Yes, the government of Saudi Arabia has stopped issuing new Iqama, the renewal of Iqama, change of profession and the transfer of sponsorship of all expats working as accountants, auditors and in the finance-related jobs until they fulfill the SOCPA membership registration requirement.
Educational Requirements for SOCPA membership registration
The basic requirement to get the SOCPA membership registration is an accounting or finance-related degree. Expats working as accountants or auditors in Saudi Arabia can get SOCPA membership registration if they have any of the following degrees;
- Bachelor or master’s degree in accounting
- Post-secondary accounting diploma.
- Any other bachelor’s degree with at least 15 academic hours in accounting. Those who do not complete the above mentioned 15 academic hours are required to:
- Attend accounting, auditing, Zakat and tax fellowship courses which, all together, are equivalent to nine academic hours or
- Complete required hours bypassing topics equivalent to (15) hours in accounting or auditing at one of the recognized universities of Saudi Arabia.
- Pass the professional examination prescribed by SOCPA.
- Holds one of the following professional certificates
- CPA from the United States of America
- ICAEW from the UK
- CICA from Canada
- CA from Australia
- ACCA from the UK
- CA from Pakistan
- CA from Pakistan
- CMA from the USA
- CIA from the USA
If you have got a degree from a university or institute outside Saudi Arabia, you need to get your degrees attested from the Saudi Embassy of the country which has issued the degree for SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia. Recommended: How to attest degrees for Saudi Arabia?
How to do SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia?
The first thing an expat need to do for SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia is to create an account on their website. Open the following website from your computer and click on the “New User” button given on top of the screen. https://eservice.socpa.org.sa/login.aspx
On the next page, you will find a registration form to fill. You need to select “Iqama” in ID type, enter Iqama number, the first name and the last name, the password, email address and the phone number for SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia.
A new page will appear informing you that an email has been sent to your email account for verification. You need to open the email and click on the verification link for SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia.
A click on your email will lead you to the following screen asking you to click again to login to your SOCPA account providing the credentials you have entered above for SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia.
You need to enter your Iqama number and the password you have set above to login to your account for SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia.
In the next step, the system will send you an authentication code on the expat's registered mobile number which you need to enter here to verify that the account is being logged in by an authorized person for SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia.
In the next step, you will be able to see the dashboard of your account. You need to click on the “Membership” tab and then “Membership Request” button from the drop-down list for SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia.
In the next step, the system will educate you about different types of memberships available on their portal. You can scroll down and read everything or just click on the next step to move forward for SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia.
A new page will open where you need to select the country from where you got your degree or professional qualification. Select the degree or certificate related to your qualification, the country of study, the university, GPA or grade, and the profession and click on the “Next” button for SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia.
SOCPA registration requirements
In the next step, you need to upload the following 6 requirements for SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia. Once the documents are successfully uploaded, the system will show you the status just like it is shown in 1,2,3 and 4 line below.
If a red line appears while uploading the required documents for SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia, it means that their system is very busy this time and you need to try again after some time. The requirements for SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia are;
- Your passport size photo
- A copy of the degree certificate from the front as well as from the backside where one can see the attestation stamps from the Saudi Embassy. You can attach only one file so it is better to upload a PDF file.
- Copy of valid Iqama
- Transcripts which means that you need to attach the result cards of all semesters. Once again, it is better to make a PDF file and upload them. However, the transcript is not a mandatory document.
- Copy of Passport
- You need to download an authorization letter from the link given in the below on the SOCPA website, fill it and submit it to them. Here you are authorizing that you are open to any inquiry on the degrees you are going to submit.
Once all the requirements are submitted, click on the “Next” button for SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia.
In the next step, the system will calculate the fee for SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia and present it on your computer screen. The subscription fee for SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia is SR 525 and the annual fee is SR 315. You will have to pay the annual fee every year to renew your membership.
In the next screen, the system will just show you the total amount of fee (SR 840) which you need to pay for SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia. Just click on the “confirm” button to move forward.
In the next step, you will be required to make payment of the fee for SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia. There are several options available here as you can pay through your MADA card, SADAD account, Visa card or Mastercard. Enter the captcha code written over there and click on the “proceed to payment”.
Enter the credit card details to pay the fee for SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia. You will immediately receive an SMS from the bank as soon as the payment is made.
After the payment, wait for around 5 minutes to give the system some time to update the payment details. After that click on the “Payments” tab and the “Paid Bill” button to download the receipt for the fee, you have paid for SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia.
Many organizations reimburse the fee paid for SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia and therefore, you should download this copy and the copy of the membership certificate and try to take reimbursement from your company.
You should know that a temporary SOCPA membership has been granted to you as soon as you paid the fee. You can download the SOCPA membership certificate by clicking on the “Membership and Professional Registration” tab and then “Dashboard” button. Click on the “Download Certificate” button to get the certificate for SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia.
Collection of Membership Card
Now SOCPA which means the Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accounts will verify your degree and contact you back if they need any further information. Once the status of membership in your accounts is updated from the temporary membership to associate membership, you will have to contact their office in Jeddah or Riyadh to print the cards for SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia.
Iqama Professions which need SOCPA membership
As we have stated earlier, the following 19 professions are required to get their SOCPA membership registration in Saudi Arabia to renew their Iqama. Expats who are accountants, auditors and finance jobs who have not got the SOCPA membership registration would not be able to renew their iqamas, transfer their sponsorship or change their professions in Saudi Arabia.
- Director internal auditing department
- Cost clerk
- Cost Accountant
- Finance clerk
- General Accountant
- zakat & taxes department
- Internal auditor
- Manager accounts and Budget
- Senior Financial Auditor
- Director G.A of reviewing
- Director of financial and accounting affairs
- Accounts Auditor
- Accounts auditing technician
- financial reports department
- Accounts technician General
- Chief of internal auditing programs
- Financial Auditing Supervisor
- Cost accounting technician
- Financial Controller
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