How to Change Sponsor or Tanazul in Saudi Arabia?

For both new and experienced expats, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a great place to look for an employment.

However, Naqal, Kafala, transferring sponsors (Tanazul)  or changing employment from your present company to another within the Kingdom can be totally challenging. But there are 2 ways to change jobs or tanazul for employees who are currently on a company visa.

1. File a final exit and enter the country using a new visa.

Finish your contract and go home to your country of origin. You can always come back even in 2 weeks, assuming that you have already obtained a visa from the new employer, to work in the Kingdom.

2. Transfer of sponsorship, locally. 

The next way is to transfer the sponsorship to the new company, that is, if the current employer is agreeable, a case which is quite rare. In many cases, an employer will refuse to transfer an employee to another employer since this is difficult and it involves a long process when you are getting a new visa.

When the sponsoring company is currently in red category, you wouldn’t have to reveal your previous company when transferring to a new company. You would be able to check the category of your company by visiting the ministry’s website.

Benefits of having Azad or Paid Visa

When you are holding a visa whether it is Azad or Paid, it would be easy to switch over from different companies without doing any sponsorship transfer to a new company. Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia does not accept the Azad visa anymore and those who are caught holding this visa will be considered as illegal residents. If you find a company who is willing to transfer your paid visa, it’s the best option.

What you should do when you are planning to change your sponsors or Naqal / Kafeel / Kafala?

  1. You need to read through the regulations and terms in the employment contract that you have from your company.
  2. Make sure that the new employer that you have has a request and an offer letter requesting for a transfer.
  3. When dealing with your present employer, stay kind and pleasing to avoid getting complaints against you.

The whole process of changing sponsor can happen in a week days, depending on the responsiveness of your future and past employer. Take note that it takes more time than what was promised (Inshallah!)


And for the fees, it varies depending on how many transfer/s you’ve already made:

1st Transfer: 2,000 SAR (usually paid by your employer)

2nd Transfer: 4,000 SAR (usually divided into two, employee and employer)

3rd Transfer: 6,000 SAR (usually, the employee pays 4K SAR and the 2k is shouldered by the employer)

All these fees are can be paid online, either upfront or deducted from your salary.

Also note on the following points when transferring sponsorship:

  1. There should be no pending/unsettled traffic violation at the time of transfer
  2. The profession in the Iqama or Muqeem should match the company business.
  3. Availability of your finger prints in the government’s system.
  4. If you’ve recently renewed your passport, the visa needs to be transferred to the new one. It will not be a new visa, it will only be a note to the new passport and a record in the system.

What you should “NOT” do when you are planning to change your sponsors or Naqal / Kafeel / Kafala?

  1. Don’t tell your employer or any of the people you work with to know what you are planning to do.
  2. Don’t consider using an Exit/Re-Entry Visa.
  • patrick sarfo

    I completed my first two years contract and about to go for vacation very soon,First i fill for Exit form BUT my company refuse me and i change it to vacation,Now my Iqama will expire next 50 Days , Please how can i get a new job as a transfer igama since i don’t like my old company, I am a heavy duty mechanic and my position in the company is workshop manager. please help me.

    Thank you.

    • IC – Admin

      Dear patrick,

      Transfer of Iqama is a privilege given to an employee. In other circumstances, when a company is bought out or closes down, they usually provide transfer iqama or exit visa. In your case, all you can do is to politely ask your employer. Remember that when you go home for a vacation using a re-entry visa, and if you fail to come back, you will be banned for quite some time.

  • Dan

    How about if i dont have any record from jawasat wha is the thing to do pls help me because when i enter 2005 i was scape from my employer the till now butduring jawasat need a finger printing i did not do .pls help me but now im working without iqama i want to work as legal pls give me sone advice.thanks

    • IC – Admin

      If you don’t have any “bad record” (any other thing than escaping from work) from the previous sponsor, once you found a company, it is possible now to transfer your sponsorship to that new company. Ask the HR from the new company on how and what they are going to do to get a first hand info.

  • Aris

    Good evening. What if you are filing for an exit visa but you’re employer give you an exit/re-entry visa because he wants you to work in his company even if the salary is so much delay? What would do?

    • IC – Admin

      if you finished your contract and have no obligation to your company, you can always ask the help of the embassy if not the labour court.

    • Sameer khan

      Go labor court they will approve final exit it’s easy..i did it.

  • anthony

    good evening. what if our sponsor didn’t follow our contract, we are working 10hours per day, no day off, and they didn’t pay our overtime.. and we don’t have any insurance card, what shall we do?

    • IC – Admin

      You should already seek the help of labour office. Your working state is too much. Sorry to hear that.

  • Patrick sarfo

    Please I need a transfer of my Igama am heavy duty Technician with a position in my company as site workshop manager how can I get new transfer since my company refuse to renew my contract and increase my salary , I finish my two years contract and has work for additional month , waiting for my passport and money for vacation which take me more days now waiting

    • IC – Admin

      If they refuse then there is nothing you can do about it. In your case, it’s a privilege not a requirement from the company.

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  • Khalid shaikh

    Sir I am working as a house driver.
    Previously I don’t know about.
    My agent told me that it was sale man job.
    But when I arrived in Saudi all been frauds.I have to work here as a house driver and then to I come to know that he is not my kafeel. I am educated I can work better then this present job I have been year last 15 months
    Pls let know what I do.

  • mario

    our company was closed even before our contract was finished.are we allowed to find another job?are we allowed to transfer sponsor?what can you advise to us?thanks

    • IC – Admin

      technically, they should be giving you a transfer option for a month to find another company. Ask your employer for a transfer iqama.

  • nayeemuddin

    Dear all,
    Can you please guide me out of my dilemma.
    I have bought azad visa from agent and arrived in Saudi Arabia in November 2015. Got my Iqama in a week no issues from the kafil and the agent. After two months i found job in jeddah. Now the Issue is the kafil is rejecting the online request sent from my new employer. when i asked the agent about this, he said it will be done now and then. it carried out for two and half months. but now my new employer wants me to settle this. #he gave me one wk time to take transfer. but the kafil is saying that he will give the release only after ramadan as he have some issues with his mossasa. his nitaqat category is platinum. what are my options because my employer is not giving me time till ramadan even after getting chambered letter from the kafil saying that i can work in the company and the transfer will be done after ramadan.

  • nayeemuddin

    kindly suggest me please..

  • Asalam u alikum i am from india alhamdullilah i came to saudi as a salesman but my leg bone was broken i cannot stand properly from 2months i have taken a rest in king salman hospital my visa is a manpower but i want a transfer to another company in my sponser he was not having any job from last 4 months but i have given a interview in another company he was telling me that they want transfer please tell me or mail me

  • salman

    Dear sir .
    I work in saudi from last 14 year’s and now I am coming india with exit ri entry visa but I don’t want to come back in my current company . I try but my employer don’t want to give me final exit or releez ( nakal kafala ) so pls. Give me advise how can I come with another visa . “My iqama expire after two months”

  • Florema Estrada

    My employer will be getting married after Ramadan and she is planning to close our shop/maskal.she gave us notice that starting last Tuesday April 19,2016 they allow us to look for a new employer or go back to my country. But just today she introduce me to one madam.i found out that she is selling us (along with my sister) for SR30,000 each……I am thinking of just going back to my country than agree of nakel kafala beside my employer is the one who is terminating my contract not us….do I have my right to ask or disagree with my employers decision of selling I have the right to choose where and look for my new employer?

  • hamisi omar

    Hi im working as a driver in a costruction compony ihave now finish one year the problem is that delay of salary more than three month and my iqama expire in three week time and i have get agood offer compony they are waiting for plz tell me what to do plz thanks

  • Usman

    Hello Sir,
    I am Chartered Certified Accountant. I came 3 years ago on Azad visa and when government forced to take transfer i took transfer to company currently working with. Now salary is very low and here is no contract i worked almost 3 years so if i have demand letter of another job can i take transfer as i took transfer here and came on my own visa? Should i consult labor court?

  • Shaik

    I finished my contract with a low basic in my present company and i want transfer ta free lancer company every time delay the salary for three months exactly after they issue the salaries and since 1 year i am asking for an increment and even though they wont accept.when i ask them for an exit they refuse to give the exit…help me on this i really pray to allah for you..
    Jazakallah ho khair.

  • hussain

    Good evening Admin
    i want to ask that if the company contract finished and transferred to another company and the new company signed one year contact and the terms and conditions are that both parties can terminate this contract by giving a prior notice or to pay one month basic salary .
    in this condition if someone want to leave this present company after completion of 2 or 3 months to some other company what is the Law if company delay or refuse to give release however employee already transferred from another company.

  • Naeem

    Hi. I just wanted to know that whether i can get transfer without consent of employer as my salaried for the month of february march and april are pending. The employer has paid me the salary of november on 2nd may 2016. Please advise me.