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SAUDI ARABIA: Latest Process for Business Visit Visa Applications

Application processing for Business Visit Visas for Saudi Arabia now includes a pre-approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in addition to a Letter of Invitation from the sponsoring Saudi-registered entity. Until recently, only female applicants required a pre-approval.

The sponsoring Saudi-registered entity must apply for the pre-approval once they have secured a letter of invitation (LOI). However, most MOFA approval applications are currently being processed within a few hours.


In October 2019, Saudi consular authorities stopped issuing the Work Visit Visa and changed the name of the Commercial Visit Visa to “Business Visit Visa”. This visa only allows business activities, including guidance and supervision, and does not allow direct work - a Work Visa supported by a Saudi employment contract is now required for all work activities.

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development is expected to launch a new short-term work visa in the coming months, but no details have yet been released.

Our Advice

Employers who may be affected are encouraged to contact a Newland Chase immigration specialist for case-specific advice.

This alert was prepared with information provided by Proven and Innovation.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2021 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.