In Saudi Arabia, it’s important to make sure that your Iqama profession (the job listed on your residency permit) matches the actual work you do.
The Ministry of Labor (MOL) keeps a strict check and conducts regular workplace inspections to maintain a record of expatriates’ Iqama professions, ensuring that they work in the roles specified on their residency permits.
Deviating from this can result in penalties and fines.
This guide will explain you how to change iqama profession, what you need, who’s eligible, and why your application might be rejected.
Requirements for Changing Iqama Profession
To change your Iqama profession, you must meet the following requirements:
- Ensure your Iqama is valid and not set to expire soon.
- Have a specific profession-attested degree.
- Pass the profession-related exam powered by the Saudi Profession Verification Exam.
- Registration with the relevant organization:
-Engineers and 136 technicians will be registered with the Saudi Council of Engineers.
-Account and audit profession with SOCPA.
-Health and medical with the SCFHS Mumaris Plus.
-Veterinary profession with the Ministry of Agriculture.
- Submit profession change fee of 1000 SAR.
- To switch your job title from one group (SCE) to another (SOCPA), you need to be registered with both professional bodies.
Changing your Iqama profession is a relatively simple process. Here’s what you need to do:
- Contact your HR department (Idariyah) or your sponsor (Kafeel) and request a change in your Iqama profession.
- It is their responsibility to request the profession change through the Qiwa platform.
- If your application is approved by MOL, you will receive a confirmation message on your mobile phone and is also reflected in your Absher account.
- Your employer will print you a new Iqama card mentioning the changed profession.
Who Is Not Eligible
MOL has set restrictions on changing specific professions.
Those in domestic roles, such as house drivers, maids, farmers, gardeners, etc., are not eligible to change their professions.
Additionally, they are not allowed to apply for family visas.
Common Reasons for Rejection
MOL commonly rejects Iqama profession change requests for various reasons, including:
- Temporary bans on profession changes imposed by MOL.
- The company is classified under the red or yellow category of the Nitaqat system.
- Outstanding legal dues, such as unpaid traffic violations, associated with you.
- Outstanding legal dues payable by your employer or Kafeel.
- An expired Iqama.
- Your absence from work as recorded in the Maktab amal system. Ensure you have a clear huroob (absence) status and maintain regular attendance at work.
- Iqama issuance is still in process.
- Applying for professions reserved for Saudi nationals.
The implementation of the Nitaqat system by MOL emphasizes the need for expatriates to hold positions that match the professions stated on their Iqamas.
By following the correct procedure and meeting all necessary requirements, you can increase your chances of a successful profession change and avoid legal consequences.
So it is crucial to stay updated on the latest MOL regulations to ensure a smooth transition to your new profession.