Know the Terms for Hiring Non-Saudis

In 2017, Saudi Arabia launched a development initiative called Saudi Vision 2030. To open up avenues for Saudi cadres to develop and have the priority of being hired, with the exception of some jobs that the Kingdom needs to have numerous numbers of but can’t meet that demand from Saudi citizens. Medical professions such as pharmacists, nurses, and medical secretaries, some administrative and financial professions such as sales manager, accountant general, account manager, procurement representative, and executive secretary; as well as workers’ professions such as technicians, skilled, semi-skilled, or ordinary unskilled labor.

Due to the difficulty, and time-consuming challenges facing the process of recruiting migrant workers, which affect the interests of business owners and corporations, let’s introduce to you the conditions of employment for expats in Saudi Arabia, along with some government tools and platforms that may assist you in the hiring process steps.

Conditions of hiring expats in the Saudi private sector

1- For the worker to enter the country legitimately and be permitted to work.

2- To have the academic/professional qualifications required by the country, which no citizens carry, or for which the available number of Saudi citizens does not meet the kingdom’s demand, or which are included in the category of ordinary vacancies for which the country hires expats.

3- To be contracted with (and under) the responsibility of an employer.

Documents required for obtaining a work visa in Saudi

1- A valid passport for at least 6 months, with 2 successive pages.

2- Three copies of a signed medical report, and three passport-sized colored personal photos with a white background.

3- A police report of any criminal record, valid for at least 6 months. 

4- Electronic power of attorney from the Saudi employer issued by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

5- A referral note for obtaining a visa, specifying the number and date of the visa issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (or one of its branches in Jeddah or Dammam).

6- A letter of employment from the sponsoring company in Saudi Arabia, which must be certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Saudi Chamber of Commerce.

7- A copy of the employment contract, signed by both the employee and the sponsoring company in Saudi Arabia, and certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Saudi Chamber of Commerce.

8- A certified copy of the applicant’s university degree/diploma, which must be validated by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM).

9- A certified copy of the applicant’s technical diploma, which must be validated by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM), and the Saudi embassy in the applicant’s country. 

In its efforts to digitize government procedures, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has provided a few governmental platforms to facilitate the hiring process steps for expats.

Here’s your guide to governmental links that assist you in employing non-Saudis:

  • Services overview in Jobs and Work Place, on the Vision 2030 platform.
  • Visa Issuance Service, aims to facilitate enterprise business with immediate visa issuance, with no need for hardcopy documents or visiting one of the offices for the Ministry of Human Resources. The service is provided to enterprises that achieve high nationalization rates and are compliant with labor regulations.
  • Major rights and duties in the Saudi labor law. And the complete and updated Labor Law of the kingdom.

With all this digital and technical facilitation provided by the Kingdom comes the critical role that employment companies play in Saudi Arabia.

The GCC economy is expected to grow by 2.5% in 2023 and 3.2% in 2024. This is in comparison with the region’s remarkable GDP growth of 7.3% in 2022, due to a strong increase in oil production for most of this year.

Due to this fast growth, many entrepreneurs and business owners find it very difficult to answer the question “How much can I hire foreign workers?”, carry out the procedures of recruiting expats in Saudi Arabia, and fulfill the required paperwork, given the magnitude of the risks this company may face in the event of the worker’s illegal entry, escape, or forgery of certain documents.

In order to maintain the Saudi Vision 2030 initiative moving forward, focus on the non-oil sectors most important for business growth, such as healthcare, construction, retail, and manufacturing, which are expected to witness growth rates that exceed the oil sectors by 4.7% in 2023. These sectors’ needs for domestic and external employment are increasing as they grow, while entrepreneurs are not available full-time for the hiring process, and if they themselves cannot meet all the conditions of employment for non-Saudis, or comply with the updates of the non-Saudi Employment Regulations, there came the role of Saudi Recruitment Companies specialized in recruitment operations, and the best solution for entrepreneurs and company owners, to be in their behalf in the entire hiring process steps.

These companies not only perform the recruitment process to meet all the terms of recruitment for each worker and comply with the non-Saudi employment regulation and its updates, but they also carry off the burden on the employer’s shoulders in each procedure in the recruitment process and avoid them falling into critical legal situations. Some of their missions are:

  • Determining the quantified and qualified employment needs of each company.
  • Selecting skilled and qualified employees, and picking the managerial cadres that promote the company’s performance and productivity.
  • Providing immediate hiring in case of an emergency need for employment, or new projects that need a large workforce.
  • Replacing the worker in case he didn’t meet the requirements of his duties in the company.
  • Taking the required legal action in the event of the employee’s escape.
  • Managing salary payments, vacation requests, and follow-up attendance hours.
That’s what SMASCO provides you … and more

At first, SMASCO experts meet you to learn more about your business needs, and the problems you face with the workforce, and then help you identify the appropriate solutions and products that suit your business activity and budget, to make the most of your contract with us and get the best out of each worker we hire for you. 

If your company needs immediate and urgent recruitment, we suggest our service Jahiz as an optimal solution to keep your productivity wheel running. Find out more about SMASCO‘s services.


●  Hiring non-Saudis, Qiwa.sa. الباب الثالث: توظيف غير السعوديين. منصة قوة

●   Hire Employees in Saudi Arabia: Overview. Horizons. 

●  Work Visits Visa, GOV.SA.

●  معدلات النمو الاقتصادي في دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي يُتوقع أن تتباطأ إلى 2.5% في 2023، بيان صحفي 05/17/2023، مجموعة البنك الدولي.