How to know if Iqama is transferable?

We often hear that it is the right of an employee with transferable Iqama to transfer his sponsorship. What is transferable Iqama? How to check if an Iqama is transferable or not? We have explained below.

What is transferable Iqama?

The meaning of a transferable iqama is that your employer or sponsor has agreed to transfer your sponsorship to another employer in case you want to change your job.

Is it the right of an employee to transfer sponsorship?

Generally, it is not the right of an employee to ask for the transfer sponsorship from the employer as the Saudi Labor Law is silent about it.

However, if the right to transfer the sponsorship is in the contract of the employee, it becomes a transferable Iqama.

Keep in mind, it is highly unlikely for employers to agree on the term that they will transfer the sponsorship of the employee at the end of the contract.

If at the end of the employment term, your employer does not allow you to take transfer of sponsorship; you can contact the labor court on the basis of your contract.

Is it the right of an employee to transfer sponsorship?

How to check iqama transferable or not?

Now the next question in your mind would be how to know if an iqama is transferable? To keep it simple, almost all Iqamas are transferrable as long as your employer is willing to transfer your sponsorship.

It is just that some companies and organizations do not prefer releasing their employees who want to change their jobs. If they do not agree, they have all the right to send you back to your country legally on a final exit and no one can stop them from that. So, if your employer is not willing to transfer your sponsorship, your iqama is not transferable at all.

Transferable Iqama

How to make your Iqama transferable?

As we have already explained that everything is in the hands of your employer or sponsor and therefore, you must develop very good relations with him.

In case you are working in a corporate entity, try to maintain good relations with the GRO of your company as well as the higher management as they can make your iqama transferable.

Some Exceptions

Keep in mind that in some professions, the transfer of Iqama is not possible at all, for example, farmers cannot get their Iqama transferred.

Similarly, domestic workers cannot transfer their sponsorship to the business entity in the first 7 years of their employement. Therefore, if somebody offers you a visa of a domestic worker and your intention is to work in the private sector, don't accept it.

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