Transfer iqama from my husband to an employer

I will be relocating to Riyadh with my husband in March 2020. I will be under my husband iqama which is not transferable.

I would like to look for a job while in KSA therefore I would like to know if my new employer would be able to transfer my iqama to them as a new sponsor (my husband employer would support this transfer with no objection letter).

Also, if the contract with my new employer finished before my husband's contract with his employer, would I be able to go back under my huband's iqama?

Many thanks,

There is no such thing as transfer from one iqama type to another i.e. family to work or vice versa.  If you get a job then you are going to have to leave the Kingdom, go back to your home country, get a new work visa and re-enter.  Same for the other way round. 

In the past, there were some exceptions here and there for coming back on the family Iqama from a work Iqama but now they have clamped down on it.


Thanks a lot for the above.
I also heard that is not the norm to transfer from your sponsor visa to the company but it can be done. Is not a standard process and would have to be done between officials in Ministry of labor and the representatives of the company. This will not require leaving the country.
Do you agree with this?


All non standard processes require wasta. That's Arabic for connections. If you have connections, then anything is possible.

I have seen one case like yours being approved with the right connections.  But then again, I have seen dozens being rejected without.

Don't apply the non-standard definition from the western world here. There, all that means is that you have to follow a longer route but the law and process allows for that. Here, it means that it is NOT allowed and you are asking for an exception (which is the case here - disagree with statement that it is not the norm; correct term is that it is not allowed). In this part of the world, exceptions require wasta, otherwise don't even bother. And it has to be YOUR wasta because any employer would only use theirs IF you are in a field where they can't find anyone with a similar skill set or you are extremely senior - basically only when it carers to their self interest.  And then they need to be connected with people at a very senior level in the government.  Lastly, it is not between employer and labor ministry; the ministry is involved from the quota angle but the real work on this is with immigration.

And on top, finding a job as a non Arabic speaking expat female is massively difficult to begin with except in certain fields open to them eg teachers, doctors, nurses, stewardesses etc.

I am not trying to discourage you but trying to give you feedback so you manage your expectations. At the time of relocation, employers say yes to all possibilities so that the person actually moves and then later, you struggle.

Thats very helpful thank you! I now get the WASTA concept:) I am an Executive Assistant working at CEO/ Senior level with many years experience in London but I dont speak arabic. I appreciate its just an opinion but what do you think are the chances for me to find EA job in Riyadh.


Honestly and logically speaking, I would say pretty slim.  Segregation plays a big role here. A lot of EA jobs in government and other firms are staffed by men. Over the past few years, that is changing but with Saudi women being placed in those roles. On top, the multinationals have their regional offices based in dubai where they keep the senior staff and EAs.

As an example, I work for a big company at a top position and my EA is male (who speaks Arabic as I don't). We do have females in the office in different roles (including one at reception) but they are all Saudi. 

However, having said that, there might be opportunities that come up through networking - you never know.

Extremely clear. If EA’s positions are taken by male, Saudi female or expat speaking arabic it sounds like the opportunity for an expat like me with no arabic are very limited despite my strong experience?

Practically speaking, yes.  But never say never :).


I have gone through the same process and it was transferred. It depends on companies representative (Mandoob) . Of course its legal work and some time depends on profession as well.

Thank you and May Allah Bless You.

Yes, as I said, it requires connections.  Anything is possible in Saudi with connections.

In short you can get transfer, I done for my wife too, so no big deal to find WASTA or any source, totally depend on your company if they are willing to hire you no matter what you will be able to transfer without any trouble.

Have a good day dear.

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