New Rules: Transfer Iqama sponsorship through Qiwa

As per the new rules, the transfer of Iqama sponsorship in Saudi Arabia is completed on the Qiwa platform. Here is the step-by-step process;

Article 39 of Saudi Labor Law states that an expatriate employee cannot work for anyone other than his Kafeel or sponsor.

How many times can iqama be transferred?

First of all, you need to check if your Iqama is transferable. An iqama is transferable if your employer has agreed to transfer your sponsorship.

You can transfer Iqama as many times as you want during your stay in Saudi Arabia. However, an Iqama transfer is not possible within the first year of arrival to Saudi Arabia.

Do you have a transferable Iqama?

Step 1: Upload Employment Contract in Qiwa

If the new employer meets the below 7 conditions, he will create a request to transfer Iqama sponsorship through the Qiwa platform by uploading the employment contract.

  • Qiwa Status: Pending for Laboror Approval.

qiwa employee transfer 7 conditions to upload employment contract

  • Eligible to obtain a new visa as per the regulations.
  • The employee has been living in Saudi Arabia for at least one year.
  • At least 80% compliance with the Wage Protection System in the last 3 months.
  • The iqama profession of the employee matches with the employer’s activities.
  • 50% of current employees have accepted the Qiwa contract.
  • Qiwa Maximum limit of workers for nationalities.
  • Nitaqat Status = Green.

new rules for transfer of sponsorship in saudi arabia

Step 2: Job Offer Acceptance in Qiwa

The employee will receive this message as soon as the new employer uploads the contract:

You have a new work contract waiting for your review and approval. please note that the contract will be expired in 10 days if no action was taken. to view the contract:

As per the new rules for transferring Iqama sponsorship in Saudi Arabia, the employee needs to accept a job offer or an employment contract on the Qiwa platform within 10 days of its creation to proceed with transferring Iqama sponsorship.

Accept a new employment contract in Qiwa

  • On the next page, click on the “View Contract“. 
  • Read the employment contract in detail before accepting it in Qiwa. After the acceptance, it would be your only legally binding contract in the eyes of the HR ministry and the Saudi government.
  • Agree to the terms and conditions.
  • Accept or Reject the contract.
  • If you face any problem in accepting the request, you can;

Step 3: Pending for notice period completion

Once the employee in Qiwa accepts the job offer, the employee notice period will start in Qiwa.

  • Qiwa Status: Pending for notice period completion.

Qiwa employee transfer Status: Pending for notice period completion.

Step 4: Acceptance by the current employer

At this point, the request for transfer of Iqama sponsorship will be sent to the current employer for approval or rejection. The current employer has 5 options at this time;

  1. Accept the request immediately.
  2. Accept the request with a default notice period, i.e., 90 days.
  3. Accept the request with a reduced notice period of less than 90 days.
  4. Reject the request.
  5. Leave the request as it is.
  • Qiwa Status: Pending for Current Employer’s Approval.

Qiwa Status: Pending for Current Employer's Approval


The employee Iqama will be transferred if;

Qiwa Employee Transfer Status: Approved.

Auto Cancellation

If the current employer does not accept the request within 14 days, the iqama transfer request is automatically canceled in Qiwa.

  • Qiwa Status: Auto Cancelled due to not approve or reject the request for more than 14 days.

Auto cancelled due to not approve or reject the request for more than 14 days


If the current employer rejects the Iqama transfer request on Qiwa, he must justify it online, as the employment contract is incomplete.

  • Qiwa Status: Rejected by Current Employer.

Qiwa Status: Rejected by Current Employer

Remaining Notice Period

If Qiwa starts showing the remaining number of days on the status, the employer has accepted the service request, and the sponsorship will be transferred at the end of this period.

Step 5: Approved: Pending Employee Transfer Completion

Once the request is approved by the current employer and at the end of the completion of the notice period (if any), the Iqama transfer service in Qiwa will start showing one of the following statuses:

  • Approved: Pending Employee Transfer Completion.
  • Pending completing transfer in absher by new employer.

qiwa approved - pending employee transfer completion

Step 6: Print the new Iqama

Once the Iqama transfer request is accepted by the current employer in the Qiwa portal;

  • Pay the fee to transfer Iqama sponsorship within 12 days of acceptance of the request to complete the process in Jawazat.
  • Article 40 of Saudi Labor Law states that the employer is responsible for paying the fee.
  • Once the transfer is complete, you can check the new of your new Kafeel in Absher.
  • Once it is done, you can visit any Jawazat office to get the print of your new Iqama.

However, If the request is not initiated within 12 days by the new employer, the entire process will be canceled, and the system will show the message.

  • Qiwa Status: Expired because of not completing the request by the new employer.

qiwa employee transfer

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