Before becoming eligible to apply for a work permit in Saudi Arabia, a person should first file for a residency permit (iqama). Once completed and issued with this permit, the motions for future employment and work can begin.
Common options are for example the tourist visa and the business visas. The tourist visa is rarely granted and only to people fulfilling all the requirements: a sponsorship in the country is needed, as well as documentation of the nature of the visit and a copy of the return ticket. The business visa allows foreign nationals to conduct limited business with a sponsor or client in Saudi Arabia. This visa is also commonly used to enable short term contract services, such as medical, technical and consultancy, or for training. It is very important that these visas should only be used for the stated forms of work and not for anything else and it still requires a letter of intent, namely a sponsorship, from a local company and one other letter from the sending company in the country of origin. A work visa has similar requirements as the business visa. For a person looking to obtain an employment visa they must have a desired set of skills and qualifications that are scarce or totally unavailable in Saudi Arabia, and an employment contract with a Saudi citizen, company or someone who has obtained the rights to do business in the country.
Khobar has a strong government control factor, which means the government has total control over things such as economic activities.
Saudi Arabia is known for having an oil based economy; it has possession of 18% of the world's proven petroleum reserves and ranks as the largest exporter of petroleum. Almost all of Saudi Arabia's export earnings and government revenue is accounted for by the petroleum sector. Petroleum in Saudi Arabia is close to the earth’s surface, making it cheaper and therefore more profitable to extract than oil. In particular the area of Khobar, the Eastern Province, hosts many main oil and gas fields and Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil producing company of Saudi Arabia, is based in the neighboring city Dharhan.
Some leading sectors, in which expats can have jobs, are engineering (particularly in the oil industry), IT, healthcare and medicine, banking and financial services, teaching (especially women), telecommunications, or construction. Since Saudi Arabia is also increasing investment in urban planning, transport infrastructure, food processing, and water resource management, foreign specialists with experience in such jobs might also have good chances.
Finding available job vacancies in Khobar is no different to finding job vacancies anywhere. Local newspapers are a good place to look for work, as a lot of employers and businesses will advertise job vacancies using this method. Of course, using the internet will flag up job vacancies in Khobar. One website that is becoming more popular for job searches in Khobar is the Halliburton website, which provides easy and quick access as well as job availability, and is an effortless approach to finding and applying for jobs.
For managerial positions, local employers recruit expats through dedicated agencies that operate abroad and a large share of expat working in Khobar are employees of big multinationals that have been relocated to the city.
In any case, it is important to find a job when still in your country of origin in order to get a visa, since your employer has to apply on your behalf.