New Rules For Profession Change In KSA For Expatriates 

If you’re tired of working in another branch rather than working in your actual profession, now you can change your profession. According to the new rules for profession change in Saudi Arabia referring to Article 38 of Saudi Labor Law, an iqama holder can change profession easily.

According to new laws, the Ministry of Labor now can approve the profession change of all Iqama holders living in KSA. An Iqama holder has all his bio on the Iqama which includes your name, date of birth, profession, date of expiry and issue, work permit type, and the change Iqama profession to ensure that you’re a resident of KSA and working there. That means, if you want to change your profession in Saudi Arabia all documents should have accurate and authentic information about you and your work. 

You’ve to ensure that all the data on your documents should be equivalent. Like, if you’re working in a medical department and your data says you’re an engineer, it is considered a crime in KSA. This means, that not only your change profession request will be rejected but also, you’ll be punished. So make sure that all the records match your document because if the authorities see any mistakes or doubts about your information, it will be ultimately trouble for you. 

Therefore, changing professions is not an easy job if you try to be over-smart with the authorities, but it’s possible if you’re right. 

This blog post will cover all the information and will introduce you to the new rules for professional change in Saudi Arabia. A step-by-step guide on how to change profession in KSA.

New Rules For Profession Change in KSA

How To Change Iqama Profession? Step-by-Step Guide

Before applying for the Iqama profession change make sure you fulfill these requirements.

Requirements For Changing Profession 

  • The candidate must be available in KSA.
  • A specific profession-attested degree is required. 
  • Need to pass the profession-related exam powered by Saudi Profession Verification Exam.
  • The amount of 1000 Saudi Riyal (profession change fee).
  • Register yourself with the relevant organization.
    • Engineer and 136-technician will be registered with the Saudi Council of Engineers
    • Account and Audit profession with the SOCPA.
    • Health and Medial with the Mumaris Plus.
    • Veterinary profession with the Ministry of Agriculture. 
  • The working status should be “Pending Service Transfer”.
  • The candidate needs to inform both professional bodies about changing the profession. The current professional authority and the future professional authority. 

Profession Change Method

Step 1: Request The GRO Of The Company

If you have completed the above prerequisites, it’s time to contact your company’s Government Relation Officer (GRO) so that he can send a request for your Iqama profession change. The process is as follows:

  • GRO will log in to the QIWA portal and open e-services. 
  • Select “occupation change”, and then choose the candidate who is willing to change the profession. 
  • Select the desired occupation, and fill in the required details about the employment contract of the worker. 
  • After providing the correct details apply for the change. 
  • Qiwa’s status will be Pending, until the next step.
QIWA portal

Step 2: The Candidate Accepts the Request

Once the GRO applies for the change of profession for a worker, the change will not be accepted until the desired candidate approves this. The one benefit of this thing is, that no one can change your profession secretly without your permission which is a secure process. 

To approve the request the employee has to take these steps. 

  • The candidate needs to get registered with the Qiwa platform. If already have an account, sign in to the account. 
  • Go to the Individual Account and select the Change Occupation. 
  • Here you’ll have a notification to accept the request. 
  • Click on Accept and wait for further assessments. 

According to the HRSD Ministry new rules for changing professions, if the candidate has a legal profession like doctor or engineer. The GRO’s request will be directly sent to the MOL for further process. 

Qiwa signup

Step 3: Ministry of Labor Will Approve The Request

After the first two steps, the request will be sent to the Ministry of Labor’s department HRSD Ministry. The authorities will look at the details and then take further decisions. However, you can keep tracking your profession change status through the MOL website or by using the Qiwa portal. 

Laborer approval request

Step 4: Get The New Iqama 

If everything goes fine, and the request is accepted by the relevant departments, they will notify you through a message. However, if you keep tracking your record you’ll know that the request is accepted. 

After that, the employer will print you a new Iqama with the changing profession that you can check in the 8th line of your Iqama card. 

new iqama card

How To Change Iqama Profession Manually?

Due to any reason, if you’re unable to change your profession through the above online method, don’t worry. I’ve another solution for you. 

In this case, you’ll request your GRO to visit Ministry or Labour office to proceed with the process. For this purpose, the required documents are as below;

  1. A request form letter to change the profession is signed by the candidate. 
  2. The Iqama copy of the candidate
  3. Commercial registration copy. 
  4. Outline the reason in the request form and what error you’re facing via the online/Qiwa method
  5. The company/sponsor ID.

Read more: How to Transfer Employees Through Qiwa in Saudi Arabia

Once all these requisites are completed and submitted to the Ministry of Labor, the GRO will receive a confirmation message to change the profession.

Who Can Change The Profession?

Any person living in Saudi Arabia with a valid Iqama can change profession if he fulfills the terms and conditions stated by the Saudi Ministry of Labor and Social Development. Here are more details on who can change the Iqama profession in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

New Rules For Expats To Change Profession Without Any Condition

  • If the Expat has an absentee work contract for 90 days after arriving in Saudi Arabia.
  • If a foreigner has a dispute with his employer and the employer does not attend the last two Labor Court hearings, he can change his occupation.
  • The person can change the profession if the company was banned for illegal business, fraudulently bringing Expats to KSA.
  • After the expiry of the Iqama and before the renewal of the Iqama an expatriate can change professions.
  • If the company’s owner is absent for the last three months and the employees are not getting paid then they can apply for professional change. In this case, the company has no right to hold the worker. 
  • If the employer agrees to let the worker go, they can change their occupation.
  • If the employer puts pressure on the workers, withholds their wages, and gives them corporal punishment, the worker has the right to report to the police and can change their occupation.

New Rules For Expats (Already In KSA) To Change Profession

  • The Expat must have his record in the Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MOLSD). 
  • A certified/attested document of the word contract is required. 
  • The person needs to end the contract with the previous company. Unless the past contract is not completed they can not apply for the professional change. 
  • Need to complete one year with the current company. 
  • Before requesting to change profession, the person needs to apply for a new job on the QIWA portal (A platform where people apply for jobs in KSA).
  • The Expat needs to resign from his previous job with a withdrawal period notice. 
  • After completing these requirements, an expatriate can easily apply for profession change Iqama. 

New Rules For Expats (New In KSA) To Change Profession

  • The person needs to apply for a new job via the QIWA portal. 
  • An Expat must be able to obtain a visa in accordance with legislation and ordinances.
  • They must have legislative consent to a wage protection system.
  • The Expat must agree with the self-appraisal program.
  • The labor procurement document and digitization program should be accompanied by an Expat agreement for legislation.

New Rules For Iqama Profession Change Without Certificate

Not all professions require an attested degree to change the profession. There are still some professions that can be changed without a degree or certificate. Here are a few scenarios that are useful to change professions without a certificate. 

  • If a candidate has a non-technical profession he doesn’t require any certification for a change of profession. For example, if a person is working in Labor he can request to change profession to cleaner. 
  • Within 12 months of registering with SCE, a local computer technician can convert his or her profession to labor without a certificate.
  • SOCPA allows residents in the profession of Accountant Iqama to transfer their profession to Labor after registering with SOCPA with any degree.

Note: According to the new laws if you’re living with your family in KSA, no matter whether the family is permanent or on a family visit visa, you can not change your profession to a lower category like Labor. 

People Also Ask

Around 1 week

Typically it takes around one week to change professions in KSA. The authority will study the application, verify your details, and accept your reason. If they accept your request you’ll get a message from the authorities. 

SR 1000/-

According to the Saudi Labor laws 2019, a person must pay 1000 Saudi Riyals to change the Iqama profession. The employer of the Iqama holder is responsible to pay this amount through Sadad or Al Rajhi Bank. Without paying fees, the profession can not be changed. 


So these were some new rules for professional change in Saudi Arabia. If you’re living in KSA and want to change your profession, by following this guide you can easily get approval. Make sure your all details are accurate otherwise the authorities can reject your request. 

Also, ensure that while changing your profession the Iqama status is valid and not getting expired within a week. 

If u want to know how can u renews and check the fee in KSA, you must check out this link:

Check Iqama Renewal Process & Fee in KSA

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