Moving To Saudi Arabia From US

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Introduction

Saudi Arabia: ‘The Land Of The Two Holy Mosques‘ is home to millions of expats that contribute to building the biggest economy in the middle east. Holding vast reserves of natural resources, Saudi Arabia offers lucrative career and job opportunities for expats with modern infrastructure and extremely high salaries. Moving to Saudi Arabia from US is easy unless you are well aware of the laws, rules, and dominant culture of the country. Adapting the Conservative culture of the country is generally the only difficult thing for several expats relocating to Saudi Arabia from US. That said, if you are planning for an overseas move to Saudi Arabia from US, this guide is all you need. Before shipping your belongings and goods, make sure you connect with the leading and professional team of packers and movers to ensure the safe shipping of goods without damage. 

If you are planning to relocate to Saudi Arabia, we are here to assist you with every step of your international relocation right from packing to delivering. Having served limitless clients, we are the international US to Saudi Arabia Movers that are committed to providing an incredible set of relocation services. That said, here is a comprehensive country guide for you about Saudi Arabia. Without further ado, let’s delve into Saudi!

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Relocating To Saudi Arabia From US

While planning to relocate internationally, the cost is one such thing that is considered an important factor. Similarly, while moving to Saudi Arabia from US, the relocation cost depends on several factors. The transit time even depends on whether your cargo is crossing the borders by air or by sea. While air freight takes a couple of days, ocean freight takes a couple of weeks. Below are the details of average transit times by air and by the ocean

Time Taken To Ship From The US To Saudi Arabia 

Shipping
Time
Parcel Shipping
1-3 Days
Air Freight Shipping
2-5 Days
Ocean Freight Shipping
3-5 Days

Time Taken To Ship Cargo By Sea From The USA To Saudi Arabia 

Location
Time Taken
Atlanta to Ad Dammam
35 days LCL
Atlanta to Jeddah
41 days FCL
Chicago to Ad Dammam
42 days LCL
Long Beach to Jeddah
45 FCL
Miami to Jeddah
32 days FCL
Miami to Ad Dammam
41 days FCL
New York to Jeddah
36 days LCL

Time Taken To Ship Cargo By Air From The USA To Saudi Arabia 

Location
Time Taken
Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas or New York to Jeddah, Dammam, or Riyadh
5 days
Houston to Riyad
1 day
Houston to Dammam
5 days
Los Angeles to Dammam
5 days
Los Angeles to Jeddah or Riyadh
6 days
Miami to Riyad or Dammam
5 days

Estimated Parcel Cost Of Shipping To Saudi Arabia 

This involves door-to-door shipping. Parcel shipping is ideal for shipping packs, small packages, envelopes, and boxes up to 250lbs.

Parcel
Cost
Envelope
$28.00
1lb.
$36.60
5lbs.
$78.26
10lbs.
$102.18

Estimated Air Freight Cost Of Shipping To Saudi Arabia

This is a fast and reliable choice for immigration. Air Freight shipping is ideal for pallets and shipping boxes from 250lbs. to 3.500 lbs.

Weight
Cost
Min
$165.00
+45 kg
$4.90 per kg
+300 kg
$2.50 per kg
+1000 kg
$1.75 per kg

Estimated Ocean Freight Cost Of Shipping To Saudi Arabia

This is a fast and reliable choice for immigration. Air Freight shipping is ideal for pallets and shipping boxes from 250lbs. to 45.000 lbs.

FT Container
Cost
20ft Container
$1045.00
40ft Container
$1521.30

Connect with us for a free quote today with our trained International Air and Sea shipping specialists. We calculate your shipping costs by your shipment method, cubic footage, etc.

US Expat Living In Saudi Arabia

A big majority of expats visit and reside in the three major urban centers of Saudi Arabia. If you are an expat and are planning to move to Saudi Arabia, here are 3 destinations you can choose to stay at.

Riyadh

Being the capital city of Saudi Arabia the city has a population of approx 7 million. Situated in a desert plateau, the city is the power of the government and the Royal family. Riyadh is home to a wide expat community where workers are assigned to huge infrastructure projects and government positions. The largest integrated public transport of the world is the Riyadh Metro ($27 billion) which is presently under construction.

Jeddah

The city of historic Jeddah boasts a population of 3.5 million sprawls by the Red Sea coast. Being home to the biggest cargo port of the country, the entire economy is based on commerce and trade. Jeddah is a key transit point for expats and pilgrims due to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. The city has exceptional coastal scenery and mountains.

Dammam/Dhahran/Al Khobar

Situated in the Eastern province, this metropolitan city is blessed with a population of 4.5 million people. Being the heart of the country, this area has the biggest oil installations and industrial plants. Most of the skilled expats work and reside here. Major expat employees are employed in the Saudi Aramco(the state oil company) and Sabic( the industrial exporters)

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Job Market in Saudi Arabia For Americans

To be quite precise, Expats come to Saudi for work. Although finding a job in the country is difficult, Salaries in Saudi are available for qualified, skilled, and willing positions. Despite the economy being affected by the lower oil prices, there are plenty of job opportunities waiting for expats. The oil industry remains the major employer for 10 million expats in the country. Besides this, a huge number of expats have jobs in IT, banking and financial services, Healthcare and medicine, teaching(women), construction, urban planning, resource management, service sector, or telecommunications. Furthermore, with the rise in investment in urban planning, food processing, transport infrastructure, and water resource management have lucrative opportunities for foreigners.

Maximum expats working in Saudi were contracted initially in their previous city of residence. The new push for ‘Saudization’ by the government has however made things a bit complicated. For women, the teaching sector has excellent job opportunities. If you have relevant skills and qualifications, you can apply to a private school provided that you have a work visa. You can even provide private English tuition. The British Council in Saudi assists individuals who wish to work in this sector.

Working in Saudi reaps extensive financial benefits. Compared to the US and UK, Saudi offers a higher salary for the same work. Moreover, the fact that there are no rules for paying personal income taxes, you get to boost your net income. With the absence of social security, there are no cutoffs from your monthly payout. However, with the high income, you need to invest in private health insurance and contribute to a corporate pension plan whilst you stay in Saudi.

Encouraging entrepreneurship and creating small/medium-sized businesses are highly discouraged. Although few expats opt for this route because of bureaucratic hindrances. However, this calls for excellent Saudi business partners, unclear formalities, and high start-up costs.

In case you wish to switch your job, you need the approval of your employer. Expats are restricted and banned from opting for 41 distinct jobs. Workplaces are friendly and have a diverse culture with a big number of expats. Nepotism is a major factor in Saudi Arabia. Business owners employ family members as they give priority to family.

Several companies work according to the lunar Hijri calendar while some follow the Gregorian or international calendar. There are no holidays on Sundays but Fridays and Saturdays. Work hours may be confusing due to split shifts(8:00 to noon, 15:00 to 19:00). Government Offices are open from 7:30 to 14:30. Working hours are limited to 8 hours a day(10 hours with overtime)/48 hours a week(60 hours with overtime) under law.

Quick facts about Saudi Arabia

Category
Information
Capital
Riyadh
Timezone
UTC +3
Currency
Saudi Riyal, SR/SAR
Population
34.7 million (2020 estimate)
Official Language
Arabic, English
Dialling Code
+966
Emergency Number
999( police), 997(ambulance), 998(fire)
Driving
On the right side
Religion
Islam

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Healthcare System in Saudi Arabia

Healthcare in Saudi is excellent yet expensive. Public healthcare is outstanding and free for every Saudi citizen. However, expats cannot enjoy this public facility. Being a foreigner, expats need to opt for private healthcare by taking private healthcare insurance in Saudi. Usually, private health insurance is mandatory for expats and is provided by the employer. Besides being costly, you can rest assured that you will receive excellent healthcare with zero waiting lists. However, expats working for the government can access the public healthcare sector. Language is not a barrier as most doctors are foreigners communicating in English.

The 3 major urban cities own incredible medical, hospital, and healthcare facilities. Medications are vastly available at the clinics. However, bear in mind what you cannot carry to the country unless you have a prescription. Antidepressants, tranquilizers, and sleeping pills are highly controlled here. Usual health hazards involve respiratory problems, heat exhaustion, and choking dust storms. Having an excellent healthcare reputation in the entire Middle East, the medical facilities match with the US and European clinics in the cities of Jeddah and Riyadh.

For all non-Saudis, Health insurance became mandatory in 2005. They should renew it before requesting a new iqama(residential permit). Although you can get basic health insurance in your expat package, many residents take extra coverage. For newborns and infants, the basic vaccines are available free of charge.

Housing And Accommodation in Saudi Arabia

There are no shortages of accommodation and renting for expats in Saudi unless you look for a cheaper place to stay in. Most of the newly built accommodation offers a higher price range. With the increase in urban population, there are a lot of construction projects going on. Most of the expats live in a low-rise apartment community. The luxurious communities consist of tennis courts, a gym, swimming pool, shops, restaurants, and children’s playground. The apartments are well-grounded and spacious.

  • Renting: Renting offers innumerable options for expat compounds. Expats can get an unfurnished one-bedroom apartment for SAR27,000 per year. However, you need to pay a 6-month advance. In case a home suits your needs, you are expected to pay double for a three-bedroom villa which sums up between SAR125,000 to SAR200,000. Single expats can even share Bachelor apartments where they can split AC and Utility bills.
  • Buying A Property: It was until 2019 that expats were unable to obtain a permanent residence. Today, foreigners can rent villas and apartments when companies don’t provide them with accommodation. Foreign residents can even buy a property provided that it is approved by the licensing authority. Note that only Saudis can own property in the Cities of Mecca and Media. Expat Muslims can opt for renewable leases for 2 years to stay in this city. By investing SAR30 million for construction, foreign investors can purchase private land. However, only 50% of Saudis own their homes at present.

Visa For US To Saudi Arabia Movers

Any citizen of Australia, Canada, the UK, and the USA are required to attain a visa for Saudi Arabia upon arrival. The visa is valid only for up to 90 days. Citizens immigrating to Saudi Arabia from Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, or UAE don’t require a visa but a national ID card.

Gaining a Saudi work visa usually takes 2 months. However, note that several conditions need to be passed while obtaining your Iqama. You are required to hold a passport that is valid for at least 6 months where 2 blank visa pages face each other. The Saudi government does not entertain dual citizenship. Hence, refrain from carrying two passports with you. The Saudi government does not allow tourist visas for travelers

list of visas to Saudi Arabia:

You can apply for any of these visa categories:

  • Employment Visa
  • Business/Commercial Visa
  • Official/Diplomatic Visa
  • Family Visit Visa
  • Student Visa
  • Hajj Visa
  • Escort Visa(for spouse and children of traveler)
  • Government Visit Visa
  • Umrah Visa

In case you hold a residence permit/ work permit along with your visa, you require the permission of your visa sponsor to gain a final exit visa to leave the country. Expats who wish to stay long for long-term assignments need to extend their employment visa to a Residence Permit.

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Study - Education in Saudi Arabia

Education in Saudi is free of cost in gender-segregated primary, intermediate, and secondary schools. The study of Islam dominates the entire education system at all levels. It is a compulsory subject at the university level as well. The instruction medium is Arabic although English is considered as a second language. Emphasizing entirely on religious studies, the education system has crashed to a great extent. It has failed to provide marketable and technical skills to young Saudis. However, the government is taking steps to improve the education system.

Schooling in Saudi involves two methods: Private and International.

Foreign children cannot opt for Local schools but private schools. Many times, private schools are governed by the government to make sure it matches the education standards and curriculum of the state schools. One exceptional advantage of a private school for expats is the limitations. The language of instruction will be in English and classes will be co-educational. Expat families moving to Saudi Arabia from the US opt for international schools which are situated in the cities of Al-Khobar, Jeddah, and Riyadh. Some of the international schools follow Indian, British, American, and Pakistani curricula. The International schools affiliated with the Saudi government do not accept third-country students but have pre-school, primary, and secondary all under one roof.

Pro tip: Respecting religion comes first. You need to have a huge adapting and flexible ability in case you are not a part of a restrictive and Conservative society. Everything takes place according to the teachings of the Quran. Expats are highly expected to comply with the rules of living.

Cost of Moving to Saudi Arabia From US

Under few estimates, Riyadh is an expensive place to reside due to its hydrocarbon-dependent economy. Compared to the rest of the middle east countries, Saudi has a high cost of living in some cities. Maximum expats owning incredible employment agreements include the cost of healthcare, relocation, housing, schooling, etc. Below is a quick breakdown of the costs of living in Saudi Arabia.

GOOD/SERVICE
AVERAGE SARS
AVERAGE US DOLLARS
Meal at inexpensive restaurant
20.00﷼
$15.00
Loaf of bread
2.80﷼
$2.73
Rice (1kg)
7.39﷼
$3.98
Domestic beer
6.05﷼
$2.50
One way ticket
3.00﷼
$2.25
Water(0.33 liter)
0.90﷼
$1.54
Milk (1 liter)
5.23﷼
$0.86
Eggs (12)
7.98﷼
$2.30
Internet( 60 Mbps, unlimited data)
256.84﷼
$66.00

Should I Move to Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia is undeniably an incredible expat destination amidst having tons of restrictions. However, moving to Saudi Arabia from US is what it all takes. If you are worried about how to carry your goods to Saudi Arabia, reach out to us today at US to Saudi Arabia Movers. We offer an excellent set of relocation services apart from calculating all the significant custom processes. Our moving company in US provides packing, shipping, unpacking, etc at competitive and cost-effective rates. Being a licensed and certified US To Saudi Arabia Mover, our team of experts is committed to providing quality services to assist you to move to Saudi Arabia from US. Allow us to help you by giving us a call today to move across the country effortlessly and efficiently thus saving your energy and time.

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