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FAQs for physicians


Who arranges my flight to the Middle East?

The hospital will pay for your flight to the Middle East and we work closely with the staff there to arrange your travel from your current location to the city in which you’ll be living and working.


Will I be able to bring my family?

Our partner hospitals in the Middle East understand how important a happy family life is for our medical practitioners so they encourage spouses and dependents to join you in the country.


Will housing be provided? 

There is a wide range of high quality accommodation available in the Middle East and you’ll be offered private accommodation to suit your needs – whether that’s with your family or as a single person.If you choose to source your own accommodation, your employer will offer you a housing allowance towards the costs.


What is a typical salary and benefits package?

Because our partner hospitals all offer individual salary and benefits packages within their contracts, every physician’s package will differ. However, as standard, you will receive a competitive monthly salary as well as housing (or a contribution to your housing costs), transportation, an amount to cover travel to and from your place of work, annual and professional leave, paid public holidays and assistance with your children’s school fees, if required.


What help do I get with my visa?

Applying for visas to live and work in Middle East can be time-consuming and complex. While we and our partner hospitals will do everything we can to assist you in this process there are some things you’ll need to do for yourself. In this section we explain what you will need to do and how we will help you.


Do I need a visa to work in the Middle East?

Yes. We will work with our partner hospitals to do as much of the preliminary work as we can, to simplify the process for you.

Firstly, the hospital will request a work visa for you from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the relevant country. We will then work with them to obtain it, doing much of the administration on your behalf.

You should be aware, however, that the process can be lengthy and requires commitment from you. For example, your educational qualifications and experience credentials will need to be verified by the Embassy in your country of residence, you will require police clearance and you will need to undergo an extensive medical examination.


What is a residency visa and why is it so important?

A residency visa, which is different from a work visa, entitles you to stay in the Middle East on a long-term basis. Your residency visa will be arranged by the hospital for which you work. Once you have received it, you will receive an ‘Iqama’ which is a residency permit allowing you to stay in the country for the duration of your employment.


How long does it take to arrange my residency visa?

When you first arrive in the Middle East, you will be given a temporary work visa. This is sponsored by your employing hospital and is valid for three months. Your hospital will undertake the Iqama application on your behalf, but you will be required to submit your passport in order to begin the process. It usually only takes a couple of weeks to receive your Iqama but it can sometimes take longer. You will be kept up-to-date on how the application process is going.


Licensing

In order to work in the Middle East, you must have a license. Here, we look at the process, what documents you will require and what you will need to do.

Do I need a license to work in the Middle East?

Yes, all physicians must obtain a license issued by the Commission for Health Specialties. The hospital you will be working at will apply for the license on your behalf. If you have trained in the West you do not need to sit an examination but you must provide the following documents:

  • Employment certificates – outlining your employment over the last two years. These must list your job title, the dates during which you worked there and who your employer was. Your current employer should be able to provide these certificates. It is important to note that the Saudi Arabian authorities require you to have been employed for at least two years, on a full-time, continuous basis, with a maximum of six months’ break during this time

  • Authenticated professional qualifications – this is also necessary for the visa process so it is important to get your degree or diploma authenticated as soon as possible during the application process

  • Copy of certificate to practice – this must be a copy of your original license certificate

  • Copy of professional pocket license – this must be your current, active license, or an online verification

  • Copy of CV – it is always a good idea to have a back-up copy on a USB but you will need a hard copy for this particular part of the process

  • Copy of your Iqama (residency visa) – your employer will apply for your residency visa for you but it is advised to have copies to hand

  • Two recent, official passport photographs

  • Completed application form – your employer will provide you with the necessary form and assist you in its completion, should you need help