Corporate Immigration Best Practices in Saudi Arabia

With companies using expats for a large part of their workforce, corporate immigration is an essential part of operating in Saudi Arabia.

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With companies using expats for a large part of their workforce, corporate immigration is an essential part of operating in Saudi Arabia. Companies bring employees from all over the globe and there are numerous regulations and requirements that the company often doesn’t have the experience to manage. 

By implementing best practices to their corporate immigration companies are able to maintain compliance and operate efficiently.  

1. Be aware of new policies or regulations

The regulations around immigration can change often and without warning. This can alter original hiring strategies and force companies into making changes that they weren’t prepared for. To ensure that they are not left in a position that will hurt their operations, companies need to appoint an experienced person or third party company that can not only keep them compliant with any updates but also ensure the wider business strategy isn’t affected. 

2. Global employee management is ongoing 

Ensure that your HR team is continuing to manage your workforce and have the tools, knowledge and capacity to do so. Visa renewals, Saudization, regulatory updates, the Wage Protection System and GOSI contributions are all ongoing actions that need managing. If your HR team is centralized in another country, consider hiring a local partner to provide the knowledge and support you need. 

3. Create immigration policies

By taking the time to create immigration policies it enables your HR team to manage the workforce efficiently and remain compliant. The policies should cover visas, documentation, process, costs, qualifications, dependents and be fully documented and stored centrally. 

4. Hire a GRO

A GRO, which stands for a government relations officer, supports your company in handling any government related tasks such as document processing, attestations and ministry department visits. In Saudi, the GRO needs to be a Saudi national and whether in-house or outsourced, they are essential to running a company in Saudi Arabia.

5. Maintaining Saudization

Saudization is the government scheme to get more Saudi nationals in the workforce. The company’s size and industry dictates the percentage of nationals they need in order to remain compliant. Compliance brings a number of benefits to companies and having Saudis as a visible part of the business is now culturally expected and makes the company more trustworthy. 

When relocating employees to Saudi, it’s also important to recognize which roles expats are able to take and which are reserved for Saudi nationals.  

Corporate immigration best practices are an essential part of successfully managing business in Saudi Arabia. For private sector companies, being compliant shows commitment to comply with laws and regulations and it’s advisable for companies to create standard processes and policies to reduce delays and errors.

If you require assistance with corporate immigration, contact Proven on +966 11 411 1127 or

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