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Old Aug 20th 2017, 5:37 am   #1
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Default Saudi Business Visa

Morning All

I have been offered a role in Saudi Arabia and the visa that has been offered is a "multiple entry business visa 180 stay with 90 day duration".

I was wondering if anyone can offer some advice around this and the practicalities of this. I believe that a benefit is that I won't need permissions to leave the country but a negative is that I would have to leave the country every 30 days?

In addition, can someone please offer advice on wether I could do the following:

1. Sponsor my wife to stay in Saudi also? I assume not. If not, what is the workaround, would she need to be on a tourist visa, and if so, are they easy to get for a Brit and are they limited or do some people stay indefinitely on tourist visas as long as they do a trip out every 30 days?

2. Can I rent or hire a car?

3. Can I get a tenancy agreement on a compound or would I be restricted to living in a hotel?

4. Could I open a Bank Account?

5. Would I still be able to get health insurance?

6. Finally, why is it called a 180 stay with 90 day duration? Cant get my head around what that means.

Any advice on the above and other considerations you can think of would be really appreciated. Thank you
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Old Aug 20th 2017, 9:09 am   #2
CJPTFC 
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Default Re: Saudi Business Visa

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevork1984 View Post
Morning All

I have been offered a role in Saudi Arabia and the visa that has been offered is a "multiple entry business visa 180 stay with 90 day duration".

I was wondering if anyone can offer some advice around this and the practicalities of this. I believe that a benefit is that I won't need permissions to leave the country but a negative is that I would have to leave the country every 30 days?

In addition, can someone please offer advice on wether I could do the following:

1. Sponsor my wife to stay in Saudi also? I assume not. If not, what is the workaround, would she need to be on a tourist visa, and if so, are they easy to get for a Brit and are they limited or do some people stay indefinitely on tourist visas as long as they do a trip out every 30 days?

2. Can I rent or hire a car?

3. Can I get a tenancy agreement on a compound or would I be restricted to living in a hotel?

4. Could I open a Bank Account?

5. Would I still be able to get health insurance?

6. Finally, why is it called a 180 stay with 90 day duration? Cant get my head around what that means.

Any advice on the above and other considerations you can think of would be really appreciated. Thank you
The benefit of the business visa is exactly as you describe, you can leave the country whenever you like without needing permission from your sponsor. It's ideal for a single man, but if you have family and want to bring them here then it's no use.

1. No, you can't sponsor your wife or dependents on a business visa. I've never heard of a Tourist Visa but only a Family Visit Visa, again though, you have to be resident to be able to get one of these for family. Business visa doesn't allow it.

2. Difficult to rent a car in town (where it's cheaper) on a Business Visa, because they normally request Iqama (Residents ID) and Saudi Licence. Car rental outfits at the airport seem to accept International Driving Permit with Business Visa but they are a good bit dearer than the shops in town.

3. You'll be able to get a tenancy on a compound using your Business Visa and passport.

4. No, you can't open a local bank account. (You can however use the International Money Transfer places to send cash home when you have a business visa I believe)

5. New legislation forces all Business Visa travellers to take a Travel Insurance policy through the Saudi Embassy in UK prior to issue of the visa. However, they take your payment and don't send you any documents so i'm not sure how you would go about using it. To answer, your question though, you can't get a local Health Insurance card with a Business Visa.

6. If it's 180 with 90 day duration, that suggests that the visa is valid for 6 months, but you must leave before 90th day of each visit. (Normally people get on a plane to Bahrain, have a pint and come back and that means you can stay another 90 days).

If I was you i'd check that and be sure the duration is 90 days. Any 180 day visa i've ever seen was 180 day validity and 30 day duration. Meaning you your visa is valid for 6 months, and you leave the country for a visa run every 30 days.

Hope this helps and if you need clarification on anything i've said just let me know.
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Old Aug 20th 2017, 10:05 am   #3
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Default Re: Saudi Business Visa

Thank you very much, that's really helpful. Hugely appreciated.
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Old Sep 19th 2017, 6:37 pm   #4
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Default Re: Saudi Business Visa

Concur with the above except item 2, which can be managed.
I have been on Saudi Business visa 3 years and have hired a car during this time through Sixt. They (like other car rental companies i assume) require a valid drivers license + international license if your license is not from a GCC country. However, the international license is only valid 12 months which can cause a problem, especially if you have an accident if it has expired. If your sponsor is in the GCC, suggest you get a drivers license from that country to avoid any problems. Suggest you also download the app NAJM. This is in the event of an accident as any accident must be reported - it use to be to the police who cannot cope so NAJM (a bit like the AA / RAC) act as arbiter in an accident and produce a report on the spot. Excellent system (should it be needed) and avoids language barriers as it is in English.
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Old Oct 12th 2017, 7:02 am   #5
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Default Re: Saudi Business Visa

The important point is you can't legally work in Saudi on a business visa. You should be questioning why they can't provide you with an Iqama.
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