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By taking the time necessary to arm yourself with the facts about the people, religion, culture and society in Saudi Arabia, you will be better prepared for your new life in the Kingdom and you will get far more out of your stay, and whether you find work yourself in Saudi or are sponsored by your employer to relocate to the Kingdom, you can expect an adventure, a challenge and a completely new way of life during your time in the country.
For a foreigner to enter the Kingdom they have to be sponsored by an employer. Typically Western workers come to work in the oil, teaching or medical industries and are very well rewarded, financially speaking, for their work.
The low cost of living, the fact that accommodation and meals etc., are often all paid for by an employer and that taxation is not deducted from a pay check lead many Western workers to take on at least a short term contract in
There are between five and six million foreign residents living and working in Saudi and many Westerners live on compounds and often enjoy a frenetic social life! The compounds are often lavish affairs provided by employers; they usually have excellent facilities included for the direct benefit of resident foreign workers and their families.
Because there is little for workers to spend their money on there is an awful lot of disposable income to go round for spending on social events, shopping, diving trips, tennis lessons etc. And most of those who go to work in
If you have secured employment in Saudi and have your sponsorship in place, you will be required to present your passport, which must be valid for at least 6 months, your employment visa and also a health certificate on arrival. Your visa will have a period of validity and you must enter the country within that period.
Further documentation required to enter the
Authorisation to enter the country from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A medical certificate from a recognised medical authority
Your letter of sponsorship from your company which should be dated and have your visa number on it
Your employment contract from the Saudi Arabian company for whom you will work
A police clearance certificate
Copies of all of you relevant academic qualifications and any relevant work experience for the job you’re about to take - this is especially relevant for anyone embarking on teaching or medical work
And if you’ve been working previously in Saudi you have to have ‘a letter of no objection’ from your previous employer which basically proves you’ve been released amicably from your last contract.
With all these things in place the bureaucratic process is fairly straightforward if a little intense, and shortly after entering the country and taking up your assignment you will settle into your new life in Saudi.
Go with the right attitude, accept and embrace the cultures of the country, respect the laws and religion in
Please note that practicing a religion other than Islam publicly in Saudi is prohibited and that women should wear their abaya when going outside their compound. Also worth noting is the fact that the sale or consumption of alcohol in Saudi is prohibited as is gambling.