How to Change Iqama Profession? Step-by-Step Process

Changing your Iqama profession in Saudi Arabia can be a complex process, but it is necessary for expats who have shifted their occupation or for those who wish to change their line of work. An Iqama is a residency permit that identifies the holder as a legal resident of Saudi Arabia. It is a crucial document that enables expats to work and live in the country.

Before changing your Iqama profession, there are several prerequisites that you need to meet. These include having a valid employment contract, a valid work visa, and a sponsor who is willing to support the change. Additionally, you will need to ensure that your new profession is in line with the terms and conditions set by the Ministry of Labour and Social Development.

The process of changing your Iqama profession involves several steps, including submitting a request to your employer who will then initiate the process through the Qiwa platform. Once the request has been approved, you will need to visit the passport office to print your new residency permit. However, there may be potential challenges that you may encounter during the process, such as delays or rejection of your application. In such cases, there are solutions that you can explore to overcome these challenges.

Key Points

  • Changing the Iqama profession is a common process for expatriates in Saudi Arabia.
  • The Ministry of Labor and Social Development oversees the process of changing the Iqama profession.
  • The process involves obtaining approval from the employer, accepting the request, and getting approval from the Ministry of Labor.
Iqama Profession Change
Iqama Profession Change

What is Iqama Profession?

Before discussing the process of changing your Iqama profession, it’s important to understand what Iqama profession means. Iqama is a residence permit issued by the Saudi Arabian government to expatriates living and working in the country. It contains information such as the holder’s name, date of birth, nationality, and most importantly, their profession.

The profession listed on an expatriate’s Iqama is directly related to their work permit. It’s important to note that an expatriate can only work in the profession listed on their Iqama. If an expatriate wants to work in a different profession, they must first change their Iqama profession.

The Saudi Arabian government has strict regulations when it comes to changing Iqama professions. Expatriates must meet certain requirements and follow specific procedures to change their profession. Failure to do so can result in legal consequences and even deportation.

To change Iqama profession, expatriates must have a valid reason and meet the requirements set by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development. The requirements may include a specific educational degree or certification, relevant work experience, and passing a professional verification exam.

In summary, an expatriate’s Iqama profession is directly related to their work permit and determines the profession in which they can legally work in Saudi Arabia. Changing Iqama profession is a regulated process that involves meeting specific requirements and following strict procedures set by the government.

Prerequisites for Changing Iqama Profession

Changing Iqama Profession
Changing Iqama Profession

Before changing your Iqama profession in Saudi Arabia, there are certain prerequisites that you need to fulfill. These prerequisites ensure that the process of changing the profession is smooth and hassle-free. Below are the two sub-sections that explain the required documents and eligibility criteria that you need to meet.

Required Documents

To change your Iqama profession, you need to have the following documents:

  • A valid passport
  • A valid Iqama
  • A certified documented work contract
  • A profession-attested degree (in some cases)
  • A resignation letter with a withdrawal period notice (in some cases)

It is important to note that the documents required may vary depending on the profession you want to change to. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with your employer or a legal expert to ensure that you have all the necessary documents.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for changing your Iqama profession, you must fulfill the following criteria:

  • You must be a resident of Saudi Arabia.
  • You must have a valid Iqama.
  • You must have a profession that is eligible for change.
  • You must have a certified documented work contract.
  • You must have submitted a new job request on the Qiwa portal (Ministry portal for new jobs).
  • You must have resigned with a withdrawal period notice (in some cases).

It is important to note that the eligibility criteria may vary depending on the profession you want to change to. Therefore, it is advisable to consult with your employer or a legal expert to ensure that you meet all the necessary criteria.

In summary, changing your Iqama profession in Saudi Arabia requires you to fulfill certain prerequisites. These prerequisites include having the required documents and meeting the eligibility criteria. By ensuring that you have all the necessary documents and meet the eligibility criteria, you can make the process of changing your Iqama profession smooth and hassle-free.

Process of Changing Iqama Profession

Changing the Iqama profession in Saudi Arabia requires following specific steps and procedures. Here are the steps that expatriates must take to change their Iqama profession:

Initial Steps

The initial step to change the Iqama profession is to contact the Government Relations Officer (GRO) of the company. The expatriate must request the GRO to submit a request to change the Iqama profession in the Qiwa platform. The GRO will create an application in the Qiwa platform, which is an online portal that allows employers to manage their workforce and interact with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD).

Submission of Documents

After submitting the request, the expatriate must provide the following documents to the GRO:

  • A copy of the expatriate’s passport
  • A copy of the Iqama
  • A copy of the degree attested by the Saudi Embassy in the expatriate’s home country
  • A copy of the profession-related exam certificate

The expatriate must ensure that all the documents are valid and up-to-date before submitting them to the GRO.

Approval Process

Once the GRO submits the request and the required documents, the MHRSD will review the application. The approval process may take up to two weeks. If the application is approved, the expatriate’s Iqama will be updated with the new profession.

It is important to note that changing the Iqama profession is subject to certain conditions. Expatriates must have a specific profession-attested degree and must pass the profession-related exam powered by the Saudi Profession Verification Exam. Additionally, expatriates must be available in Saudi Arabia during the profession change process.

In conclusion, changing the Iqama profession in Saudi Arabia requires following specific steps and procedures. Expatriates must ensure that they have all the required documents and meet the conditions before submitting the request to change their Iqama profession.

Potential Challenges and Solutions

When changing the profession on an Iqama, there are a few potential challenges that individuals may face during the process. Here are some of the most common challenges and their solutions:

Delay in Approval

One of the most common challenges individuals face when changing their Iqama profession is a delay in approval. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including incomplete documentation or a backlog of applications. To avoid this, individuals should ensure that they have all the necessary documents and that they are filled out correctly. They should also follow up regularly with the relevant authorities to ensure that their application is being processed.

Incorrect Information

Another challenge that individuals may face when changing their Iqama profession is incorrect information. This can be due to a mistake on the application form or incorrect information provided by the employer. To avoid this, individuals should double-check all the information they provide on the application form and ensure that it is accurate. They should also verify any information provided by their employer to ensure that it is correct.

In conclusion, while changing the profession on an Iqama can be a straightforward process, there can be potential challenges that individuals may face. By being aware of these challenges and following the solutions provided, individuals can ensure that their application is processed smoothly and without delay.

Post Change Verification

After submitting the request to change your Iqama profession, it is important to verify that the change has been made successfully. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Check the status of your request: You can check the status of your Iqama profession change request online through the Ministry of Labor website. You will need to have a reference number generated during the profession change request submission process. The reference number consists of three parts (NUMBER/YEAR/MONTH) (Example: 861271/1440/01). Once you have the reference number, you can check the status of your request by entering it on the Ministry of Labor website.
  2. Visit the passport office: After receiving confirmation that your request has been approved, you will need to visit the passport office to print your new residency. Alternatively, you can choose the option of Wasel offered by Saudi Post.
  3. Verify your new profession on the Iqama: Once you have received your new residency, you should verify that your new profession has been updated on your Iqama. You can do this by checking the information on the front of your Iqama card.
  4. Update your bank account information: If your new profession has changed your salary, you will need to update your bank account information with your employer to ensure that your salary is deposited into the correct account.
  5. Update your company records: Finally, you should update your company records with your new profession information to ensure that your employment contract reflects the change. This will help avoid any confusion or discrepancies in the future.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your Iqama profession change request has been successfully processed and that all necessary updates have been made.

Maintaining Updated Iqama Profession

Once an expatriate has successfully changed their Iqama profession, it is important to ensure that their Iqama is updated and reflects the new profession. Failure to do so could result in legal issues and fines. Here are some steps to maintain an updated Iqama profession:

Step 1: Check Iqama Expiry Date

Expatriates should regularly check the expiry date of their Iqama to avoid any issues. They can check the expiry date through the Absher portal or by contacting their HR department.

Step 2: Renew Iqama

Before the expiry date, expatriates should renew their Iqama. They can do this through the Absher portal or by contacting their HR department. It is important to ensure that the renewed Iqama reflects the updated profession.

Step 3: Check Iqama Information

After renewing the Iqama, expatriates should check the information on the Iqama to ensure that it is accurate. They should check that the name, profession, and other details are correct.

Step 4: Keep Iqama with You

Expatriates should always keep their Iqama with them at all times. It is a legal requirement in Saudi Arabia, and failure to produce it when requested can result in fines and legal issues.

Step 5: Update Iqama Profession if Required

If an expatriate changes their profession again, they should follow the same process to update their Iqama profession. It is important to ensure that the Iqama reflects the correct profession at all times.

By following these steps, expatriates can maintain an updated Iqama profession and avoid any legal issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I pay the Iqama profession change fee?

The Iqama profession change fee can be paid through the Saudi Arabian government’s online portal. The fee must be paid before submitting the profession change request. The amount of the fee varies depending on the profession being changed.

How do I change my Iqama profession to engineer?

To change your Iqama profession to engineer, you must first register with the Saudi Council of Engineers. After registering, you must provide an attested degree from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. You can then request a profession change through your employer or through the government’s online portal.

What is the process for requesting a profession change on my Iqama?

To request a profession change on your Iqama, you must first ensure that you meet the requirements for the profession you wish to change to. You can then submit a request through your employer or through the government’s online portal. The request will be reviewed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, and if approved, a new Iqama will be issued.

What are the requirements for changing my profession on my Iqama?

The requirements for changing your profession on your Iqama vary depending on the profession you wish to change to. Generally, you must have the necessary qualifications and experience for the new profession, and your current employer must agree to the profession change. Additionally, you must have a valid residency permit and be in compliance with all Saudi Arabian laws and regulations.

How much does it cost to change my profession on my Iqama?

The cost of changing your profession on your Iqama varies depending on the profession being changed. The fee must be paid before submitting the profession change request.

Is it possible to change my profession on my Iqama if it is pending for NIC approval?

No, it is not possible to change your profession on your Iqama if it is pending for NIC (National Information Center) approval. You must wait until the approval process is complete before submitting a profession change request.

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