SAUDI ARABIA: Work Visit Visa Cancelled [UPDATED 22/11/19]
Newland Chase has been informed, via our Network Partner in Saudi Arabia, that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed privately that the Work Visit Visa (WVV) is no longer available. Those currently in the Kingdom under a WVV can stay until the expiry date.
Note that there is still no official public announcement of this change.
Like the Work Visit Visa and the Commercial Visit Visa it replaces, the Business Visa that is now being issued cannot be converted post-arrival to a work and residence permit – a “Work Visa” is required for this. Visitors holding Business Visas may receive financial honoraria, but they may not be employed by the sponsor.
However, a list of allowable activities under a Business Visa is being prepared by the Ministry of Labour, which is likely to include sports and entertainment engagements, negotiating and signing agreements and presenting lectures (these activities are as yet unconfirmed).
Newland Chase understands from various sources that applicants already issued with a Work Visit Visa invitation letter and a new-format Business Visa, or their employer’s Government Relations Officer GRO), can visit the immigration office in Saudi Arabia to request a temporary work authorisation. The applicant must submit a copy of their passport (with visa page and border entry number), letter of invitation and a letter of application, and pay an online fee.
However, there is no official confirmation from the authorities that this is the correct way to proceed.
Newland Chase and CIBT Visas will continue to monitor the situation and will update this post with further information from Saudi consulates.
Employers who may be affected are encouraged to contact a Newland Chase immigration specialist for case-specific advice.