Degree attestation for Saudi Arabia: work visa requirements
One of the major components of getting your Saudi Work visa is to have your degree authenticated by the Saudi Cultural Mission. Now the Cultural Mission is a separate entity than the Saudi Embassy, therefore, they have a separate process.
Saudi Arabia only recognizes degrees which have gleaned from predominately in-class room study and when I say in classroom study, I mean you physically studied in the class. Usually they ask for 80% in-classroom study when compared to distance learning. This ratio is subject to change depending on the school that you attended.
Note, online degrees are not accepted, period.
How long does the degree attestation take?
Well, that can be quite variable depending on what school you went to, when you graduated, and what country you are applying from. Generally the US and Canada take about 2-3 weeks as its a more fluid process and in the UK we are seeing about 5 weeks or so, but not uncommon to see up to 10 weeks.
What are the requirements?
Each country has its own set of requirements and its best to email, email@example.com, for your specific questions, but you will most surely need:
-copy of your degree/certificate
-contract/letter from Saudi Arabia
-copy of your passport
What if my degree cannot be attested?
If your degree cannot be attested, you will not be eligible for a Saudi Arabia work visa as the Consulate is unable to issue visas without this requirement.
Will I need my attested degree in KSA?
YES, absolutely, it is imperative that you keep this stamped degree with you as if you intend to bring your family, MOFA in Saudi Arabia will ask you to present this. If you do not have it, it may further delay your case.
Why does it take so long to have my degree attested?
Most people think that it is an easy process and should be done in a jiff. Unfortunately that is not correct. The Saudi mission will personally reach out to the school to confirm that you did attend and you actually graduated. Next, the request goes to the Ministry of Higher Education in Saudi Arabia for the final verification. Then this comes back to the Saudi mission for the final stamp and your degree is done. Now it may sound simple, but all of those entities have their own lag time, hence the 2-3 weeks or longer that it may take.
In summary, this is a crucial part of the employment process, but the good news, this can be arranged mostly electronically and way before you are actual ready to apply for your visa. This will decrease your wait time and hopefully have you on your way to Saudi quite shortly.