• Block Visa Validity Reduced to One Year
  • November 23, 2017
  • Executive Summary

    Effective immediately, the Ministry of Labour and Social Development has reduced the validity of block visa approvals from two years to one year.

    The situation

    Block visa validity rule change

    A closer look

    Effective immediately, the Ministry of Labour and Social Development has reduced the validity of block visa approvals from two years to one year. Employers must file block visa applications for every position which they intend to fill with a foreign national.

    • Expiration. If a block visa is not used, the approval will expire within one year of the issuance date.
    • Impact. Employers in Saudi Arabia should prepare their recruitment strategies in advance to ensure their eligibility for employment of foreign nationals and use the approved block visas within the prescribed deadlines.
    • Fee. The government fee to submit an application remains the same at SAR 2,000.
    • Background. Due to recent changes to the Nitaqat program, only companies in compliance with Saudization requirements (i.e. classified as High Green or Platinum) can request block visas.