Change Iqama Profession

How to Change Iqama Profession in Saudi Arabia? New Rules and Procedures in 2023

Introduction: Change Iqama Profession

Changing your Iqama profession in Saudi Arabia is a significant move in your career and life within the Kingdom. It’s vital to have your Iqama accurately reflect your profession, whether you’re an expatriate or an employer. In this detailed guide, we’ll explore the latest regulations and steps for changing your Iqama profession in Saudi Arabia in 2023. We’ll discuss the essential requirements, walk you through the process step by step, answer key questions, and provide you with the most up-to-date information.

Understanding the Need for Iqama Profession Change:

Your Iqama serves as your identification and work permit in Saudi Arabia, encompassing essential details such as your name, date of birth, expiry date, and notably, your profession. It’s not just a matter of complying with legal regulations; it’s a practical necessity. Any disparity between your stated profession and your actual job can give rise to a range of issues, potentially involving legal repercussions.

To put it simply, if your Iqama states that you’re an engineer while you’re working as an accountant, you could run into complications. To ensure a trouble-free experience in Saudi Arabia and prevent any legal entanglements, it’s crucial to maintain accurate and consistent documentation, especially concerning your Iqama.

For instance, if your Iqama doesn’t accurately represent your profession, it’s advisable to take the necessary steps to rectify this, as we’ll elaborate on in the sections below.

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Who Is Eligible to Change Iqama Profession?

To change Iqama profession, you must meet specific conditions and criteria set by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD). Whether you are already in Saudi Arabia or a new expatriate, there are distinct requirements:

Requirements For Expats Already in KSA:

  1. You must be registered with the Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD).
  2. Completed your contract with your previous employer.
  3. Completed one year with your previous contractor (first contractor after arriving in KSA).
  4. Possess a certified, documented work contract.
  5. Applied for a new job through the QIWA portal (the Ministry’s platform for new jobs).
  6. Resigned with a withdrawal period notice.

Meeting these criteria enables expatriates already residing in Saudi Arabia to change Iqama profession seamlessly.

Requirements For New Expats in KSA:

  1. Must be capable of obtaining a visa in accordance with legislation and ordinances.
  2. Applied for a new job via the QIWA platform (the Ministry’s platform for jobs).
  3. Agreed to the Wage Protection System legislations.
  4. Complied with the legislation of labor procurement documents and the digitization program.
  5. Agreed to the self-appraisal program.

These conditions apply to expatriates new to Saudi Arabia who wish to change their Iqama profession.

Special Cases Where Expats Can Change Iqama Profession Without Conditions:

  1. If the expatriate has been absent from work for a continuous 90 days after arriving in Saudi Arabia.
  2. If the expatriate has not received a salary for 90 consecutive days.
  3. If the employer is absent for 90 consecutive days after bringing the expatriate to KSA.
  4. When an expatriate’s Iqama expires.
  5. In case the expatriate’s employer was blacklisted for engaging in “Tasattur” (illegal business practices) or if the expatriate was deceitfully brought to Saudi Arabia.
  6. If the expatriate has a dispute with the employer, and the employer did not attend the last two hearings of the LABOUR COURT.
  7. If the expatriate’s employer agrees to let them go.

These are exceptional circumstances where an expatriate can change their profession without meeting the typical criteria.

Document Requirements for Changing Iqama Profession:

If you’re considering changing your Iqama profession in Saudi Arabia, it’s important to understand the key steps involved. Below, we’ll outline the main requirements briefly, and you can find detailed explanations for each step further below.


  1. Residing in Saudi Arabia.
  2. Possessing an attested degree that matches the desired profession.
  3. Paying a fee of SR 1,000 for the profession change.
  4. Successfully passing the Saudi Professional Verification Exam.
  5. Registering with the relevant professional body based on your desired profession:
    • If you’re working in an engineering or 136 technician profession, it’s mandatory to get registered with the Saudi Council of Engineers.
    • Accountants and auditors are required to complete their registration with SOCPA.
    • Health practitioners need to complete their registration with Mumaris Plus.
    • Professionals in the field of veterinary medicine are required to complete their registration with the Ministry of Agriculture.
  6. Ensuring that your work status is not listed as “Pending service transfer.”
  7. Being physically present inside Saudi Arabia.
  8. To switch your profession from one professional body like the Saudi Council of Engineers (SCE) to another, such as the Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants (SOCPA), it’s imperative to complete the registration process with both relevant professional bodies. This ensures a seamless transition between professions within Saudi Arabia.

Procedure for Changing Iqama Profession Online | QIWA:

The Procedure for Changing Iqama Profession Divided on 3 steps. 1: Employer Requests, 2: Employee Acceptance, 3: Acceptance by the Ministry of Labor (MOL)

Step 1: Employer Requests the Profession Change

The process of changing your Iqama profession begins with your employer’s action. The employer designates their Government Relation Officer (GRO) to oversee this procedure.

  1. GRO Accesses QIWA Portal: The GRO logs into the QIWA portal, which provides e-services for various government functions.
  2. Occupation Change Selection: Within the portal, the GRO selects the “occupation change” option.
  3. Choosing the Employee: The specific employee who wishes to change their profession is identified.
  4. Selection of Desired Profession: The employee specifies their desired new profession.
  5. Filling Employment Contract Details: All the necessary information related to the employment contract is meticulously filled in.
  6. Submission of Request: Once all the details are correctly entered and verified, the GRO submits the request. At this stage, the status on the Qiwa portal will indicate “Pending,” signifying that the request is in progress.

This step is crucial in initiating the Iqama profession change process, and it sets the stage for subsequent actions.

Step 2: Employee Acceptance

In the second phase, the employee’s active participation is crucial in the profession change process. This step involves the employee’s explicit acceptance of the profession change request. Here’s a breakdown of the actions required:

  1. Register on the Qiwa Platform: The employee initiates this step by registering on the Qiwa platform, which serves as the central hub for various employment-related services in Saudi Arabia.
  2. Access the Individual Account: Within the Qiwa platform, the employee should access their Individual Account. This personalized section is where the employee will find all relevant notifications and updates regarding their profession change request.
  3. Accept the Request: Upon locating the notification for the profession change request, the employee simply clicks on “Accept.” This action indicates the employee’s willingness to proceed with the requested profession change.
  4. Await Further Assessments: Following the acceptance, the employee enters a phase of waiting. Additional evaluations and checks will be conducted to confirm that all essential requirements are satisfied for the profession change.

This step clearly outlines the employee’s role in the process, emphasizing the importance of their consent in moving forward with the profession change request.
As per the HRSD Ministry guidelines, certain professions like doctors, experts, specialists, engineers, specialized experts, monitoring technicians, and worker roles don’t require the worker’s consent for profession change.

Step 3: Acceptance by the Ministry of Labor (MOL)

  1. Following the employer’s request and the employee’s acceptance, the request moves to the Ministry of Labor (MOL) for final approval.
  2. Authorities at the MOL carefully review the details and documentation, making sure all requirements are met.
  3. It is essential to note that you can track the status of your profession change through the MOL website or the Qiwa portal.

Change Iqama Profession Manually

  1. If, for any reason, the online process isn’t suitable, you can request a manual change of your Iqama profession.
  2. To accomplish this, you will need the following documents:
    • A request form letter, signed by the candidate, outlining the reason for the manual change.
    • A copy of the Iqama.
    • A copy of the company’s commercial registration.
    • The sponsor’s ID.
  3. Once the necessary documents have been submitted, the Government Relations Officer (GRO) will receive an SMS confirming the initiation of the Iqama profession change process in the Muqeem system. Following this, you will need to pay the required fee, and upon successful payment, your profession will be officially updated by your employer.

Changing Iqama Profession Without a Certificate

  1. It’s worth mentioning that changing your Iqama profession doesn’t always necessitate having a certified degree. Below are situations in which you can alter your profession without requiring a certificate:
  2. If your profession is non-technical, such as labor, you can request a change without a certificate.
  3. A local computer technician can change their profession to labor within 12 months of registering with the Saudi Council of Engineers.
  4. Accountants with an Iqama can transfer their profession to labor after registering with the Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants (SOCPA).

Has the Change in Iqama Profession Stopped in KSA?

To address this common query, it’s essential to emphasize that the profession change process is still active in Saudi Arabia. The rules may have evolved, but the possibility of changing your Iqama profession remains a valid option, subject to specific conditions and requirements.

Qiwa Error

It’s not uncommon for individuals to encounter errors or difficulties during the profession change process. If you find yourself in such situations, it’s a wise move to reach out to the appropriate authorities, like the Ministry of Labor, for guidance and assistance.

Iqama Profession for Domestic Workers

Specific rules apply to domestic workers in Saudi Arabia who wish to change their Iqama profession. They must follow the established procedures and meet the criteria set for their profession change.

The Detail Procedure for Changing Iqama Profession Requirements:

Once you’ve determined your eligibility to change your Iqama profession, the process involves several steps. Let’s break down each stage:

Step 1: How to Attested Degree by MOFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs):

Degree attestation is a crucial requirement when changing your work permit and Iqama profession. If there is a disparity between your degree details and your work permit, it could lead to consequences and fines. It’s essential to have an Iqama with accurate data, including your profession.

  1. First, ensure that the names on your degree and Iqama match precisely. Even a small inconsistency can result in your application being declined.
  2. Send your degrees for attestation from the Chamber of Commerce in Saudi Arabia.
  3. Request a letter from your employer, asking the Saudi Cultural office to verify your educational degrees. This letter must contain accurate details such as your name, position, and date of joining.
  4. Obtain a similar letter from your employer for the Saudi Embassy in your home country to attest to the degrees.
  5. Send the documents, along with your degrees, to the Saudi Cultural Office and the Saudi Embassy. They may request you to first verify these degrees from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in your home country or the Higher Education Commission.
  6. Please enclose a cover letter along with copies of your passport, Iqama, visa, and your original degree.
  7. The degree verification process can be handled by someone residing in your home country or an agent, typically at a cost of SR 400.

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Step 2: Registering with Relevant Professional Organizations:

Depending on your intended profession change, you may need to register with the respective professional council in Saudi Arabia. Let’s take a look at the prerequisites for two common situations:

A: Registering with the Saudi Council of Engineering (For Engineering Profession):

  1. After attesting your degree, if you are changing to an engineering profession, you must register with the Saudi Council of Engineering.
  2. You’ll need to create a PDF file containing the following documents:
    • Passport copy, 
    • Iqama copy, letter of employment, letter of authorization, 
    • attested engineering degree, 
    • grade sheet,
    •  passport-sized photograph (200×200 cm), and 
    • your resume or CV (original or copy).
  3. You should upload these documents to the Saudi Council of Engineering website.

B: Registering with Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants (SOCPA)

When it comes to the accounting profession, you’ll need to complete the registration process with the Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants: 

  1. If you are transitioning to an accounting profession, you must register with the Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants (SOCPA).
  2. Prepare a PDF file with the following documents:
    • Passport copy, 
    • Iqama copy, letter of employment, letter of authorization, 
    • attested accounting degree, 
    • grade sheet, passport-sized photograph (200×200 cm), and 
    • your resume or CV (original or copy).
  3. Submit these documents on the SOCPA website.

Step 3: Paying Iqama Profession Change Fees:

For changing your Iqama profession online, you will need to submit a fee of 1000 Saudi Riyals. This fee is typically covered by your employer as per Saudi Labor Law.

Please note that you cannot personally take your case to the “JAWAZAT” (the General Directorate of Passports) for a profession change. Instead, your company’s Government Relations Officer (GRO) will be responsible for completing the process on your behalf.


Before proceeding with a change of profession in KSA, it is essential to ensure you meet the following requirements:

  1. No criminal charges against you.
  2. No outstanding traffic violations.
  3. A valid and active Iqama.
  4. No “HUROOB” (absconding) status.
  5. A document of authorization issued by the Ministry of Labor..
  6. Deposited fees against your Iqama.
  7. Your expat sponsor has no outstanding traffic violations.

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Checking the Changed Iqama Profession:

After applying for a change of profession, you can verify whether your new Iqama profession is updated. To accomplish this, you can follow these simple steps::

  1. You should go to the MOI (Ministry of Interior) “ABSHER” official website.
  2. Select the type of user, “INDIVIDUAL” for personal accounts or “BUSINESS” for companies.
  3. Choose your preferred language.
  4. Sign in to your account by entering your username and password.
  5. Enter the image captcha code and click “Proceed.”
  6. A verification code will be sent to the phone number linked to your Absher account. Enter this code to log in.
  7. Once logged in, find the “CURRENT PROFESSION” column, located just above the “MORE SERVICES” button. Here, you can view your current professional details. If the change is not reflected, your request may have been rejected, and you should rectify any issues to proceed.

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Change Iqama Profession: Reasons for Rejections

Several reasons can lead to the rejection of your request to change Iqama profession, including:

  1. If your work permit is categorized as “Aamil Manzali” (house worker).
  2. If you are changing your Iqama profession within Saudi Arabia and your employer has offenses or violations.
  3. If you have outstanding traffic violations or criminal convictions.
  4. Insufficient available Iqama funds for the profession change.
  5. Your request may be rejected based on your sponsor’s history, including any violations.
  6. If you have any traffic violation reports or a “HUROOB” status.


Changing your Iqama profession in Saudi Arabia is a crucial step in ensuring that your residency aligns with your actual job. Compliance with the new rules and regulations, understanding the requirements, and following the correct procedures are essential for a smooth transition. Maintaining the accuracy and currency of your Iqama is essential to steer clear of legal complications. Whether you are already residing in Saudi Arabia or a new expatriate, understanding the process and eligibility criteria is key to a successful Iqama profession change.

By following the instructions outlined in this detailed guide, you can efficiently go through the process and successfully update your Iqama profession as needed.. It is always recommended to work closely with your employer’s GRO and the relevant authorities to ensure a seamless transition.

Remember, a well-kept Iqama not only helps you maintain legal compliance but also ensures a smooth and rewarding career in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Stay updated with the latest regulations, and you’ll be on the right path to a successful Iqama profession change.

What is the best profession in Saudi Arabia for Iqama?

The ideal profession on your Iqama depends on your qualifications, skills, and the type of work you intend to pursue in Saudi Arabia. It’s essential to select a profession that aligns with your actual job to ensure a smooth and legally sound experience.

How can I change my profession in Iqama as a domestic worker?

If you are a domestic worker seeking to change your Iqama profession, you can follow the same general process as outlined in this guide. Ensure you meet the specific criteria and requirements for domestic workers as set by the Saudi authorities.

What is the 932901 occupation in Saudi Arabia?

The occupation code 932901 in Saudi Arabia may refer to a specific profession or category of work, but it’s essential to check with official government sources or authorized portals for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding this occupation code.

What is the occupation code 243110 in Saudi Arabia?

The occupation code 243110 in Saudi Arabia could represent a particular profession or field of work. To obtain precise information about this occupation code, it is recommended to refer to official government sources or authorized platforms to ensure accuracy.

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