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Saudi Arabia > Saudi Arabia FAQs > Recruiting Process

How long does the process take?


Professional Connections understands that an employment placement in Saudi Arabia is a big step for each of our candidates. We are here to advise, inform and assist wherever we can. We will tailor an appropriate recruitment plan for each of our candidates. While some roles take longer given the many areas of back-end coordination, in general a person going to Saudi Arabia for the first time is looking at a process and timeline like this:

Week one

1. Provision of recruitment application pack

2. Have a phone time with you to tell you all about the post

Week two

3. Receipt of completed application forms

Week three

4. Submission of application to client

Week four

5. Interview with client

Week five

6. Approval

Week six

7. Acceptance and commencement of visa application

Week ten

8. Visa issued

9. Notice to current employer

Week 11-20

10. Travel

How much do I pay to Professional Connections?

Our recruitment service is free for the applicant. We are sourced by our client hospitals to recruit overseas employees, and we are paid once you have commenced employment. Please be aware that there are, however, some costs associated with your application, (see list below) which you are expected to pay yourself.

What costs are incurred by the candidate?

Please note the costs of the items below vary from country to country. You are responsible for the following costs:

How am I interviewed?

First, you will have a pre-screening interview by our recruiters. Once you have completed the required paperwork, you will have your final interview on the telephone or via SKYPE, if possible, with the nurse manager from the hospital. You might also be interviewed in person if you apply to attend one of our recruitment events.

What will I be asked at interview?

You will be asked general questions about why you want to work in Saudi Arabia, about your work experience and also some clinical questions related to your specialty. Professional Connections provides interview training free to our shortlisted applicants. 

Do I need to pass an English Language test?

Yes. Your English skills need to be good enough for safe and effective practice. If you have not been educated in English, Professional Connections will give you a test that tests grammar, listening and medical terminology.

Does the hospital pay my flight tickets?

Yes, the hospital will pay your initial flight from your nearest international airport. The hospital also pays your departing flight at the end of your contract. If you re-contract you will get one extra flight.

Is it true that I have to relinquish my passport to the hospital upon my arrival?

The short answer is yes. However, this is an often misunderstood area that worries some people unnecessarily. In Saudi Arabia everyone must have an ID card / residency permit called an IQUAMA. It takes about 3 weeks to obtain it. The Government Affairs staff at the hospital, who are Arabic speaking, facilitate this for you with the proper government authorities. They need your passport to do this. 

Once your IQUAMA is issued, and after the three month probationary period, you can apply for multiple exit and re-entry visas. Then, again, the Government Affairs staff at the hospital needs your passport so they can organize you visas. During the probationary period you will be very busy with hospital orientations, skills labs, ward orientation, Arabic language classes, as well as getting settled in and exploring your new home.

The bottom line is that the Hospital is responsible for its staff so they need to know where you are. Government Affairs holds your passport for safe keeping. When you need it, all you have to do is hand in you IQUAMA, and they will give your passport. So if you decide to book a flight and to go to Dubai for the weekend, you just have to go and pick it up the day you are leaving or the day before. Again, as a safety precaution, you should tell them when you are coming back. If the passport is not handed back, then they know to go looking for you!

Most nurses will take a holiday just after the 90 days in month four. So it is really nice to have 50 days of vacation in your first year!

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

Of course you can leave the country during the probationary period or at any other time if there is an emergency at home or a family member is ill. In this situation, the hospital has staff who will work with you individually.

How much is a visa? And do I have to get one every time I leave the country?

You need a visa each time you want to leave the Kingdom. It is free of charge. 

What is the working language of the hospital?

The working language of our client hospitals is English. All documentation and communications between healthcare professionals are in English.

Some of the medical staff will speak Arabic among each other except during official doctor's rounds when they speak English. Patients will normally only speak Arabic, but interpreters are available to translate it for you. There are a number of Arabic speaking nurses working in Saudi Arabia, who are usually more than helpful to new non-Arabic speaking nurses.

Our client hospitals provide Arabic courses and you are encouraged to attend these courses. You should take advantage of the opportunity to learn a new language!

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

Nurses are given an orientation (known as the general nursing orientation or (GNO) on arrival to the hospital. This usually lasts two to three weeks. The GNO includes a review of the hospital nursing policy and procedures, the hospital standard CPR course and medication administration policies and general information about starting one's life in Saudi. Before being allowed to administer medication, nurses must pass a standard medication calculation test. Each hospital has a slightly different orientation program. Full details will be given to you on application or when you are offered a job.

Do I need to register with Saudi Commission for Health Specialities (SCFHS)?

Yes, all healthcare professionals will need to prepare the paperwork prior to mobilization, and hospital personnel will assist you to process your registration with SCHS.

It is a requirement from the Ministry of Interior in Saudi Arabia to register with Saudi Commission of Health Professionals prior to issuance of your IQUAMA (ID /Residency Permit).

Prior to your departure, you will be asked to register on the Mumaris System. Candidates are responsible for all costs associated with SCFHS registration.  Profco will assist you initiating your licensing application with SCFHS 

Attested means the same thing as notarized. Your license, diploma or degree certificates, and reference letters need to be authenticated as a copy by a notary public or a solicitor, which is then stamped by Foreign Affairs in your home country, then by the Saudi Embassy.

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