According Saudi immigration and labor law, the Saudi Ministry of Labor is required to confirm that Saudi companies sponsoring a foreign national worker clearly prove there are no readily qualified Saudi national workers available for a proposed job.  This “Saudization” or “Nitaqat” program of hiring Saudi national workers over foreign workers is proving difficult for Saudi-based professional services firms and high tech companies due to Saudi nationals oftentimes lacking the necessary qualifications and skills.

Work permit applications will require that the Saudi company sponsor present an offer letter certified by both the Saudi Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs along with an employment contract.  The offer letter must indicate the block visa number, date, position title/duties and the name of the foreign national.  In addition, the foreign national’s legalized university diploma and resume must be submitted with the work permit application.

Companies and assignees are advised that Saudi consular posts may also scrutinize work visa applications to confirm that applicants possess academic and professional qualifications directly related to the proposed job title.

The consular posts may look at the job title indicated on the assignee’s employment contract and block visa. If there are any differences between the position title indicated in the employment contract, it is strongly suggested that the Saudi company address a letter to the Consulate explaining the discrepancy in the job title and the applicant’s qualifications (e.g., if the applicant has a degree in civil engineering but the proposed job title is Project Management or Project Engineer, a letter confirming that the proposed duties require a degree in civil engineering and professional experience in civil engineering projects).