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?
- You need to read through the regulations and terms in the employment contract that you have from your company.
- Make sure that the new employer that you have has a request and an offer letter requesting for a transfer.
- 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:
- There should be no pending/unsettled traffic violation at the time of transfer
- The profession in the Iqama or Muqeem should match the company business.
- Availability of your finger prints in the government’s system.
- 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?
- Don’t tell your employer or any of the people you work with to know what you are planning to do.
- Don’t consider using an Exit/Re-Entry Visa.