Saudi Arabia’s IQAMA profession list plays a crucial role in regulating the employment of foreign workers in the country. The IQAMA (also known as Muqeem) is a residency permit granted to expatriates, and the profession listed on it determines the type of work they are eligible to undertake.
Understanding the IQAMA profession list is essential for both employers and employees, as it outlines the approved job categories and facilitates the legal employment of foreign nationals. In this article, we will delve into the details of the IQAMA profession list, its significance, and how it impacts foreign workers in Saudi Arabia.
The Purpose and Significance of the IQAMA Profession List
The IQAMA profession list serves as a vital framework for the Saudi Arabian government to regulate the employment of foreign nationals. Its primary purpose is to ensure that expatriate workers are matched to appropriate job roles, maintaining a balance between the available workforce and employment opportunities. The profession listed on an individual’s IQAMA determines their eligibility for specific job categories, and employers must hire workers whose professions match the approved roles.
This list is periodically updated by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development to reflect changing labor market needs and align with the country’s development goals. It encompasses various industries such as healthcare, engineering, information technology, construction, education, finance, and more.
Categories and Examples of IQAMA Professions
The IQAMA profession list comprises a wide range of job categories, each with its own set of approved professions. Here are some examples of common professions found on the IQAMA list:
In Saudi Arabia’s robust healthcare sector, IQAMA professions include doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, lab technicians, radiologists, and physiotherapists. These professionals play a crucial role in providing quality medical care to both citizens and residents.
Engineering and Technical Professions
The engineering field encompasses various disciplines, such as civil, mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering. Other technical professions on the IQAMA list include architects, surveyors, technicians, and draftsmen. These professionals contribute to the country’s infrastructure development and ensure the efficient functioning of industries.
Information Technology Professions
As technology continues to shape the modern world, there is a high demand for IQAMA professions related to information technology. The IQAMA profession list includes IT professionals such as software engineers, network administrators, system analysts, programmers, and IT consultants.
Saudi Arabia places great importance on education, and the IQAMA profession list includes a wide range of roles within this sector. Teachers, professors, lecturers, school administrators, and educational consultants are among the professions eligible for employment in educational institutions.
Finance and Accounting Professions
The financial sector in Saudi Arabia relies on professionals who ensure proper financial management, auditing, and compliance. Accountants, auditors, financial analysts, bankers, investment advisors, and insurance specialists are a few of the finance-related IQAMA professions.
Construction and Skilled Trades Professions
With extensive construction projects underway, skilled workers are essential for the development of Saudi Arabia’s infrastructure. The IQAMA profession list includes carpenters, masons, plumbers, electricians, welders, and other skilled tradesmen necessary for construction and maintenance activities.
Process of IQAMA Profession Change and Transfer
Sometimes, individuals may wish to change their IQAMA profession or transfer it from one employer to another. In such cases, specific procedures need to be followed to ensure compliance with Saudi Arabian labour regulations. Here is an overview of the process:
To change their IQAMA profession, individuals need to meet certain criteria and follow the prescribed steps:
The individual must possess the necessary qualifications, certifications, or experience required for the desired profession. It is crucial to ensure that the chosen profession aligns with the individual’s educational background and skills.
The individual should gather the required documents, which typically include educational certificates, experience letters, and any other relevant credentials supporting their eligibility for the desired profession.
The sponsoring employer who is willing to hire the individual for the approved profession should support the new profession change. The employer should initiate the professional change process on behalf of the employee.
The employer submits the profession change application to the Ministry of Labor and Social Development or other relevant authorities. The application should include the necessary documents, such as the individual’s qualifications, the employer’s endorsement, and any other required forms.
Approval and Amendment
The authorities review the application and, if satisfied with the provided information, approve the profession change.
In the case of changing employers while staying in the same profession, individuals need to follow a slightly different process:
New Employer Sponsorship
The individual must secure a new employer who is willing to sponsor their transfer. The new employer will be responsible for initiating the transfer process.
No Objection Certificate (NOC)
The current employer must issue a No Objection Certificate (NOC) stating that they have no objection to the individual’s transfer to a new employer. The NOC serves as confirmation that there are no legal or contractual barriers to the transfer.
The new employer submits the profession transfer application to the relevant authorities, along with the necessary documents, including the NOC from the previous employer and any other required forms.
The IQAMA profession list in Saudi Arabia is an essential tool for regulating the employment of foreign workers. Understanding the IQAMA profession list is crucial for both employers and employees, as it facilitates legal employment and compliance with Saudi Arabian labour regulations. By following the prescribed procedures for profession change or transfer, individuals can navigate the system and make necessary adjustments to their IQAMA profession, contributing to their professional growth and the overall development of the country.
A1: The IQAMA profession list, also known as the Muqeem profession list, is a categorised list of approved job roles in Saudi Arabia. It determines the type of work foreign workers are eligible to undertake and is a crucial tool for regulating employment in the country.
A2: The IQAMA profession list is periodically updated by the. Ministry of Labor and Social Development to reflect changing labor market needs and align with the country’s development plans. Employers and employees need to stay updated with the latest version of the profession list.
A3: Yes, individuals can change their IQAMA profession, but certain criteria and procedures must be followed. This includes meeting the eligibility requirements for the desired profession, gathering the necessary documents, securing a sponsoring employer, and submitting an application for professional change to the relevant authorities.
A4: Yes, individuals can transfer their IQAMA profession to a new employer while staying in the same profession. The process involves securing a new employer who is willing to sponsor the transfer, obtaining a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the current employer, and submitting an application for professional transfer to the relevant authorities.
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I am Saif. I am the founder and chief writer for his own website called KSA Expat Guide and a freelance writer and web developer for many other websites. I live in Saudi Arabia as an ex-pat. Love to research all about KSA. I use my spare time to learn new things, travel, and write about them, especially when it comes to technology and things from the past.