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Saudi Arabia > Saudi Arabia FAQs > Recruitment Process

How long does the process take?


The length of the process varies as each case is different.  When you apply for a position, we will give you a realistic time estimate and, once you have accepted a job offer, your recruiter will again revise this estimate and make a detailed plan with you.  As a rough guide, a typical case goes something like this:

Week 1

You will receive an application pack by email and a call from a recruiter to tell you everything you need to know

Week 2

Application and initial phone interview should be completed.

Week 3

Application is sent to the hospital.

Week 4

Final interview with the hospital (typically by phone or Skype).

Week 5

Offer of employment is issued.

Weeks 6-10

Completing paperwork and background checking. 

Week 10

Visa is issued and you resign from your current job.

Week 11-20

You will travel for the next available orientation following your last day of work.  This could be as much as 9 weeks later depending on your notice period. 

How much will it cost me?

First and foremost, our services are free to you.  We are paid by the hospital once you start work.

As you would expect, there are costs associated with moving to another country for work. Each case is slightly different so it will vary but, again, your recruiter will give you realistic estimates when you apply, so you will know what to expect before agreeing to anything.

To give you an idea, we've put together a list of the typical things you will need to pay for.  Note that some of these costs may be eligible for reimbursement, depending on the terms of your offer.  This will all be explained to you at the time of application.

How am I interviewed?

You will have a phone interview with us as part of your application.  During this time, you will also complete the hospital's application paperwork.  Once complete, we submit your application to the hospital for review.  If shortlisted, they will interview you by phone or Skype. 

What will I be asked at interview?

The interview itself is very standard.  You will be asked about your experience so far, some clinical questions related to your speciality and also some general questions about why you want to work in Saudi Arabia.  We provide interview training and guidance to help you prepare.

Do I need to pass an English Language test?

Yes, the working language in our hospitals is English so your language skills must meet the required standard for safe effective practice. If you are not a native English speaker, we will test your English skills as part of the application process. 

Do I need to pay for my own flights?

No - the hospital pay for your ticket when you start work and when you leave.  If you stay for longer than one year, your contract also normally includes a mid-year return flight home for a holiday.

I've heard that I'm not allowed to keep my passport after arrival - is this true?

The short answer is yes but there's a lot of misinformation surrounding this issue that worries people unnecessarily. 

In Saudi Arabia, everyone must have an ID card known as an iqama.  It takes roughly 3 weeks to get this from the proper government authorities, with the process being largely managed by your employer.  The passport is needed to process the application.  Once you have your iqama, you are free to apply for multiple visas which allow you to travel in and out of the Kingdom.  As with the iqama application, the hospital manage this process and need your passport to do so.

For these reasons, the hospital will hold onto your passport for safekeeping and to ease the process for you when you decide you want/need visas added.  When you want your passport back, for any reason, you simply go to the office and hand over your iqama.  You will then be given your passport.

This system has the added benefit of allowing the hospital to keep an eye out for your safety.  When you take your passport, they will ask when you expect to return it.  If it is not returned, they know to check in on you and make sure you are well!

If there is an emergency at home during the probationary period, am I allowed to leave?

Yes - you would discuss the individual situation with your manager and the hospital would work with you to make the necessary arrangements.  Whilst each case is handled individually, we know from experience that our hospitals handle such issues very well.

Do I have to get a visa every time I want to leave Saudi Arabia?

Yes but it's very easy to do and free of charge.

Do I need to learn Arabic?

Basically, no - but you are encouraged to learn some basic skills!

Whilst the working language of the hospitals is English, Arabic-speaking medical staff may speak Arabic to each other except during doctor's rounds.  Your patients will normally speak only Arabic but there are interpreters in the hospital for this reason.  You will also find that many nurses are Arabic-speaking and normally will be happy to help new employees with some translation.

The hospitals provides Arabic courses and we would recommend that you take advantage of these.

Will I have an orientation when I arrive at the hospital?

Yes - you can expect the orientation period to last 2-3 weeks.

It will include a review of the hospital nursing policy and procedures and standard courses as well as an introduction to life in Saudi Arabia. During orientation, you must pass a medication calculation test.

You will receive more details about the orientation procedure once you have accepted a job offer, as it varies slightly from hospital to hospital.

Do I need to apply for a nursing license in Saudi Arabia?

Yes - we begin the application process before you travel.  There are some costs associated with this which will be outlined to you during the application process.

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