KSA – Visa Profession

The first thing which a potential expatriate planning to work in Saudi Arabia should do upon receipt of his work visa is to get the job title verified from someone who knows Arabic. You may be recruited as a doctor, engineer or a nurse but have probably been given a painter visa. Not kidding, it is quite common to find people working in one profession whereas his Iqama would have something else as a profession and in result you r not allowed to bring Ur family as only some professions in Iqama are allowed to bring in their families. This has happened to many and people who have simply come on such visas have faced the herculean and near-impossible task of changing their job titles after landing in the kingdom.

So what’s all this fuss about job title in the visa?
Well, to begin with, you cannot bring your family into the kingdom. You may be a well-paid doctor or an engineer, but if your visa says that your profession is, for example, a laborer, then you cannot bring your family because laborers cannot afford / are not allowed to keep their families with them. Never mind if you are not one, but that’s what your visa says! Strange, isn’t it, but that’s how it works here. You will also not be allowed to take a car driving license for certain lower level categories.

So what are all the professions that are allowed to bring the families?
It is impossible to list out all the job titles which are not eligible to sponsor their families as this list keeps changing frequently and never been available so extensively in public. Hence, better to contact some professional agent who would be able to help with their contacts in the ministry. Also better to talk to the Saudi sponsor, as he is the one who has to move things to get the visa as one cannot do these themselves. As a thumb rule, if your visa profession is any non-supervisory category, e.g., labor, mason, carpenter, etc., you cannot bring your family.

So what should I do?
The safest thing for you to do as soon as your visa has been stamped in your passport, is to go to someone who knows Arabic and get your job title mentioned in your visa translated and explained. This would save you a lot of trouble later when you come into the kingdom. Many employers simply bring people on whatever visa is available with them. Some of them may not even tell you about your job title on the visa, and those who do tell you may probably promise you that once inside the kingdom it can always be changed. Don’t fall for it, because this is just next to impossible.

What is An “Iqama”?
An “Iqama” is something like a personal identification card that you get when you are in Saudi Arabia on a work visa.  The Iqama is color-coded on the basis of your religion.  Muslims get a green-colored Iqama and non-Muslims get a red-colored Iqama.  All the details therein are in Arabic.  You need to carry it at all times on your person.  God forbid that you are asked for an Iqama by a Saudi authority and do not happen to have one with you!


11 thoughts on “KSA – Visa Profession

  1. Respected Sir,

    I am from Pakistan. I want to take work visa for Saudi Arabia and i am married. My age is 28 years and my wife age is 24 and i have one baby of 5 months. Please let me know which type of visa could support me for my family. I mean if i am working in KSA how can my wife and my kid can come to KSA. Which type of visa(docter, engineer,accountant,executives etc) is require for sponsoring a family. Please if you send me the complete details regarding this issue so that i could get visa from KSA and after that sponsor my wife and my little kid. Also send me all the work titles on which i may apply for my family which could support for sponsor. Please reply me as soon as possible. Please reply on my email bilalusman2007@gamil.com


    Bilal Usman

    • It is impossible to list down all the job titles eligible and not eligible for a family visa. A professional agent would be able to give you this easily. As a thumb rule, any non-supervisory job title, such as labor, cannot bring his family. When you get your passport with the Saudi visa stamped, you have to show it to someone who can read Arabic and confirm yourself the category. There is no other way you can get it confirmed. If it is labor category, you can simply forget bringing your family or sponsoring them even on a visit visa. (The same applies if it is any non-supervisory category like carpenter, painter, plumber, barber, etc.)

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  3. sir.how is the status of profession ( store keeper) to get a family visa.this profession is eligible for family visa?
    thanks with accepting the good answer …..

  4. Can i bring my family to Saudi arabia on ‘Mechanical Engineering Technician ” Visa… My Qualification is BSC Mechanical Engineering ,Please reply me at the earliest as i have to make decision about accepting a Job… Thanks in Advance

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  6. Hi All,
    I am experienced software professional with 10 years of experience having SAP certifications.
    I completed by BA degree in 2015 and recently I am offered a Technical job in KSA.
    Initially KSA company wanted me to work on role of business consultant on commercial business work visa which will be for an extent of 1 month.
    The same visa will be extended by a month while my certificate gets attested.
    Once my certificate gets attested KSA company says they can get permanent low category work visa through which my I can live in KSA with my family.
    The questions I have are:
    1) Will I will be able to get permanent low category work visa with my non Technical degree completed last year? and am I eligible to live with my family in KSA?
    2) Furthermore, the company is not directly paying the salary until my degree is verified. Salary will get credited in colleague account which will be collected in India as long as I was in business visa. Is it usual practice? Are there any problem in it?
    I am bit confused and have to leave current job to work for KSA company. kindly advice.
    Thanks ahead,

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