How to Check Iqama is Transferable or not

How to Check Iqama is Transferable or not | Nakal Kafala Rule in Saudi Arabia: Complete Guide 2024


In Saudi Arabia, having an Iqama is transferable (residency permit), and understanding your Iqama status are essential aspects for expatriates working in the country. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of checking Iqama transferability and understanding your Iqama transferable status, ensuring legal compliance and smooth transitions.

What is a Transferable Iqama (Kafala)?

A transferable Iqama refers to the ability of an expatriate employee to transfer their sponsorship from one employer to another. This process, also known as Naqal Kafala, allows individuals to change jobs or sponsors within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Is It the Right of an Employee to Transfer Sponsorship?

In Saudi Arabia, whether you can transfer your Iqama depends on what’s written in your work contract. Even though the labor law doesn’t talk much about moving sponsorships, it’s crucial to have clear rules in your contract about this. Employers might not always want to agree to transfer sponsorships, so it’s important to talk about it before signing. Usually, after you finish your work contract, you can change sponsors if you want.

But in your first year in Saudi Arabia, this is usually not allowed, unless your employer takes too long to give you an Iqama. Then you might be able to switch sponsors without their permission. It’s really important to know these rules and what’s in your contract so you can understand how sponsorship transfers work in Saudi Arabia.

Check Transferability:

To determine if your Iqama is transferable, you can follow a straightforward process. Most Iqamas are transferable if the employer is willing to transfer sponsorship. However, if there are disagreements, employees can file complaints online to the Saudi Labor Court for resolution.

How to Check Iqama Transfer Status Online?

Step #1. Visit the MHRSD’s MOL KSA Website

Access the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development’s MOL KSA website using the following link: Click Here

Step #2. Select “نقل خدمة عامل وافد”

From the dropdown menu, choose “نقل خدمة عامل وافد” which translates to “transfer of expatriate worker services.”

Step #3. Enter Iqama Number and Image Code

Enter your Iqama number in the designated field and input the image code provided. Then click on the Search button to proceed.

Step #4. View Transfer Status

Upon searching, you will see the status of your Iqama transfer. If the transfer request has been accepted, the name of your new employer or sponsor will be displayed.

How to Make Your Iqama Transferable?

Developing good relations with your employer or sponsor is crucial for making your Iqama transferable. Maintaining positive communication and utilizing resources within your corporate entity, such as Government Relations Officers (GROs) and higher management, can facilitate the process.

Some Exceptions to Transferability:

It’s important to recognize that certain professions may face restrictions on Iqama transferability. For example, farmers are typically unable to transfer their Iqamas. Additionally, domestic workers encounter limitations, with sponsorship transfer to business entities prohibited within the first seven years of employment. Prospective employees in these professions should be cautious when considering job offers to ensure alignment with their career goals.

Final Thought:

Ensuring your Iqama is transferable and staying informed about your Iqama status are important for expatriates in Saudi Arabia. By following the steps outlined in this guide and understanding your rights as an employee, you can navigate the process of Iqama transferability smoothly and legally. Stay informed, maintain good relations, and utilize online resources for a hassle-free experience in managing your Iqama status in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Recommended: Complete Guide to Pay Sponsorship/Naqal Iqama Transfer Fee

Is my Iqama transferable?

To determine if your Iqama is transferable, check your employment contract for any terms related to sponsorship transfer. If your contract allows it, your Iqama is likely transferable. Additionally, consult your HR department for confirmation, as they can provide official information on the transferability of your Iqama. Keep in mind that positive relations with your employer and compliance with contract terms are crucial for a smooth transfer process.

Can an expired Iqama transfer to a new employer?

Typically, an expired Iqama cannot be transferred to a new employer. It’s essential to address the renewal of your Iqama before considering any transfer processes.

What is the difference between transferable and non-transferable Iqama?

A transferable Iqama indicates that your employer or sponsor is open to transferring your sponsorship to another entity, allowing you to change jobs without leaving Saudi Arabia. Non-transferable Iqamas lack this flexibility and may have restrictions on job changes.

How can I check if my Iqama is transferable?

To check the transferability of your Iqama, review your employment contract for any clauses related to sponsorship transfer. Confirm with your HR department for official information, as positive relations with your employer are crucial for a smooth transfer process.