Job change or sponsorship transfer (Naqal Kafala)
Naqal Kafala or change of job means change of sponsorship in Saudi Arabia. So changing your job is a big deal as it means that your sponsor too changes. Saudi Arabia has always been supportive of hard working expatriates and is considered as the best place of employment. Changing your job or transfer of sponsorship (Tanazul) is a difficult process but can be achieved if the process is followed correctly. It can be done in two ways:
§ Go for final exit, out of the country and then come back in with a new visa
§ Employer must transfer your sponsorship to the other company and this is a lengthy process. Employers mostly don’t encourage Tanazul
If you are working in a company that is categorized as ‘red’ then change of sponsorship is very easy and you don’t really have to reveal the details of your first company. Previously there was a concept of ‘Azad Visa’ where you are not really tied to a single sponsor, so you are free to change job. But now this visa has become illegal in Saudi Arabia and is no longer entertained.
Dos and Don’ts before Naqal Kafala
§ You must thoroughly read your company contract and confirm your doubts with your employer before signing. Keep in mind that your visa is tied to the company you work for.
§ Confirm with your new employer the terms and contract of your new employment
§ When exiting from your old company, complete all the exit formalities without burning your bridges with your old employer, so that there is no reason for him to turn you down
§ Don’t plan exit / re-entry strategy
§ It is better not to talk of your plans for job change either with your friends of colleagues