How to change Iqama Profession in Saudi Arabia?

If your current profession on Iqama is different from your actual profession, you need to change it to comply with Article 38 of Saudi Labor Law. In this article, I have explained the updated procedure to change the iqama profession in Saudi Arabia in 2020.

Requirements to change the Iqama profession

  1. Attested degree matching with the Iqama profession.
  2. Payment of SR 1,000 fee to change Iqama profession.
  3. Registration with the relevant professional body;
  4. In order to change the profession from one professional body (SCE) to another (SOCPA), registration with both professional bodies is required.

Any expat who entered Saudi Arabia with an engineering professional visa, but the Saudi Council of Engineers rejected his application, should apply for a profession change first. Temporary approval of 10 days will be granted by the SCE for the change of profession. Source: SCE

Requirements to change the Iqama professionRequest the GRO of the company

Once you have all the above-mentioned documents with you, just contact the Government Relations Officer of your company and he will do the rest of the process.

Keep in mind that you would not be able to do the process yourself as your employer is the only person who can request it from the Jawazat.

If you have already applied for a change of profession, you can check the status of change in the profession in this article. 

Iqama profession change without Certificate

Some professions can be changed without a certificate while others require an attested degree. Here are some scenarios;

  1. No degree or certificate is required to change non-technical professions e.g. Labor to Cleaner.
  2. A resident with the computer technician Iqama profession can register himself with SCE without any certificate and change the profession to a Labor within 12 months of registration.
  3. A resident with the accountant Iqama profession can register himself with any degree with the SOCPA and then transfer the profession to labor.

However, if your family is already in Saudi Arabia on a family visit visa or a permanent family visa, you would not be able to opt for a lower degree profession such as labor.

Iqama Profession Change rejected – 5 Reasons

There could be several reasons for the rejection of the request to change the Iqama profession by Jawazat or the Labor office. I have listed down the most common ones;

  1. The membership with the SOCPA, SCE, or Mumaris plus has expired.
  2. The expat who is required to be registered with two professional bodies has registered with only one. For example, a computer technician who wants to change his Iqama profession to an accountant needs to register with both SOCPA and SCE.
  3. The Iqama profession is reserved for Saudis.
  4. The company is in Red Nitaqat Category.
  5. The Iqama has expired.

Iqama profession for domestic workers

If you have been awarded a domestic visa like House driver, Housemaid, etc. it cannot be changed to a business profession. It can only be transferred to some other domestic professions.

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.