How to transfer Iqama sponsorship in 2021?

In order to transfer Iqama sponsorship (نقل كفاله) in Saudi Arabia, expats have to go through a lengthy procedure which is explained below.

As per Article 39 of Saudi Labor Law, an expatriate employee is not allowed to work for anyone other than his Kafeel or sponsor.

Do you have a transferable Iqama?

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.

Do you have a transferable Iqama?Can your new employer transfer your Iqama?

Before accepting the job offer, you need to check if your new employer can transfer your sponsorship in Saudi Arabia. The new sponsor needs to meet all of the following conditions to accept the transfer;

  1. All employees should have a valid Iqama.
  2. There is no employee who hasn't received Iqama within 3 months of arrival in Saudi Arabia.
  3. Salaries are paid on time through the Wage Protection System.
  4. The Nitaqat category of the employer must be Green. Recommended: Check Nitaqat Category of Kafeel
  5. The citizens of some countries are not allowed to transfer their Iqama e.g. Thailand.

Can your new employer transfer your sponsorship?Online Iqama transfer process

Create a Request for Iqama transfer

Your new employer will create a request to transfer the sponsorship through the Ministry of Labor account.

  • Required Document: Copy of your Iqama.

Accepting the Request in the system

Ask your old employer to accept the Iqama transfer request in the MOL system.

After the acceptance, your Iqama sponsorship is transferred to the new employer in the Labor System.

Pay the fee for the transfer of sponsorship

  • Pay the fee to transfer Iqama sponsorship within 12 days of acceptance of the request to complete the process in Jawazat.
  • As per Article 40 of Saudi Labor Law, the employer is responsible to pay 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.

Online Iqama transfer processCancellation of Request

As per iqama transfer rules, there are two possible ways canceling an online request for the transfer of sponsorship created in the MOL system;

  • Leave the request without acceptance, it will automatically be canceled after 90 days.
  • Withdrawal of the نقل كفاله request by the new employer.

Two requests for Iqama transfer cannot be created at a time for one expatriate worker.

Manual Process to transfer sponsorship

In case you want to transfer your sponsorship to an individual who does not have the MOL account, you will have to follow the manual procedure of Iqama transfer.

  • Request a Demand Letter from your new employer. (Sample Letter)
  • Request two letters from your current employer addressing to the Labor Office and Jawazat. (Sample Letters)
  • The new employer will visit the labor office and Jawazat along with the above-mentioned letter to complete the process of Iqama transfer.

Manual Process to transfer sponsorshipIqama transfer under Huroob

As per iqama transfer rules, it is banned to transfer the sponsorship of an employee whose status has been set as Huroob. Here are different ways to remove Huroob.

Iqama transfer of Domestic Workers

The transfer of sponsorship of a domestic worker from an individual to an establishment has been banned.

The transfer of sponsorship from establishment or companies to Individuals is still banned.

Iqama transfer of Domestic WorkersThe government of Saudi Arabia had allowed the transfer of sponsorship of a domestic worker to establishment or companies in 2020 after 7 years if the following two conditions are met;

  1. His Iqama was renewed for not more than one year last time.
  2. He will have to change his profession.

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