I’m going to keep this simple and short as possible. For the newcomers to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region, or those planning and trying hard to do so, you should know the following: You may succeed in getting a working visa but the job is not 100 percent guaranteed. There are certain reasons that could be easily identified behind this; one of those is the visa black market in your country. Some recruitment agents in your country send the right guy to the wrong job. Let’s say that you are a skilled carpenter. In this case, can you do the job of an electrician anywhere in the world? This is exactly what happens in most cases. The agent misleads you and the third party. The contract entitles the third party, the sponsor, to have a replacement. The problem usually starts here.
You should also know that out of about 10 million foreigners in Saudi Arabia, there are only 5 million who work for their sponsors. You may ask: Where are the other 5 million expats? And why aren’t they working in a legal way? Unfortunately, there isn’t a reliable answer for this question until now.
Please allow me also to point to the dangers, agony and suffer accompanied with working illegally in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in general. You have the right to know that most of the illegal labor ends up as runaways ‘wanted’ by the local authorities.
If I may suggest, try to consult a legal counselor once a job offer is presented to you. Make sure it suits your education and expertise. Please work harder on knowing the consequences of being found not suitable for the job. Also make sure that the contract states a three month testing period and what the client is expecting during that time.
— The writer is Chairman, Saudi Cartoon & Animation Society