Saudi Arabia: Work visas issued by sector of economic activity (private sector only) (2015-2018)
|Agri., Forest, Hunting & Fishing||Mines, Oil, Gas & Quarries||Manufacturing industries||Electricity, Gas & Water||Construction||Retails & Hotels||Transports & Storage||Finance, Insurance, Real estate services & Businesses||Collective, Social, & Personal services||Other activities||TOTAL|
Source: Ministry of Labour and Social Development/ GAStat
The labour visa allows the worker to enter Saudi Arabia. It is issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In order to employ workers from abroad, the sponsoring company must first file a “Block Visa” request with the Ministry of Labor, requesting pre-approval to sponsor foreign employees.
Once the Block Visa request is approved, the sponsoring company in Saudi Arabia should obtain a visa authorization number and an electronic power of attorney
authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Saudi Arabia.
Foreign nationals may then apply for work visas through Saudi consular posts in their country of residence. Several documents are required before issuance of work visas, including medical certificate.
Therefore, 1. work visas reflect a given year/quarter’s new entries of workers to Saudi Arabia and 2. work visas issued are more than the workers effectively entering the country a given year/ quarter,
as some eventually do not terminate the procedure, or are rejected at a later stage (entry visa; residency procedures…).
Totals of visas issued per year may differ slightly between publications, due to variations in the periods of reference taken (Hijri vs Gregorian years).
2. Institution which provides data
Ministry of Labour, now Ministry of Labour and Social Development (MLSD)
3. Data availability
The present data is published in the General Authority for Statistics’ (GAStat) Statistical Yearbook 2018, chapter 11 “Labour and Social Security” https://www.stats.gov.sa/en/258
Last date of access: December 2019.