When you’ve found one, you will experience few further problems with bureaucracy and officialdom. In order to find a sponsor, you need to visit the region and talk to local people. This is obviously also necessary in order to check market conditions in the area that interests you. Sponsorship can be provided by a legally registered company or by an individual; for example, you might work in ship maintenance and repair, in which case you would approach a ship maintenance company as a self-employed person working as a sub-contractor. If you intend to work in one of the professions, you must show the proper qualifications in order to obtain your work visa: in the medical profession, for example, your qualifications would be inspected by the Ministry of Health. There aren’t usually any tax liabilities but it varies according to the type of work and you should check. You might have to buy personal medical cover in some states.
Negotiating with the sponsor will require some hard bargaining. The fee you pay him is likely to be either a flat annual rate paid in regular instalments or a percentage of your revenue. Rates vary, but anything over 10 per cent of your revenue is high and you should try to negotiate on the basis of net rather than gross income. You’re recommended to consult a local lawyer regarding the proposed deal with your sponsor.
This article is an extract from Living and Working in Gulf States & Saudi Arabia. Click here to get a copy now.