Procedure to Transfer Sponsorship in Saudi Arabia

There are still many job opportunities in this region for the newcomers as well as old people. However, it is not that easy to switch jobs in Saudi Arabia. Once you are employed somewhere and transferred your sponsorship to the new Kafeel, it is not possible to switch your job without his permission.

One may be thinking at this moment that if you have good relations with the employer and you leave him in a good manner, he will allow you switch job, but it is not the case every time in Saudi Arabia. As a general rule of law, you cannot transfer your sponsorship without the consent of your sponsor except in the conditions given in this link “Transfer of Sponsorship without Permission of Kafeel”. We have explained the procedure of transferring sponsorship in detail below.

Also Read:  13 Conditions under which Domestic Workers can transfer their Sponsorship

Final Exit or Transfer of Sponsorship: Although there is no rule which secures the rights of the expatriates in this regard, if you have your own visa, you are more likely to get a transfer. Transfer means your Kafeel (Employer) will allow you to switch job. But if the visa was arranged by your Kafeel (On his expenses) it is less likely that they will release you.

If you want to switch a job, you will have to go on Final Exit and take another visa to come again in Saudi Arabia. This is the general practice in the job market of Saudi Arabia. Recommended: Procedure to get New Visa after Final Exit Visa.

However, Kafeel has full rights to send you on Final Exit even if you were initially transferred to him. However, there is only one situation in which you can enforce your right to get a transfer of sponsorship. We have explained it in this link “Legal Right to Transfer the Sponsorship from Employer

Procedure to Transfer Sponsorship in Saudi Arabia: In order to switch a job in Saudi Arabia, first of all, you should know “how to search for a job in Saudi Arabia”. During the process of appearing in the interviews and getting a job offer, ask your intended employer if he can arrange a visa for you as per your case.

The work visa application process in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is very difficult, lengthy and complicated. This is the reason, employers do not offer a new visa for the employees; they try to search for someone who has transferable Iqama.

Asking for a package or accepting a job offer can be dodging for you if you don’t know about the average salary of your profession in Saudi Arabia, I have published an article regarding this from which you can take a guidance about the package to ask for. “Average Salary by Profession in Saudi Arabia

It is very important to check the Nitaqat category of your prospective employer. If you want to know what is Nitaqat system, we would suggest you read this article. Be noted that you can enjoy many benefits if your Kafeel is of the platinum category. The easiest way to check the status of the intended employer is to take Iqama number of any employee who is under the sponsorship of the intended employer. After that, you can check the Nitaqat Category of the Kafeel of that employee. We have explained it in the article “How to check Nitaqat Category of Kafeel

If your current Kafeel is in Red Category of Nitaqat or you are meeting some other conditions, you can get your sponsorship transferred to him even without the permission of your current Kafeel, I have explained the procedure in this article. “Process of Transferring Sponsorship if Kafeel is Red

Once you have a job offer letter in your hand, this is the time to bring your current employer into confidence. Now it depends upon the relationship you have with the decision-making authorities in your company if they will allow you to switch for the job. It is not an easy task to take a transfer from your employer so treat this matter very intelligently.

Here the matter of notice period comes into question. Notice period to leave a job is the notice period mentioned in your contract. In the absence of the contract, Saudi Labor Law prevails which speaks about the notice period of one month as the reasonable notice period. But your employer can ask about the notice period of a couple of months. You can request him but cannot argue in this regard. If this is the case, you should ask for some extension in joining from the new employer. Employers know about the job condition here so they give enough time and opportunity to employees to get a transfer. Read more about the rules related to Notice period in this link “Notice Period under Saudi Labor Law

If your employer is comfortable in transferring your sponsorship, you are entitled to benefits as per your contract. As per labor law, you are entitled to get “End of Service Benefits”. We have explained in our article how to compute End of Service Benefits which will allow you to compute your entitlement.

Believe me; whatever is written in the books or laws about your rights is nullified when it is a time of taking a transfer from your employer. If you say that it is your right to get the transfer, maybe you will have to face the consequences of Final Exit. So, your attitude should always be requesting. Try to build some pressure from someone who has influential power.

If your employer has agreed to give you transfer, next step is to go to your prospective employer to get a demand letter requesting the current employer to transfer the sponsorship. This demand letter should be authorized by the chamber of commerce of the city where the office of the intended employer is situated.

As per online system, the new employer will send an online request to transfer sponsorship of the employee to the sponsor using MOL system. If you have paid the fee for the transfer of sponsorship and new employer has accepted the request, your sponsorship is transferred. You do not have to do anything. Just visit Jawazat to get your Iqama. However, many employers are not aware of this online system, they are still following the old system. If this is the case, you will have to follow the manual system explained below.

Your current sponsor will also give you two letters addressed to Labor Office as well as Jawazat allowing transferring sponsorship to the new employer. Along with giving these documents, the current sponsor will accept the online request sent by the new employer in the MOL System. The transfer of sponsorship is not possible without accepting the request online.

Government Relations Officer of the new company will process the transfer of sponsorship and will take the Iqama of the old employer from you. He will give you a letter signed and attested by the chamber of commerce that your Iqama is under the process of transferring of sponsorship.

It is the general practice in Saudi Arabia that almost 99.99% companies don’t bear full charges of Iqama transfer. They only bear the charges equivalent to the amount payable as first transfer of Iqama i.e. SR 2,000. Normally, there are charges of SR 2,000/- for the first transfer, SR 4,000/- for the second transfer and SR 6,000/- for any other transfer.

Now the question is, who will bear the expenses of transfer of sponsorship? Generally, the employer bears only SR 2,000 for the transfer of sponsorship. Any expense over and above this will be borne by the employee. Let’s say if it is your third transfer, you will bear SR 4,000 and employer will bear SR 2,000/-. However, as per Saudi Labor Law, expenses for the transfer of sponsorship are the responsibility of the new employer. Check this link for details “Iqama Transfer Fee under Saudi Labor Law

The guidance to make payment of Iqama transfer fee is given in this link.

You can check the status of change in sponsorship anytime online on Ministry of Labor website. We have explained it in the article “How to check the status of Change of Sponsorship in Saudi Arabia” When all of this is done, you are a legal employee of the new employer. Congrats on the new job and best wishes for your career.

  • Kaushik

    Dear Steve ,
    with a lot of struggle i got 3 papers from my previous kafeel ,the same papers i have given to my new company in hr department yesterday ,they have taken the papers and they said we will call you ,as per my new company norms they only allow to work people after the complete transfer , so can any one tell me like still how many days it will take for me to know the further status .
    please some one respond this post your reply will give me some relaxation .

  • Buggati Virona

    My name is Saad and I am going to 18 year old my father don’t make his iqama and don’t do work always he sleep I’m home I just want to know that can I take tanazul to kafeel from my father so I can do work for money if I can transfer from my father to kafeel so plz tell me how and what papers I will need plz plz plz plz plz if any body knows than plz tell me

  • Mazhar Ehsan

    Dears, I am in the same situation as desribed my Michael. My concern is the number 1 (During the actual sponsorship transfer, do dependents have to be in the Kingdom?) Any concrete answers please on this specific point …

  • Present location of your dependents does not really matter!

  • Mazhar Ehsan

    Thanks a lot Steve for the confirmation

  • hamid

    My dad transfers his sponsorship while we dependents was out of Kingdom.

  • Mazhar Ehsan

    Noted. Thanks a lot hamid for the valuable confirmation.

  • Ahmed Minhaj Abbas

    Hi Steve,

    I am an Accountant by profession and have been terminated by the company on 30th of April this year. My iqama was expired 14 days later to the date of termination. The company say that i can take transfer and only then they will release the 6 months salaries and end of service benefits through a cheque as final settlement. I do not have a valid iqama now..neither do i have enough money to renew iqama. Whereas i got an offer from one of the recruitment companies here inn Jeddah and have no knowledge what to do in this case…i have been receiving mixed reviews and suggestions. Please suggest what needs to be done.


    Your Well Wisher.

  • Yasir Aslam

    Does dependant family needs to be present inside KINGDOM during IQAMA transfer to a new employer?
    furthermore.. there will be needed new visa for family after transfer sponsorship or previous ERE will valid?

  • Patchi

    Good day.
    My husband resigned from his old company and got released and accept the offer of the new company. It’s been 3 months yet the new company is always telling that their online system is always blocked by the government. Imagine for 3 months they are just telling like that. For 3 months my husband don’t have salary or money to pay his expenses. Now his old company is telling that if the transfer is not done till the end of the month, they will process his exit. But my husband is not yet ready to leave because he has still many obligations, debts to pay first. Any advices what’s best to do? Thank you.

  • Enam Bhatkar








  • Prakash chhetri

    Hey, Bro. Was your problem solved or not ???
    My Suggestion
    If your iqama has expire and it has been 30 days or more, you can transfer to any company without any consent of your current sponsor. Your new company will make online request via MOL site and it should be approved within 90 days more or less. Don’t worry if you have expire Iqama. I know this because I have gone through same issue & it was solved without any problem. Just keep your original Iqama and passport with you or else you have to pay fine/ penalty for that while transfer & renewal of Iqama.

    Chitra Kuikel

  • Jomer B. Tongco

    Sir. Please can you clarify this for processing, ive been reading blogs about transfer of sponsorship. According to nitaqat guidebook, it is not allowed to request for thr transfer of manpower from one firm to another unless the firms are in the permitted zones – high green and platinum. As ive checked my iqama, before i was in the red zone, now i am in a very small green. Does this mean that i can transfer sponsor without the consent of my kafeel? Thank you

  • Bonnsai Laino-Alvarez

    Hello everyone! I need some inputs regarding my case. I am a mother of two kids who are under my sponsorship. Both children were born in Saudi so when we applied for their iqamas, we decided to put them under my name coz my visa is “technician ” while my husband’s visa is “laborer”
    I would like to transfer the sponsorship of my children to my husband’s iqama now. I will be moving to another employer who will issue a new visa for me, thus a final exit from the current employer. If my children will remain under my name, they will have to go for final exit also, which we want to avoid to happen.
    How do we go about this case? Any insights please? Many thanks.

  • Sama Abrar

    Dear everyone, your suggestion is very important! Please help me. My case is: after getting a job in a university in Saudi Arabia I came to Saudi Arabia on Jun, 2015, with my wife and children. Now my wife got a job in my same university this month. Could you please advise how I can transfer my wife’s iqamah from my sponsorship to my employer/university’s sponsorship?

  • Jamalia Mohamad Ali

    Can I ask also, my case is,, i’m 2x transfer of kafeel here in Riyadh, I came here as a DH (domestic helper) then I talk to my sponsor to release me then he agree, my 1st transfer of kafeel is I work as a physiotherapy but my iqama is a cleaner in clinic then after 2 years my new sponsor told me to search another sponsor, then I transferred in a 2nd time,,,,
    Here’s my question, it’s​ ok if I transferred again in another kafeel?
    Please answer me😟😟

  • Hamad Hussain

    Hi Every one, I have rather a complicated case. My new employer has submitted the request and previous sponsor has accepted that too. Currently the new employer did not pay the fee for transfer and I have not received any message of transfer via Abshar.

    What if my new employer is not willing to complete the transfer?

    Please explain me the procedure if my new employer will not complete the transfer?

    I have been told that if the status remains the same for at least 3 months, I will formally be reverted back to the previous sponsor.

  • muzafar123

    Hi, I transferred my sponsorship to the company and my kafeel accepted the request but my company did not pay the fee of transfer and iqama . I know it will cancel after 90 days automatically . But there is a an other company who is willing to take my sponsorship . my question is that is this new request will go to my company ( who did not pay fee) or to my old kafeel ?

    Looking for your prompt response.

  • abubebsi

    I came to Saudi Arabia four years ago. I taught ESL for my first company at a college in Saudi. My company lost their contract with the government and allowed all their employees to transfer. I transferred to a company in Riyadh. Upon transferring over my new company assured me that upon completion of my contract they’d allow me to transfer. I’ve just completed my contract (they ended it early…due to funny language in the contract) and I’m ready to transfer over. My company told me that in order to transfer over I’d have to pay 14,000 riyals, and I believe they want me to sign up for another year with them, however after being cheated roughly 25,000 riyals, I’m not interested in working with them ever again. Now I’ll share some info on my new company and why they are demanding 14,000 riyals. The company I transferred to were desperate for teachers. They had a deal with my company without my knowledge that for every teacher that transfers to them they’d pay my company 12k riyals. It was essentially some recruitment fee they had. I’m quite sure my present company was paying many sub contracting companies these fees. My former company allowed many teachers to transfer to other companies without any recruitment fees (they were dissolving their company). The 2,000 riyals they want back is for the fee they had to pay for the initial transfer. My question is does my company have the right to demand 14,000 riyals from me? Can they force me to sign a new contract and work with them in a different city? What are my best options in transferring without paying any fees? Can they give me final exit? I already found a job alhamdulillah, and I’d like to transfer to my new company if it is possible. Any tips or info would be great.

  • Mohamed Ashiq

    during the transfer of sponsorship, my family should be inside the kingdom or they can go for outside the kingdom in the time of transfer process..?. Someone told us that my family should be in the kingdom. so please clarify the question…

  • Robert Jones

    When I check my company nitaqat I get the below message in arabic. نعتذر لعدم تقديم الخدمة نظرا لعدم وجود منشأتك فى قواعد بيانات نطاقات. English translation : We apologize for not providing the service because your organization does not have a domain database.

    I resigned from my current sponsor company 1 month with the consent of my sponsor. My sponsor said that he will accept my new transfer. Now when my new employer is trying to send the transfer request he is getting the same error as mentioned. Meaning I cannot do online transfer. When I checked with new sponsor he said that my or current sponsor closed the mol file and there is no information of the company online. He told me to get the transfer authorisation letter from my current sponsor. WHen i request my current sponsor for authorisation letters to do manual transfer he says I will not give you transfer. My iqama is expiring on 21st August, 2017. Also the current sponsor is not willing to renew my iqama. What the current sponsor is telling that you work with me and I will go to mol to reopen tthe file and renew your iqama. I dont want to work with my current sponsor because of salary and other issues. I want to get transfer to my new sponsor. Can you please let me know how do I get my transfer done in this case. Also, I am afraid my iqama is getting expired on 21st August, 2017. Mr. Steve, appreciate your valuable advice in this regard.

  • Mohamed Arshath

    HI Ashiq
    Is your iqama transfer ? i am also same situation now ,is required family to be inside the kingdom ,Can you pls advise me

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