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.

Requirements

  1. The expat needs to be inside Saudi Arabia.
  2. Attested degree matching with the Iqama profession.
  3. Payment of SR 1,000 fee to change Iqama profession.
  4. Passing the Saudi Professional Verification Exam.
  5. Registration with the relevant professional body;
  6. The status of the worker must not be “Pending service transfer“.
  7. The worker must be inside Saudi Arabia.
  8. 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 professionStep 1: Employer requests the profession change

Once you have all the above-mentioned documents with you, contact the Government Relations Officer of your company. He will create a request to change the Iqama profession in the Qiwa platform. 

  • Log in to Qiwa’s platform.
  • Choose “occupation change” service from the e-services.
  • Select the workers whose profession you want to change.
  • Select the occupation you want to change to.
  • Fill in the details of each worker’s employment contract.
  • Apply for the change of Iqama Profession.
  • Qiwa Status: Pending Employee Approval.

Step 2: Employee Acceptance

After the request is created, the employee will have to accept the request for the change of Iqama profession through the Qiwa account.

As per HRSD Ministry, worker’s acceptance is not required for doctors, experts, specialists, engineers, specialized experts, monitoring technicians, or worker professions. – Saudi Gazette

Accept the request for the change of Iqama profession through Qiwa

Step 3: Acceptance by the MOL

The next step is acceptance of the request by the HRSD Ministry. You can track the status of change in the profession through Qiwa as well as through the MOL website.

Qiwa Status: Pending for NIC Approval.

Step 4: Print the Iqama

Once the change of Iqama profession is accepted by the MOL as well as MOI and is reflected in the Absher account, your employer will print a new Iqama copy for you. You can find your profession written on line 8 of the Iqama card.

how to change iqama profession

Change Iqama profession manually

In case you are not able to change your Iqama profession online, the GRO of your company will have to visit the labor office along with the following documents to do it.

  1. A letter from the employer requesting to change the profession.
  2. A form to change the profession.
  3. Iqama copy
  4. Commercial Registration Copy.
  5. Qiwa portal Error that you are unable to change your profession online.
  6. Sponsor ID.
The form to change the profession.
The form to change the profession.

After submitting the documents, the GRO will receive an SMS to proceed with the change of the Iqama profession in Muqeem. Now pay the fee and then your profession would be changed by the employer.

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.

Has the change in Iqama profession stopped in KSA?

According to the latest news in 2022, the change of Iqama profession is openHowever, there could be several reasons for the rejection of the request such as; 

  1. The change in the Iqama profession is banned by MOL for some time.
  2. The membership with the SOCPA, SCE, or Mumaris plus has expired.
  3. The expat who is required to be registered with two professional bodies has registered with only one e.g. a computer technician who wants to change his Iqama profession to an accountant needs to register with both SOCPA and SCE.
  4. The Iqama profession is reserved for Saudis.
  5. The company is in Red Nitaqat Category.
  6. The Iqama has expired.
  7. The profession is blocked (Qiwa Error)

Qiwa Error: The current occupation is not allowed in this cycle. No Jobs Eligible. This qiwa error appears when the profession you are working at has been blocked due to Saudization requirements. 

The current occupation is not allowed in this cycle. No Jobs Eligible.
The current occupation is not allowed in this cycle. No Jobs Eligible.

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.