Saudi Arabia: Work visas issued by type/ sector of activity (private sector; governmental; domestic) (2004-Q3 2019)
|year||private sector||government sector||domestic sector||Total|
Source: Ministry of Labour and Social Development
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…).
2. Institution which provides data
Ministry of Labour, now Ministry of Labour and Social Development (MLSD) (https://mlsd.gov.sa/en/node)
3. Data availability
Until 2015, the data was published in Ministry of Labour’s Statistical Yearbooks
MoL’s Yearbooks until 2015 are no longer available on MLSD’s website.
MLSD’s Yearbook for 2016 has the figure of work visas issued that year:
Quarterly figures for 2017, 2018 and 2019 are published in the Labour Force Surveys:
Last date of access: December 2019.