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. Article 39 of Saudi Labor Law states that a Non-Saudi cannot work for anyone other than his Kafeel or sponsor.

Types of Iqama Transfer

You can transfer Iqama as many times as you want during your stay in Saudi Arabia. Your Iqama will be transferred in one of the following 3 ways on Qiwa;

1- Transfer pending Employer’s Approval

In the following two cases, the current employer’s approval is required through Qiwa to transfer Iqama as explained in the process below.

  • When the employee has been in Saudi Arabia for less than one year.
  • Process: All steps 1-6 as explained below.

2- Direct Transfer

In the following cases, you will be able to transfer your Iqama without the current employer’s approval and even without completing the notice period;

  • If the employee’s work permit has expired.
  • If the employee’s Iqama has expired.
  • If an employer is unable to issue a work permit for an employee within 90 days of arrival in Saudi Arabia.
  • Process: All steps except Step 3 and Step 4.

3- Transfer pending notice period

As per the new rules for the transfer of sponsorship in Saudi Arabia, if an employee has worked for more than one year in Saudi Arabia, he can also transfer his sponsorship without the approval of the current employer. However, he will have to complete a 90-day notice period.

The current employer can modify the notice period to an earlier date depending upon his agreement with the employee.

  • Process: All steps except Step 3.

Step 1: Upload Employment Contract in Qiwa

The new employer can upload the employment contract to create a request to transfer Iqama sponsorship through the Qiwa platform if the employee is;

  • working in Saudi Arabia.
  • not in a different transfer process.
  • does not hold a Final exit visa.
  • Qiwa Status: Pending for Laboror Approval.

qiwa employee transfer Step 2: Job Offer Acceptance in Qiwa

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: Acceptance by the current employer

In case the employee has not completed one year in Saudi Arabia, 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

Step 4: Pending for notice period completion

If the employee has completed one year in Saudi Arabia and his Iqama and work permits are valid, the notice period will start in Qiwa as soon as he accepts the contract. Qiwa will also start showing the remaining number of days for the notice period.

  • Qiwa Status: Pending for notice period completion.

The current employer has 3 options at this time;

  • Accept the request immediately.
  • Accept the request with a default notice period, i.e., 90 days.
  • Accept the request with a reduced notice period of less than 90 days.


Step 5: Approved: Pending Employee Transfer Completion

At the end of the completion of the notice period (if any), the Iqama transfer service in Qiwa will start showing the following statuses. It means that all the required formalities have been fulfilled.

You need to complete some procedural steps to get the Iqama issued. Your employer might need to visit Jawazat to complete the process.

  • Approved: Pending Employee Transfer Completion.

Step 6: Print the new Iqama

At this stage in time;

  • 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 name 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 new employer does not initiate the request within 12 days, 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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