How to Change Profession in Saudi Arabia

Changing Profession in Saudi Arabia

Changing your Profession in Saudi Arabia doesn’t mean to leave your existing job and do something else but it means to change the profession that is mentioned on your Work Permit or Iqama. Why do someone want to change it? because it has huge impact on benefits and facilities you get in Saudi Arabia being a foreign worker. Including ability to apply for a Family Visa for yourself.

To Change Profession mentioned in your work permit you got to fulfill some requirements and rules. As per Saudi Arabian Ministry of labor you must be doing a technical job and earning a good lively hood to support your family in the Kingdom. That’s why labors and general staff are not entitled to apply for a family visa.

If an expatriate want to call his family on resident visa he must belong to a professional or technical job and his/her work permit should also state that. Every expatriate in Saudi Arabia has an Iqama (Resident permit) which states his profession.

If an expatriate is living in Saudi Arabia and his profession is not eligible for applying for a family visa he got an option to change his profession in his/her work permit. This doesn’t mean he has to change his job, but this is just like a requirement in documents.

1. Prerequisites to Changing Profession in Saudi Arabia

Once you have done Documents attestation from Saudi Consulate in your home country, bring your documents in Saudi Arabia and attest again from following.

  • Consulate of your home countery
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Saudi Arabia (located in Jeddah or any other city called خارجیہ)

2. Submit an Application for Change of Profession

Your company / sponsor must issue a letter that you are an employee to them and doing same kind of work as per your qualification and degree and also you are intended to change your profession as per same work. Now translate your degree into Arabic from an approved Translation Center in Saudi Arabia.

Then Find a good General Service Agency/Agent. These agencies and agents have their offices at Jawazat Street in Jeddah and you can find by yourself in other cities. Discuss necessary details with them. They will tell their requirements and fees.  Settle a suitable amount that is acceptable for both parties. Also make sure your new profession will be eligible for Applying a Family Visa, the best option to ask is nearest Istikdam Office (The department of Ministry of Labor which is responsible for issuing Family Visas to expatriates working Saudi Arabia.)

Once your profession is changed to a suitable profession you may apply for a family visa anytime. Further process is very simple that I will explain later.

Written by 

Yasir Imran is a Pakistani national living in Saudi Arabia since 2004. He writes because he want to express his thoughts and share his knowledge about expatriate issues in Saudi Arabia.
  • Tharik Azees

    assalamu alaikum

    self tharik abdul azees a civil engineer.i came ksa in civil engineer visa and all the attestation are done . but now saudi council of engineers registration must complete degree in 5 years .i get degree before 4 year .so not accept SCE .how to get Iqama, if have change profession in same catecarry pls tell me

  • abdul rauf

    my iqama profession is general driver(saek sayyarathul aam).i have to change my iqama profession, but i don’t have any degree certificate . i want to know which professions are not requirement the certificate.

  • Abdul Vasiq P P

    Hi my self abdul vasiq a mechanical engineer.i came ksa in mechanical engineer visa and all the attestation and saudi council of engineers registation are done. After i went exit and return back through new company. But my current eployer provided me an havc technician visa. Any one can help me to change my profession to mechanucal engineer

    • Abdulla

      you have SCE, Registration, then ask ur employer to do the change brother

  • prabhu

    Kindly suggest me a suitable profession for BSc Mathematics which can bring the family here. my profession in iqama Mechanical Technician but I am working as an Administration Assistant now. is it can be changed to Executive Secretary? and is it match with my degree certificate. my certificate have all required attestations. Kindly suggest me a suitable profession and how much time will take to do this?

  • muhammad dabous

    hi Yann
    sales representative
    issue : family permanent visa(wife+ two kids below yrs) transform visa to istiqdam
    currently there are in visit visa in the KSA
    basic salary 8000+
    high school degree

  • Ameer Jothi

    I completed my Diploma in Electrical & Electronics Engg. I working in KSA as a Sales Engineer. My Iqama is electrical technician. I have got the saudi attestation and applied to Saudi council of Engineers and paid the fee. But the council of Enigineers rejects and said (Your qualifications do not meet the requirements for registration, and your application cannot be accepted).

    I dont know what to do?

  • john david

    hi friend ,
    i wanted to know if its possible to change my profession from general labour to any techician profession and then later to a engineering profession. am a mechanical engineer and currently going to go to saudi arabia on a general labour visa provided by my employer

  • Faizel V


    I would like to know whether a 3 year regular Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics is enough to attain an Economic Analyst profession or higher ? Is this profession also suitable for permanent family visa status and on arrival visa facility through out the GCC ?

    • I think your degree is enough for changing profession and also it seems that it will be sufficient to apply a family visa.

  • sibin

    hi, my iqama profession is home cook (thabbaq manzili) i wanna change my profession immediately please help me

    • Sardar Waheed Ayub

      Sir I m new in Saudi Arabia. I m problem on here my visa amal manzili Pakistani ajant talk with me you’re work house gard and house driver but here kafeel talk with me you’re work mazra I say I can’t this work but he is not learn me sir what I do plz help me in which track i will change this visa or I go come back home he say you can’t go Pakistan I m very sad sir my professional work optical fiber splicing and dish setlight technician plz help me my.Visa expired date 1 month belance

  • riyaz ahamed

    Dear Mr. Yasir,
    I am working in a company as Sales Representative but my iqama profession is Telecom Technician. I have a bachelors degree in arts and I want to change my profession corresponding to my degree to bring my family on permanent visa. Please suggest me which is the suitable iqama profession that i can choose…please help…

  • Usman

    I am Usman. I came here recently on Home driver Visa. I want to change my Visa Profession As I am Professionally Accountant. Is there any possibility to change it? I even got a good job for Accounts but problem is to change profession on Iqama.

    • yann

      Hi usman, yes its easy. Kindly share your contact and I will assist

  • Sidd Anuada

    Do you still have to register in the Saudi Council for engineers even if you’re an undergraduate?

  • Azhiitlove

    Hi , I don’t know if this is out of topic but I’m now in a situation where I need to transfer my kafala to other company/clinic .. Does it mean I’ll be facing the same sentiment here ? Like going in Chamber of commerce, attesting my credentials or anything?? I’m so lazy doing this stuff!! Thank u! Your reply will be a great of help.

  • M Zaheer


    I have B.Com degree from Pakistan. I want to know, is it valid in saudi? Like DAE registers their degrees with Saudi Engineering Council. so where can I register my degree with? and is it valid to apply for a supervisor or manager level profession on Iqama with B.Com?.

  • ppp

    Dear yasir,

    Im working in ksa with “other engineering technician visa”. Yesterday i went to apply for family visa in riyadh istiqdam. they rejected my application saying “change your profession”. I have 4years degree in “Civil engineering”. Please could you help me is there any alternative source i have.

    • amjad

      Dear PPP iam have also other engineering technician profession ,please would you like to tell me do you get your permanent family visa because i have to apply in these days plz share your thoughts

  • Sohail

    Dear Yasir,

    I currently working as a Quantity Surveyor in Qatar and my visa profession is “SAFETY TECHNICIAN”. I got offer in Saudi and they do not have a engineer visa and the HR advising me that they will provide General Plumber Visa for time being once I arrive to KSA change the profession. My question is Im having Diploma in Civil Engineer certificate so is it possible to change the profession from plumber to Engineer. Also I read a note in “Saudi Employment Visa – Process & Requirements from India” (For candidates who have previously travelled to Saudi/GCC Countries, their job category in the new Saudi work visa must be somewhat similar or equivalent to the job category in the old Saudi/GCC visa in their passports. The new visa could not be of much higher or smaller level category than the previous one. (If the previous visa is Engineer, then Technician,Operator, Labour etc.. visas could not be endorsed and vice versa)). Based on this note will I get a Safety Technician Visa in Saudi with Diploma in Civil Engineer Visa and it is legal to have Safety Technician in Iqama and work as a Quantity Surveyor.



  • Muhammad Asad Khan

    Is there any list of occupation vs degrees you have???

  • Waseem

    I am waseem and is having Muharam visa.I find a job in a company and want to transfer my iqama to that company. please let me know how to transfer.

  • gouse

    Dear sir please confirm the house driver profession change last date close the last time

  • Muhammed Kunhi

    Iam havebeen working as a water in Ministry of diffence since 8 years, unfortunatly my Iqama is Cleaning Labour, have any possibility to change my profession. I heared its impossible bcz im working in Government sector, is it true, please give me a solution.thank u

    • Please communicate with HR department. Tell them your issue and if you have a family status they will change your profession to suitable one.

  • Usman

    Hey Yasir I am am working as Graphic/ Webdesigner. Just recently proformed UMRA and now i am thinking should have a visa so i can live and stay near haram, I am getting a personal driver visa. will you please give me an idea how much a graphic/web designer easily earn per month in KSA my email is here is my portfolio Thanks in advance for your kind help

    • Salary in Saudi Arabia depends on level of your skills. Better skills, better salary. You may estimate average salary of any post by visiting

  • Parvez

    Assalamu Alekum,,

    Could i know that would general mason visa changes to engineer visa.

  • Parvez

    Assalamu Alekum

    I want to know that can i change the general mason visa to engineer visa.

  • edison

    Assalam alaikom,

    I cam here under the kafil of my wife, I am a Masters degree holder and I applied for a job as a lecturer in a college and eventually was hired. I underwent the process of changing sponsorship. My problem now is that, after the sponsor transfer, I found out that instead of lecturer on my job description, general cleaner was written, Now I am asking the company to change the profession but until now nothing has happened. Is it possible for the company to change the profession? I gave them before all my certificates with arabic translation and even the original ones with stamp form the embassy.

    • They can change it easily, they have an authenticated login ID form MOL, once transfer or sponsorship is complete they will do it in very easy way.

  • Syed

    Career change is a great challenge. Transferred from a software developer to the graphic designer and had lots of problems with irrelevant work experience. Employers didn’t want to listen to me, just because I had only IT jobs in the resume. Well, i decided to redo the resume, so that it showed my relevant design skills in the first line. And as I was applying to the international company, I decided to ask some good English native speaker to do it for me. Prices for resume writing on US market are huge! But i managed to find some good service for $49.99 only – and they did the job perfectly! I really like the resume i have now.

    • Dear Blog Visitors.
      I don’t sponsor or Trust this service. Use it at your own risk.
      I am not responsible for anything.

  • Robin Leni

    Dear Sir,

    Please give answer for my question about
    profession changing .presently I am working in a power plant company as a nurse since 2010 Feb. My visa is a labour
    status. I want to change it to nurse. I have submitted my all document & Diploma certificate
    (NURSE) with embassy attested to my head office for
    profession change. But company not willing to change it.if it is not change
    this will affect my future carrier Please suggest me and send detailed reply soon.

    Thanks and regards

    k baby.



    • If your company is not willing to change it, no other person can do it. You have to follow up with them and keep asking for change.

  • Please ask HR / Legal department of your company.

    • muthu

      hello my iqama name english and arabic difrent i will clearing this curreption how much charge

  • Hamid

    Dear All,

    Now I am at 3rd step for registration (see attached image) with SCE, how much time will take till finish the 5th step?

    Please reply

  • Abdul imthias

    Assalam alaikum

    Now I came to Saudi Arabia same company new visa. now my visa is electrical technician but past three years I have worked in electrical engineer, Saudi council also registered. how can I change my profession. just I came Dec 17th 2013. Please reply me.