, you are facing deportation plus fines.

21+23 together is what the Azad visa promises to give you i.e. pay the kafeel a monthly plus visa cost and work for any employer you want.

21
Resident working for another employer or for his own account.  <------The so called AZAD visa methodology
•  Termination of his Iqama and he shall be deported.

23
Employer leaving his employees working for their own account or in return for amounts, paid by them, to him.             <------The so called AZAD visa methodology
•  The employer shall be fined 5,000 S.R. and one month imprisonment for the first instance. Second instance fine is 20,000 S.R. and two months imprisonment. Third instance fine is 50,000 S.R. and three months imprisonment.
•  Fines are multiplied according to the number of individuals involved.
•  Expatriate violator shall be deported at his own expenses.
•  In the first instance, the violator shall be deprived from the right to recruit expatriates for one year. Two years for the second instance and three years for the third.
•  Sending a copy of the management notification to the patrol command to investigate the establishment's status.

And below is the link to Government website which is the ONLY correct source.  Note point 22 there as well - I didn't reproduce it as that is focused more on the employer who hires an "Azad" visa guy.

https://safiu.moi.gov.sa/wps/portal/!ut … BXVvrjg!!/

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Moderated by Bhavna last month
Reason : Illegal practice
We invite you to read the forum code of conduct

I am not saying that a visa is illegal.  Every visa issued by the Government is legal even though none of it is labelled as Azad but as a normal work visa.

Please read carefully.  What I am saying is simply that there is no visa that allows you to work for any employer other than the one who sponsored your visa. So basically the Government only allows you to come here and to work for the employer that sponsored your visa and no other.

If you work for any other employer then that is a violation of visa rules. If caught, the penalties are severe.  And yes, if not caught, you are fine.

Don't know where the confusion is. It is listed clearly on the MOI website and as a Government source, that is the only authority we should believe..... And not experiences of people.

Hello everyone,

I am closing this topic. Please note that no illegal information will be allowed on the forum.

Thanks for your understanding,
Bhavna

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