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New Iqama transfer rule?

Hi all,

I've found the forum extremely useful as I intend to land in the Kingdom in late October. You guys have been doing an amazing job I must say.

Have two quick questions (since found answers to most other questions from the blogs/forum):

1: Have read about this new bar on Iqama transfer rule which restricts transfer of sponsor on Iqama before the expiry of two years. Heard it came into force in late May but was restricted to certain professions but has now been extended to all people on Iqama in KSA.

My concern is, if I intend to switch the sponsor (for reasons like finding a better opportunity; current sponsor winds up work in kingdom etc etc) say after a year or so after landing in KSA, this new law would bar me from doing that?

2: What is the average processing time for family visa after my work visa is in place?

Thanks a lot.

Hi Daredevil,

Thanks for the kind words (we try!) and welcome to the blog.

I can only help you with question #1.  Yes, it's true.  I was in the process of finishing my one year contract here when I got a better offer.  I thought it was going to work in my favor that I was already here and had gotten experience in the ME, but when they heard I'd only been here a year, they dropped me like a hot potato, citing that new law.  Lucky me :(

daredevil wrote:

My concern is, if I intend to switch the sponsor (for reasons like finding a better opportunity; current sponsor winds up work in kingdom etc etc) say after a year or so after landing in KSA, this new law would bar me from doing that?

2: What is the average processing time for family visa after my work visa is in place?

Hi and welcome to Expat-Blog.

as for question one, just like allie said, except in the case your sponser is shuting down or "winding up" like you said, an exception can be made.

question two: please go to this link

Good Luck.

Salman

If after two years I get an offer and I want to transfer, do I still need to get the current employer to consent for the transfer?

Alliecat, thanks for the confirmation. However I couldn't verify this news from any ófficial' Saudi URL (i.e. from MOFA or Labor ministry websites). Would appreciate if you or anyone else can share a link to some official document containing details of the new rule.

Salman, the post regarding family visa and details was very detailed. Thanks for sharing.

I don't have any links.  Let me just say that one of the biggest employers in KSA--and an expat's DREAM job--gave me this information.  I know they wanted me and were just as disappointed as I was!

As for finding 'official' information in Saudia, good luck lol  The official information is ever changing :)

Point taken :)

Thanks neverthless!

I am planning to submit my papers for Iqama renewal tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Godspeed musicman!

Is this an annual process or can be less frequent. Cause if for example it doesnt come through, tax man back home would axe anyone coming back after one year.

its not that much of a hassel if your sponser is taking care of it for you. and you can renew it either yearly or every two years.

MusicMan on the other hand is a freelancer and does his paperwork on his own, so its hectic and even more so he is not arab which cuases more dificult process.

though MM could explain better. but you shouldn't consider this the situation of everyone.

Salman

If you have a reputable sponsor, they let you know in plenty of time.  You give them your iqama and they give you stamped paperwork with photocopies of your iqama and passport.

Then, a few weeks later they send you an email and you just go and pick up the new iqama.

That's how it worked for me :)

BTW, good luck, mm. I remember it was a nightmare for you last year.

Agree with Salman. Mines a special case since I have to outsource my Iqama renewal process to one of the local Governmental Services Companies who charge a small fee for their services. So far they have renewed my iqama twice after my retirement from my regular day job and alls been well for me. Yet you donno until you receive your Iqama back in your hands.

Just a week before the Eid holidays I submitted one of my daughters new Passports for transferring the Iqama data on t it from the old one. The passport office wanted to see her original passport on which she came in to Saudi when she was 3 months old. I didnt have it with me and the service provider company had to use some oiling techniques to get it done. Cost me an additional SR 100 only though. No fuss. Jobs done.

Lets hope all goes well.

For regular expat employees working under a direct sponsor its no issue whatsoever.

That settles some nerves.

One recent development of concern: After high school, I've done many certifications and even some diploma courses including Public accountancy, PMP, CISA and a few ERP certifications but since all these are either international certifications or local diplomas, I do not have a university degree per se. Never felt the need otherwise I could have just applied for an equilance certificate from a university. Today my visa processing agent told me I need to submit a university degree to get a 'manager' level visa. He has never experienced someone getting such Saudi visa on the basis of certificates and diplomas. Tried calling Saudi embassy in Pakistan but they are almost clueless and/or confused themselves. Any advice?

Yes, thats the basic minimum requirement. If you can conjure up a document from some back alley it would be useful to get you past the visa issuance post. I am sure they print them there?

Well yes some of them do but I'd not want to build my career on a lie. Was wondering if their is an exception to this available. Guess thats good bye KSA then at least until I apply for equivalence certificate from a university which would normally take 4-6 months.

Thanks a lot for the prompt help nevertheless :)

Handed over my passports and iqama to the service guy this morning. keeping a low profile till wednesday when he said it will be done and finished with. phew!

lets all pray!

bhills2153 wrote:

If after two years I get an offer and I want to transfer, do I still need to get the current employer to consent for the transfer?

Any chance someone can respond?

It's hard to say because it seems to be dependent on if your sponsor wants to give you one or not.  I've made these inquiries where I work and get vague replies (yeah, what else is new? :lol:).

the best way to find out is to apply and feel the response direct from the camels lips

thanks

musicman wrote:

the best way to find out is to apply and feel the response direct from the camels lips

MM. We use the saying "Straight from the horses mouth", same thing, just less repulsive don't you think.

No comment required as this will self distruct in 30 days.

Maybe I should have said She-Camel, instead?

Sorry to interrupt the little smooching party going on here but while I try to sum it up, I still can not find which professions have what educational document attestations required. Like I know whats required for doctors and engineers (and obviously labor and cooks) but can't specifically find anything about ERP consultants and Business Management consultants.

Also about bhills2153's question; so we do not have ANY one in here who has recently transferred a sponsor on ones Iqama?

You will need any basic degree first.
Next you will need to prove you are an ERP Consultant with certifications from Oracle, SAP, Microsoft etc.

So a bachelors in business administration (despite not being a computer science related graduation) would be ok, I suppose, in addition to SAP certificate. Is there a URL having list of all the available professions with respective degree requirements.

Got a good news of sorts that PMP can get a BBA equivalence degree in just two weeks. Hope MM is right on this one, though the she camel (the visa agent) is gonna check and confirm by Wednesday.

If you have a degree certificate it will serve as the basic minimum. Any additional certificates, viz; ERP, PMP, etc will enhance your cause to cater to the profession specified by the visa. Thats my understanding.

hello everybody.

i want to know what are the profession that can be transferable?
my profession on my iqama is LABOUR its a transferable profession?
Thank you..hoping for any one reply..

hello again,
im working now in the company which is not my sponsor for my iqama,
i found new company that offer me a great type of work and also great salary offer..im almost 3 years now here in this company..is there any problem if i want to transfer for tihs new company?
thank's

@ equalizer

You wont face any issues....  if ur new company insist u to change sponsorship to them, u gotta get release letter from your actual sponsor ( u don't have any legal bond with ur present employer and hence cant stop you from moving out !!!!! )

i want to know what are the profession that can be transferable?
my profession on my iqama is LABOUR its a transferable profession?
Thank you..hoping for any one reply..


Labour profession is transformable to all companies...but cant get family visa nor 'on arrival visa' @ GCC.

Hi everyone,

What about the new thing "Colour Category". I heard one can have transfer if his kafeel fall in red or yellow category but question is can one have transfer before completion of 2 years if his kafeel is in yellow zone. Please! looking for your guidance guys. Thanks.

Regards

you cannot transfer even if your kafeel is in red or yellow .... completing 2 years is a must... having letter from your present kafeel is also mandatory. [i][/i]

hi

i have completed 2yr in KSA and found new job. what are the necessary formality to get release from exiting company.

thanks in advance

sun4help wrote:

hi

i have completed 2yr in KSA and found new job. what are the necessary formality to get release from exiting company.

thanks in advance

Once you join the new company, they will give you demand letter.

Hand over the chambered demand letter to your old company and get your release letter (3 copies) and original passport. These needs to be submitted to your new company for them to change you to their sponsorship..

Hope its clear :)

shanidali wrote:
sun4help wrote:

hi

i have completed 2yr in KSA and found new job. what are the necessary formality to get release from exiting company.

thanks in advance

Once you join the new company, they will give you demand letter.

Hand over the chambered demand letter to your old company and get your release letter (3 copies) and original passport. These needs to be submitted to your new company for them to change you to their sponsorship..

Hope its clear :)

thanks its clear.

there is possibility exiting company dont give the release letter ,i mean ,they directly recruited me from my home country and there is any rule in sadui for such case cant transfer to new company .

thanks its clear.

there is possibility exiting company dont give the release letter ,i mean ,they directly recruited me from my home country and there is any rule in sadui for such case cant transfer to new company .

Assalamualikum

I have been living in saudi arabia since i was a kid. About 8 months back I got a job and the company asked me to transfer my Iqama from my father. After 5 months it was transferred. Now they say that they dont have a job suitable for me and have asked to look for another job and transfer my sponsorship. My question is do I have to complete 2 years even for my second transfer with the current employer even though they dont have a job for me. I am in real trouble. Please do advice me. What are my options. The HR in my company says that I dont need to complete 2 years with them for second transfer. Please advice.

You have to complete 1 year only.

It's not a big issue, some companies agree on offering a job with delayed sponsorship change requirement agreement. So, go ahead and look for a job.

It's good for you in fact ;)

Guys, please give sponsorship change enough time. Don't you ever jump for it. Make use of probation periods, understand the company culture and your suitability to the offered job and environment. Then gradually start thinking about sponsorship change decision.

Thanks for yor answer. So its not mandatory for me to complete 2 years with them.. But is the 1 year after I got the Iqama or the date I joined the company.I joined the company in July last year and got my Iqama in January this year. And my current company is in excellent zone. Can you clear the concept of 2 years. Is it only for new people or it applies for each and every transfer. I would appreciate it. Thanks a lot.

There is nothing called 2 years rule now. Such a rule has been in effect for some time but was then changed to 1 year lately.

Yes, it's for everyone; no matter newly arrived or old.

Check the date of issue of your iqama and add one (hijri) year on top of it. Must be late december or early Jan 2013.

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