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.
To change your Profession in your Saudi Work Permit or Iqama, you must have a valid University degree or a 3 years technical diploma which is attested by Saudi Consulate in your home country and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country. To attest your degree you must have gone through the following process. This is a Prerequisite to Changing Profession in Saudi Arabia.
1. Request a Letter from your Company; to Saudi Consulate for Attesting your Degree / Diploma.
If you are already present in Saudi Arabia, You need a letter from your Company/Sponsor to Saudi Consulate in your home country. The Letter should state that you are having an Iqama and working in Saudi Arabia and company has no objection if Saudi Embassy will attest your degree, then attest this letter from chamber of commerce in Saudi Arabia. Soon I will post a snapshot of this letter.
However if you are not present in Saudi Arabia or you didn’t reach Saudi Arabia yet, request such a letter from your employer via email or telephone and ask them to send original copy of the letter via Postal Service.
2. What else is required to Get your Degree / Diploma Attested
Once you received such a letter, gather below documents in one file.
Letter from your Employer to Saudi Consulate (Explained Above)
Copy of your Iqama
Copy of your passport.
Original Degree or Diploma
Now move to step 3. The next steps should be done in your home country.
3. Prerequisites of Getting your Degree / Diploma Attested from Saudi Consulate in your Home Country
Before submitting it for attestation from Saudi Embassy / Consulate get your degree attested by yourself from following offices.
Higher Education Commission of your home country
Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country
Once degree/diploma is get attested from above, Move to step 4
4. Finally Submit to Saudi Consulate for Attestation
Contact any recruiting agency, travel agency or agent who is specialized for dealing with Consulate of Saudi Arabia in your home country. Almost all the agents who arrange Umrah Visas can help you in attesting your documents. Make sure to attest degree from following.
Saudi Culture Center in home country
Saudi Consulate in home country
In Pakistan all these offices are located in Islamabad. Please note that you can’t go to embassy yourself for this work, you should find an agent who is approved by Saudi Consulate to do this. This is the website of one of the agents doing this.
Everyone among expatriates who are working in Saudi Arabia and living without their families, is interested in having family visa for Saudi Arabia. Because it is not easy to survive in a location where you don’t have your relatives, friends, language mates etc.
Being an expatriate I have gone through this process so I would like to share the process of getting family visa so others can benefit.
Below are prerequisites and procedures which are required to obtain a Family Visa in Saudi Arabia. This process is divided many steps to make it clear and understandable. Before thinking or proceeding in to this you must be aware that you are required to have a Valid Saudi Iqama, a Suitable Technical Profession that is eligible for applying a family visa as per Saudi Arabian labor laws. If you are not sure your profession is suitable for a family visa you may ask your company’s HR department, legal advisory or corporate representative.
.First Applying for the visa (being in Saudi Arabia) and Second is Applying for Visa Stamping from your Home Country.
Applying for Family Visa Pre-Requisites
Please gather these documents.
Copy of Your iqama.
Copy of Your passport which includes information page, Visa page, Airport Entry Stamp page.
Original Marriage certificate that is attested by Saudi Consulate in your home country and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country.
Arabic Translation of Marriage Certificate from an approved Translation center located in Saudi Arabia.
Graduation Degree or 3 Years Technical Diploma with attestation from Saudi Consulate in your home country and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country.
Arabic Translation of Degree from an approved Translation center located in Saudi Arabia.
Procedure for applying Family Visa
Get a Letter from your employer which is describing your Profession and salary.
Get a Visa Application form from HR Department of your company or nearest Istikdam Office or download it from Pro Saudi Blog, Fill the form in Arabic. Normally the Legal Advisor of your company should do this sort of stuff. (Get this form filled by any Arabic literate person).
The Family Visa application form should be stamped/signed by your sponsor(kafeel,company) and you.
Get these documents ( pre-requisites + Letter + Visa Application Form) and bind them in one file.
Visit Nearest Istikdam office in your city and apply for the visa. Further information can be gathered from the office itself.
Istikdam office clerk will issue you a Yellow paper which is actually a Family visa. If Istikdam office didn’t issue in the first appearance, he may give you a later time to come and collect it.
After Getting the Yellow paper you can start processing Family Visa from your home country through an agent.
How to get visa stamped in your home country can be discussed in future soon. Keep visiting our blog.
Disclaimer: The author of this blog is not a law professional and does not hold any responsibility of misunderstanding and wrong doing of anyone. The author of the blog has gone through all this process, (1. Documents attestation from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, 2. Change of Profession, 3. Applying for a family visa, 4. Stamping visa to passport from Saudi Embassy and finally getting family in Saudi Arabia. So the above information should be considered a guide-line or information.
The author is not affiliated with any Recruiting Agency, Travel Agency, General Services Agency, Legal firm or Job Provider. The author will not accept any claim of misguidance, fraud or any other thing of same kind. Saudi Arabian Govt might change the law anytime in future so the best option for you to get family visa is; consult responsible department of your company.
Expats community in Saudi Arabia is seeking and requesting information and required Forms for applying Family Visa in Saudi Arabia. So I decided I will try to put this info at my blog to make it available for the expats community.
Here is Permanent Family visa application form for Non Saudi persons, you can download it from here. It is MS Word file. Although it is available on many Arabic forums but due to not having much familiarity with Arabic language expatriates miss this. In Arabic it is called طلب استقدام للأفراد غير السعودين
If you don’t know which documents are required and what is the procedure for getting family visa then I have compiled this post for you. Read it fully to understand family visa step by step process. How to Get a Family Visa in Saudi Arabia. Family Visa in Saudi Arabia requires a suitable profession, if your profession is not eligible for family visa you can read here how to change your profession in Saudi Arabia.