If you chose to come to Saudi Arabia because of a tempting job offer, you will most likely hear about many awesome things concerning this place from your future colleagues, or former employees that have worked there.
You will hear about luxurious compounds to live on, gasoline that is cheaper than water, marvelous travel destinations and, of course, a mouth watering salary.
What nobody will probably tell you however is how difficult it is to get into this country and that the entire procedure of obtaining a visa, for some people, can be compared to getting a new root canal.
So in case none of your colleagues will tell you about this, the student me will.
Yes, getting all necessary things done in order to get a visa to the Kingdom will take a lot of time and will require a lot of patience from you. You may find yourself getting more and more nervous every day, asking yourself why you even accepted this job offer and you may feel tempted to just quit and see if there is anything open for you in…let’s say Thailand instead.
But don’t give up!
I keep saying this to myself for about two weeks now, as I am waiting for an extension of my traveling documents.
The thing is that even though Saudi employees can indeed achieve good results, they achieve them slower than people elsewhere in the world.
So once you gather every information you need, it will probably take a couple of weeks until all of it is processed.
Then there is always the possibility that something either was wrong with your documents from the very beginning or it went wrong. And trust me that is almost status quo as far as I am concerned. If that happens, your documents will have to be annulled, corrected and registered again.
As frustrating the resulting situation may feel, keep calm and hope on. Go on a nice vacation, do some sports, go shopping, meditate or do whatever else while you are waiting for a reply from the embassy. Getting all angry and worried won’t help it or speed it all up, as I learned myself.
In the end, you will eventually get your visa and your iqama (Saudi residency permit).
Just be aware that the whole process of getting into the country will be very time consuming and chances are that you will arrive at your workplace, or in my case school, later than planned.
However, once all this mess is finally dealt with, you will most certainly find that the effort was worth it, once you get here.