Saudi Arabia: Block Visa Validity Reduced to One Year

Effective immediately, the Ministry of Labour and Social Development has reduced the validity of block visa approvals from two years to one year.

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Nov 02, 2017
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The situation
Block visa validity rule change

A closer look
Effective immediately, the Ministry of Labour and Social Development has reduced the validity of block visa approvals from two years to one year. Employers must file block visa applications for every position which they intend to fill with a foreign national.

  • Expiration. If a block visa is not used, the approval will expire within one year of the issuance date.
  • Impact. Employers in Saudi Arabia should prepare their recruitment strategies in advance to ensure their eligibility for employment of foreign nationals and use the approved block visas within the prescribed deadlines.
  • Fee. The government fee to submit an application remains the same at SAR 2,000.
  • Background. Due to recent changes to the Nitaqat program, only companies in compliance with Saudization requirements (i.e. classified as High Green or Platinum) can request block visas.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to mideast@fragomen.com

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