If you are looking to change your Iqama profession, this guide is for you. We’ll take you through an overview of the process, including the paperwork you’ll need to complete, when to submit the application, and what to expect once you’ve submitted it. You’ll also get a useful insight into the implications of changing your profession. So, let’s get started!
What is an Iqama
An Iqama is a Saudi residency permit issued by the Saudi authorities. It is also referred to as the Foreigner’s Work Permit. It is issued to foreign workers sponsored by their employer in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and it contains personal data and professional details, which must be renewed yearly with any changes recorded.
The Iqama enables foreigners to remain legally in the country, provided that they renew it each year and meet all other formal legal requirements set by the law in order to stay in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Depending on its validity period, an Iqama can range from a one-month visa to a two-year visa for specific purposes such as Hajj or Umrah (for those traveling for religious purposes).
The Iqama also serves as your unique ID during your stay in the country, granting you access to public services (e.g. healthcare) and allowing for smooth airport travel, among other benefits.
When applying for a new job or making changes to your current employment terms and conditions, you will need to modify your Iqama accordingly if needed. Therefore it is essential that you understand how to change an existing Iqama profession when required.
Reasons to Change Iqama Profession
Changing your profession on your Iqama can be beneficial for a variety of reasons. It is important to remember though, that this document is a legal and binding document, so it needs to be done carefully and accurately. Here are some of the top reasons why people change their profession on their Iqama:
– To apply for a job in your new field of work or gain an advantage when searching for better employment opportunities.
– To update the information on your Iqama to ensure you have the correct information. If your details have been updated since you received the document, it could cause problems in the future if not corrected.
– To demonstrate academic and professional qualifications that weren’t present at the time of issuing your original Iqama. This can especially help those wanting to obtain better positions in their industry or demonstrate proof of work experience in the desired field.
– To switch from one profession to another without having to get a brand new visa issued, which would involve applying for similar visa privileges from overseas again.
– To modify existing restrictions applicable on certain professions listed under Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labor & Social Development regulations such as working with women or handling hazardous machinery and substances not previously allowed under conditions noted in one’s current occupation category.
Before beginning the process of changing your Iqama profession, there are some prerequisites that must be met in order to be successful. First, you must make sure you have all necessary documents, such as a copy of your Iqama, a copy of your passport, and a letter from your sponsoring company.
Additionally, you must ensure that you have the necessary funds to cover any associated fees. Once these prerequisites have been met, you can begin the process of changing your Iqama profession.
One of the main prerequisites for changing your profession on your Iqama (Resident Identity Card) is the completion of the required government forms. Depending on your profession, you may need to visit a designated government office such as the Ministry of Labor or the Ministry of Interior.
Government forms must be filled in Arabic, so it is advised that someone familiar with the Arabic language and customs accompanies you.
In order to complete these forms and make the necessary changes to your Iqama, you will be asked to provide a range of documents including a valid passport, valid visa, criminal record document from the relevant police station, letter of approval from both employer and sponsor (if applicable), and non-objection certificate issued by the various municipalities.
You may also need birth certificates for dependents if relevant, marriage certificates if applicable, and passports for other family members attached to your Iqama. Additionally, you must bring proof that states that you have finished any required trade/professional courses related to the new profession being added to your Iqama.
Changing your profession in an Iqama or residence permit includes payment of certain fees or charges. Applicants must pay the original fee of 200 SAR to cover the Iqama and professional amendment process.
Additionally, there is a stamp fee of 200 SAR which would be pasted onto a green card used in completing the necessary application form. It should be noted that these fees are applicable regardless of the type or class of application being applied for.
A professional change is one such example of an application that has associated fees. Upon successful completion and submission of the application, these fees have to be met in order to secure approval for a professional change on the Iqama document.
Steps to Change Iqama Profession
Changing your profession on your Iqama is a necessary step to ensuring you comply with the laws of Saudi Arabia. It also allows you to take on specific jobs to increase your earning potential.
Here, we’ll walk you through the steps you’ll need to take to change your profession on your Iqama. We’ll cover the necessary processes, paperwork, and fees associated with changing your profession.
Visit the Ministry of Labor
In order to change your iqama profession, you must visit the Ministry of Labor in person. Once you have arrived, it is recommended that you bring your original and valid iqama and copies of all relevant documents such as a valid passport, one photograph, and any other supporting documents.
You will need to fill out the application form which includes information such as your full name, present company name, past company name if applicable, address of the present company, and current professional title.
If you are changing from one specific profession to another specific profession then the application form requires that you give a valid justification for wanting to make this change.
Once the application form has been filled out properly, it must be submitted to the Ministry of Labor’s regional office where you are registered with iqama. After submission and approval by the regional office, they will authorize a request to change your profession in the integrated Qatari Information System (IQIS).
The same copy of the approved application should be kept with you for further reference at any time after approval.
Once you’ve gathered all the necessary documents, you can submit them to the Ministry of Culture and Information. Depending on your country, this process may vary slightly. Some countries require applicants to physically bring their documents in person while others allow applicants to complete the process online.
If you need help submitting your documents, contact the nearest Saudi embassy or consulate for assistance. Before submitting your documents, be sure to review them carefully one final time and sign them if needed.
When submitting your application, make sure you include the original copies of all required documents as well as any fees or other payments (if necessary). Once the ministry has received and verified your application, they will grant approval for a new Iqama profession change within one to two months.
Approval may take longer in some cases; if this happens, contact the nearest Saudi embassy or consulate for further assistance. Upon approval, a new Iqama card with a new employer and profession will be issued approximately two weeks after approval is received from the Ministry of Culture and Information.
Wait for Approval
After submitting your application to the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, you will need to wait for approval before proceeding with the procedure. While there is no suggested timeframe within which to receive confirmation of your application, you will typically be informed when it has been processed and accepted.
This can typically take up to a few weeks depending on the workload at the time and may require a few follow-up inquiries.
If approved, you will need to obtain an official written release from your current employer before making a request for a new profession designation on your Iqama. You may also have to prove that your new job does not exceed six months as per Saudization rules if it is not considered as permanent employment.
Once these steps have been followed, you can proceed by visiting an authorized Iqama center with your documents in order to make the change in the profession on your resident visa (Iqama). Ensure that you bring all of the required documents and any documentation requested by the Ministry, such as photocopies of bank statements.
In addition, ensure that you carry proof of residence such as rental agreements or bills showing that the address matches up with that provided on the visa.
Receive New Iqama
Once you have successfully updated your profession in the General Directorate of Passports online, the new Iqama with the updated profession will be issued to you. Your Iqama should arrive within 20 weeks after applying.
Before you receive your new Iqama with the updated profession, make sure to check that all the necessary documents required for the professional changing process are up-to-date and verified. Keep in mind that if any of the documents are found invalid or expired, then it might cause a delay in receiving your new Iqama or even denial.
When you receive your new Iqama, make sure to check its expiration date as some professions require an expiry date once every two years or so instead of one year like other professions.
It is also important to ensure that all details mentioned on it are correct and accurate for further proceedings in attaining different government services such as issuance of Resident ID card, bank account activation, etc., which otherwise might result in complications while processing them.
Changing your profession on an Iqama is not just a matter of filling out a few forms and documents. There are a few other things to consider when planning to make a professional change to your iqama.
These may include things like the validity of the documents, any required training for the new profession, and the ease of securing a work permit for the new job. Let’s take a closer look at these considerations.
Changing Your Sponsoring Company
When thinking about changing your sponsoring company, it’s important to consider a few key facts. Firstly, it will take several months after submitting the request to a new company before any changes are made and permission is granted.
During this time you may continue to work with any permissions or residency issued by the existing sponsoring company. You must meet with all the requirements before obtaining approval from the Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MoLSA) and your proposed sponsor before being able authorized to work in Saudi Arabia under a different employer.
Secondly, depending on how long you have been in Saudi Arabia, applying for a different iqama can be difficult as transferring your existing iqama may involve making two separate requests: one for cancellation of exiting iqama with the existing sponsor and one for granting approval of new employment under the proposed sponsor.
In both cases, you will need approval from MoLSA for each request.
Lastly, there will be other costs associated with changing sponsors including paying outstanding fees if necessary as well as legal costs if required such as commission sales or dispute resolution from a lawyer registered in the country using processes accredited by the Ministry of Justice.
Any delay or failure to comply with these procedures could mean that your visa transfer process could take significantly longer than normal or even become invalid.
Changing Your Residency Status
For those looking to change their residency status, it is important to understand the laws that govern who can and cannot move abroad. Depending on each individual country, there are often residency requirements that must be met before an individual can receive a visa or access certain benefits.
In some cases, an individual with a pending application for permanent residence in another country might need to obtain special permission from the government in order to remain and work legally in their current place of residence, as well as in other countries.
Some countries have policies that require an individual to wait for a period of time until they gain permanent residency in the new nation. A person is also required to declare their change of residency and earn enough income during this probationary period to support themselves while they transition between countries.
It is also important to consider taxation implications when changing one’s residency status. Different nations have different regulations when it comes to taxes, so individuals must research the requirements beforehand in order to properly prepare and avoid any expensive fines or penalties down the road.
Changing your Iqama profession is an important task that needs to be done if you are looking to start a business or apply for a job in Saudi Arabia. Although it might seem daunting, it is actually quite simple once you understand the process. To help guide you through the process, here are some frequently asked questions about changing your Iqama profession.
How Long Does It Take to Change Iqama Profession?
Changing your iqama profession can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Before making changes, it is important to understand the process and the steps involved in order to have the best chance of success.
The first step is to submit an application at your local government office. Normally, this requires filling out a form, collecting any required documents, and providing payment for processing fees. Depending on how busy the local office is, you may also be required to make an appointment before submitting your request.
Once all documents are submitted, it typically takes around 30 days for a decision to be made. This can take longer during peak season due to increased demand or staff shortages in the local government office. However, if all necessary documents were submitted and accepted, then you should receive a decision within this timeframe.
If approved, you will receive confirmation and then need to complete any additional steps that may be necessary; these usually include paying any additional fees and updating your iqama ID card with the new profession information. Once completed, your updated iqama should be available within 1-2 weeks after payment is processed.
It is important that all forms are submitted correctly as per prescribed requirements or else there could be delays in processing or even rejection of applications due to unforeseen factors or noncompliance with rules related to the type of iqama change requested.
Is It Possible to Change Iqama Profession Online?
Yes, it is possible to change the profession (job title) listed on your Iqama online. The Ministry of Labor website provides a mechanism for employers to complete this request online.
This can be a simple process for employers but can also require paperwork to be completed and submitted electronically, therefore it is important you follow the instructions closely.
Employers must confirm the Iqama number belongs to the whom they’re attempting to change their profession and that supporting documents are complete before submitting their application. It’s also important that they double-check the details provided in their application form as incorrect information will cause delays in processing.
After double-checking all details, companies can submit their request which should take no more than 3-5 business days for approval and more than 5 working days if there are any corrections required.
Once approved, an SMS message will be sent out with confirmation of the success and details of communication in case any issues appear while processing the request.