Visa validity periods change for non-US foreign nationals

27 Oct 16

SAUDI ARABIA

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Saudi Arabia has changed visa validity and duration of stay requirements for both commercial visit (business) and work visit (temporary work) visas.

What does the change mean? Commercial visit visas will be valid for 180 days, with a 30-day duration of stay, or 365 or 730 days, with a 90-day duration of stay. Work visit visas will be valid for 180, 365 or 730 days, with a permitted duration of stay of 30 days. U.S. nationals remain eligible to obtain commercial and work visit visas that are valid for five years with a 180-day duration of stay.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Commercial visit (business) and work visit (temporary work) visas.
  • Who is affected: Employers and foreign nationals applying for commercial visit or work visit visas.
  • Impact on processing times: No significant impact.
  • Business impact: Businesses should take the new validity periods and duration of stay requirements into account when developing a mobility strategy.

Background: The changes to the visa validity periods and duration of stay requirements went into effect Oct. 2, when Saudi Arabia also increased visa fees across a number of categories. U.S. nationals will continue to be eligible for five-year commercial and work visit visas, with a duration of stay of 180 days. While foreign nationals of a handful of countries are banned from entering Saudi Arabia, most foreign nationals will be eligible for the following visas:

Commercial visit (business)

Validity Duration
180 Days 30 days
365 Days 90 days
730 days 90 days

Work visit (temporary work)

Validity Duration
180 Days 30 days
365 Days 30 days
730 days 30 days

Visa applicants must obtain a letter of invitation from the Saudi government in order to obtain a visa. Visas will be issued in accordance with the validity and terms stated in the letter, and terms may vary at the discretion of Saudi officials.

BAL Analysis: Employers and applicants should take the new validity periods and duration of stay requirements into account, but should also keep in mind that terms and conditions might vary from applicant to applicant.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Saudi Arabia. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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