Iqama is basically a residence permit issued to those expatriates or expats who arrive in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on an employment visa and this Iqama is valid for about a year or two after which, it has to be renewed again. There are several advantages of gaining an Iqama such as receiving a temporary residency card, male applicants can sponsor direct and blood-related family members and lastly, female applicants can also bring their family members to KSA on a 6-month visit visa!
Certain important documents are required for an Iqama such as a completed visa application form, employment letter, visa letter and the Power of Attorney form (described in detail in the previous articles), 4 passport size photographs, a copy of the signed contract, police clearance report, medical reports and attested photocopies of the applicant’s degrees and certificates.
However, please note that the requirements of documents depend and vary country to country so please make sure to check with your country’s embassy beforehand. Now is your Iqama transferable or not? This is a very common question asked by expatriates working in Saudi Arabia. This is mainly because they want to work on their career or are clearly not happy with the current working environment.
One reason of this could also be low salary and more intensive hours of working. Now, after applying and being interviewed at a couple of places, the applicant is most likely to be asked if his/her Iqama is transferable or not?
So, to know the answer of this is VERY important for the applicant. To keep it simple, yes, all Iqamas are transferrable. It is just that some of the companies and organizations do not prefer giving out the release letters or the No Objection Certificate (NOC). Also, it somewhat depends on your profession. In most professions, you are supposed to complete a two-year contract after which you get your release letter or basically, get your Iqama transferred. If a two-year employment contract is completed, the whole Iqama transferring process is smooth and easy then if you ask them.
If they do not agree, they have all the rights to send you back to your country legally and no one can stop them from that. We have covered this issue in full detail in this link – Legal Right to Transfer the Sponsorship from Employer.
Moreover, please remember that in some professions, the transfer of Iqama is not possible at all, for example, farmers cannot get their Iqama transferred. Lastly, discuss this courteously with your HR manager or main sponsor before asking for a transfer. Good luck!