What should you know to immigrate to Saudi Arabia?

The Middle East has several appealing business destinations, with Saudi Arabia being one of the best ones. Many foreigners or investors immigrate to Saudi Arabia thanks to its developed economy. Furthermore, many of them move to this country because of their job or to start a new business. However, some of them even might want to just move to Saudi Arabia for a temporary relocation.

In this article, let us discuss how our experts will help you with immigration to KSA by offering specialized services. Furthermore, we can guide you and offer our help so you can get knowledge regarding Saudi Arabia and its immigration process.

  1. A step-by-step guide to immigrating to Saudi Arabia
  2. Main types of visas for Saudi immigration
  3. Why should you immigrate to Saudi Arabia?
  4. How can you open a business in Saudi Arabia?
  5. Frequently asked questions about Saudi Arabia
  6. How can we help you with your immigration process to Saudi Arabia?

A step-by-step guide to immigrating to Saudi Arabia

Find a job

One of the most recommended ways of moving to Saudi Arabia is to immigrate to Saudi Arabia based on employment. For instance, Saudi Arabia has always been an attractive prospect for employment in the oil and gas sectors. Nevertheless, as with many other countries, many foreigners become interested in becoming ex-pats.

There are several ways you can find a job as an ex-pat in Saudi Arabia. For instance, if you do not have a residence permit, you will need a work permit. To obtain one, you will need to apply for one by obtaining a sponsorship letter from a company. Nevertheless, this company must have permission from the Saudi Ministry of Labor to hire overseas personnel. Afterward, you will need to submit the required documentation for it.

However, you need to take into consideration that jobs in roughly 12 sectors are restricted to Saudi nationals. This means that ex-pats looking to immigrate to Saudi Arabia cannot apply for them. Although, in some cases (for example, if you have specialist skills) you can still apply for those jobs.

Apply for a visa or permit

Secondly, even if you find or do not find a job, there are still ways to immigrate to Saudi Arabia with a permit or visa. However, Saudi Arabia has strict bureaucratic procedures to obtain one. To be eligible to enter the country, you will need some documents such as:

  • Numerous passport-size photos.
  • A valid passport.
  • Birth certificate for each family member.
  • Medical certificate.
  • Marriage certificate if you plan to enter with your spouse or join them in the country.
  • If you are a migrant working in Saudi Arabia, you require a certificate that indicates a clean bill of health.

Moreover, when you immigrate to Saudi Arabia, you will need to keep your ID document as well as entry and residency visas on your person. On the other hand, without proper authorization, you will not get past the check-in desk. However, you must be careful with the dates your visa shows which conform to the Islamic calendar. You can be fined if you overstay by even 24 hours. The main visas you can obtain in Saudi Arabia are:

  • Family visit visa.
  • Business visa.
  • Visitor visa.
  • Work visa.

Rent or buy property

Thirdly, once you successfully immigrate to Saudi Arabia, we recommend you buy or rent a property. The most popular types of accommodation that ex-pats choose are compound properties on gated premises. Furthermore, the average rent cost in Saudi Arabia is cheaper than in other countries in the Middle East. This cost is cheap and includes utilities. Landlords tend to conduct contracts to be renewed yearly.

Furthermore, there are other rules you need to follow when renting a property such as paying a year´s rent in advance or paying a refundable security deposit equivalent to a month´s rent. Since this varies depending on the location, we recommend you search in advance for the rules to follow before choosing.

On the other hand, if you decide to buy property when you immigrate to Saudi Arabia there are some restrictions in place. Foreigners can own real estate in Saudi Arabia, but the licensing authority needs to approve them. However, geographical restrictions still apply; in some places, ex-pats cannot own property unless they inherit them. In addition to this, eligible foreigners can also apply for an indefinite stay as well as a 1-year residency permit.

Move your belongings

Fourthly, once you begin with the immigration to KSA and Saudi Arabia, we recommend you move your belongings. You should consider if you want to transport them yourself or if you want to hire the services of a company that handles international moves. The latter is more used unless the individual is traveling lightly.

However, if you decide to use a removal company, you might need to take out insurance cover for your possessions. We recommend this so you can ensure adequate insurance for anything with sentimental or actual value. Furthermore, you should also do a complete check of the inventory to form the basis for any insurance claim.

Open a bank account

Lastly, we recommend you open a bank account when you immigrate to KSA. The Saudi banking system greatly benefits Saudi nationals and international customers. Additionally, banks provide some of the most basic and essential services to ex-pats and can provide more if they request them.

To open a local bank account as an ex-pat you do require a residence visa. Moreover, there is a lot of paperwork involved to open a local bank account in Saudi Arabia. If you are an employed ex-pat, you need a letter of no objection from your employer. Furthermore, you also require a passport copy as well as 4 passport photos.

In some cases, you also need to present a tenancy agreement or residential address. However, the residence visa works in most cases. Lastly, you can open an account in a bank if you submit proof from your sponsor to the bank. Your sponsor can be an employer, organization, or spouse if they are a Saudi native.

To receive further assistance in accounting-related matters, we offer you the services of the best accountants in the region.

Main types of visas for Saudi immigration

There are several visas you can apply for. You can immigrate to Saudi Arabia based on employment, family visit, transit, etc. Nevertheless, there are 7 main types of visas in Saudi Arabia. These are:

  • The e-Visa, which foreigners can obtain online. The KSA can grant this visa to foreigners for tourism, family visit, or business purposes. Lastly, it comes with a validity of 90 days.
  • The Saudi Arabian Tourist Visa is great for foreigners that want to immigrate to Saudi Arabia for sightseeing and tourism purposes only. This visa is good if you are not eligible for an e-Visa.
  • A Family Visit Visa is optimal if a foreigner wants to visit a family member in Saudi Arabia. You are eligible for this visa if you are a first-line relative such as a spouse, parent, or child of a Saudi citizen.
  • The Business Visa is perfect for foreigners that need to visit Saudi Arabia for business purposes. These include meetings, training, business deals, etc.
  • The Umrah Visa and Hajj Visa are excellent for Muslim pilgrims from all over the world. They can obtain these licenses free of charge at the Embassies or Consulates of Saudi Arabia.
  • A Work Visa is good if you are a foreigner that the KSA employs. Evidently, for this, they need to have a job offer in Saudi Arabia. The employer has to procure a Saudi work permit for them to apply for it.
  • The Student Visa is perfect for a foreigner that wants to study in the KSA. To be eligible for one, they need to be accepted into an accredited institute or university in the country first.

Why should you immigrate to Saudi Arabia?

If you still are unsure whether or not to move to Saudi Arabia, there are several reasons to do so. According to several ex-pats, the 8 main reasons why you should immigrate to the KSA are:


This is the main reason why ex-pats consider moving to Saudi Arabia. The financial prospects in Saudi Arabia are really good. One of the main incentives is that salaries are tax-free. This is the main incentive since in other countries, you can expect to pay up to 40-50% taxes worth of your earnings. Thanks to this, saving money and making a profit will be easier. Furthermore, in Saudi Arabia, salaries are higher than in other parts of the world.


When it comes to working experience in your CV, overseas work experience is really good for yours. With this experience, you can showcase your ability to work in other cultures to employers as well as show that you can do business in other places. Even though Saudi Arabia can be one of the hardest places to do or open a business, the experience is rewarding. Employers will look upon that with big interest.


As simple as it might seem, Saudi Arabia has great weather and generous sunlight all year round. Although for some months, it is too hot, in the remaining months, you can enjoy the weather. Simply put, although the summers are hot, foreigners can easily manage them with air-conditioning.


Although the cost of living is low, the standard of living in Saudi Arabia is high. For instance, it is a common sight to see ex-pats enlist the services of drivers, maids, gardeners, etc. All of this depends on your personal preferences, but it means that you can enjoy a good lifestyle if you desire it.


If you immigrate to Saudi Arabia on a tourist visa, the country has many top-level destinations you can travel to. For example, there is the Kingdom Centre Tower, the Great Mosque of Mecca, Al-Balad, the Red Sea Mall, etc.


Shopping in Saudi Arabia is also a great experience for ex-pats since new malls open regularly in the country. These new malls offer the biggest brands and modern retail experience to all their customers.

Food and Drink

Going hand to hand with the shopping experience, you can enjoy a high-quality dining experience if you immigrate to Saudi Arabia. Not only eating out is a cultural experience, but Saudi Arabia also offers everything from affordable to luxurious. Furthermore, Saudi cuisine is highly regarded in the world as rich and flavorful.


Lastly, the culture is another big reason why ex-pats prefer immigration to KSA. Not only can you experience the local culture and learn about Saudi hospitality, but you can also learn how welcoming and friendly locals can be. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia is as diverse in its landscapes as in its culture and traditions.

How can you open a business in Saudi Arabia?

After seeing the main reasons to immigrate to Saudi Arabia, you might want to know how to set up a business in the country as well. After all, earnings are one of the main reasons, many foreigners come here to do business. It is also important to take into consideration that the cost to open a business in Saudi Arabia varies on several factors.

The main steps are:

Choose your industry and business structure

If you choose to open a business in Saudi Arabia you need to outline the industry in which you want to work in. Furthermore, you also need to decide which activities you intend to undertake. This step is crucial to determine if it’s better to set up in Mainland Saudi or a free economic zone. Furthermore, you also determine which type of license and the legal entity you need for your business.

Business premises

Secondly, you must open your business premises in Saudi Arabia. If you open a company, you can take the mainland premises. On the other hand, you can also sign up for a license package in a free economic zone.

Furthermore, you need to take into account that from 2023, Saudi Arabia will stop issuing licenses to foreign companies if they do not have business premises in the country. Consequently, this makes this step an obligation, especially if you are setting up a branch company.

Obtain an investment license

Thirdly, to open a business, you need to obtain an investment license to do so. SAGIA (Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority) is in charge of issuing it. With this license, you will be able to invest in Saudi Arabia as well as buy or establish a new company or set up a foreign branch. Furthermore, you also need to apply for the commercial registration certificate from the Ministry of Commerce and Investment.

Additional documentation

Afterward, you will need to submit documentation to the Ministry of Commerce. If you are having trouble with that documentation, Saudi company formation officers can help you with it. They will help you obtain the required Memorandum of Association and Issuance of Commercial Registration.

Lastly, to confirm your company´s establishment, you will need to appoint a General Director as well as provide the following documents:

  • Shareholders’ and directors´ passport copies.
  • An MOA (Memorandum of Association).
  • AOA (Articles of Association).
  • Proof of identification and address of the directors and shareholders of the company.
  • A copy of the trade name confirmation.
  • A bank reference letter.

Moreover, you also require a business visa to live, work, and reside in the country.

Frequently asked questions about Saudi Arabia

Where do ex-pats live in Saudi Arabia?

In Saudi Arabia, ex-pats are most likely settling in the city that their job designates. Once they immigrate to Saudi Arabia, some of them might live in ex-pat compounds. These compounds are secure communities that provide ex-pats with several amenities.

Do you need a visa to enter and exit Saudi Arabia?

Yes, you need a Visa to do these things. Visas are absolute in Saudi Arabia, and depending on the type needed, you will need to arrange the appropriate documentation with the help of Saudi company formation officers.

What healthcare standards can you expect?

Saudi Arabia has a similar level of healthcare to the USA and Europe. Nowadays, it is now mandatory to have some form of healthcare if you want to obtain a work permit to immigrate to Saudi Arabia.

The Ministry of Health provides universal coverage for public sector ex-pats and locals. However, private-sector ex-pats should need to organize with their sponsor to have appropriate insurance.

Are international schools the best option in Saudi Arabia?

Yes, international schools are the best option for ex-pats looking to immigrate to Saudi Arabia. This is because, when it comes to public schooling in Saudi Arabia, ex-pat children face significant language and cultural barriers. The country has an assortment of international schools available that caters to a variety of curricula and languages. Foreigners should consider cost, standards, and convenience when it comes to choosing an international school.

What job sectors provide working opportunities in Saudi Arabia?

As we previously mentioned, Saudi Arabia’s main sectors for job opportunities are the oil and gas industry. However, in addition to them, the logistics, retail, and consumer goods sectors are also primary sectors of the country. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia also actively recruits nurses, doctors, and English-speaking teachers.

How can we help you with your immigration process to Saudi Arabia?

Immigration laws in Saudi Arabia are constantly changing, either to make it easier or harder for foreigners to immigrate. Either way, keeping up with the laws becomes harder each passing year, to the point that many foreigners require the help of a group of legal professionals to be able to immigrate.

However, it is worth mentioning that we offer an extensive variety of services to help you travel or establish yourself in Saudi Arabia. If you are a foreigner, you can count on our visa solutions. On the other hand, you can also rely on our company formation experts to assist you in establishing your business operations in the country.

Are you interested in getting more information related to the immigration process in Saudi Arabia?  You can contact us at any time by calling us at +971 58 515 8876 or kindly sending us an email at office@companyformationsaudiarabia.com. In this way, you will be able to reach our team of professionals and get an answer to all of your inquiries as well as general guidance to immigrate to Saudi Arabia.

In addition to this, we also recommend that you visit thetalentpoint.com if you want to start searching for job openings in Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, you can send your CV to contact@thetalentpoint.com if you are not ready to create an account.

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