The regulation of employment of expat workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is done through the Kafala (sponsorship) system. Any foreign citizen entering the KSA for employment requires the sponsorship of a kafeel (sponsor). The Kafeel might be a company or a Saudi citizen.
For all expat workers, it is mandatory to have a written employment contract, mentioning the employment duration, compensation and other details, such as the cost of the Iqama, medical expenses and vacation terms, signed by the employee and the employer. During the entire period of the employment contract, the sponsor assumes all responsibilities for the sponsored employee.
If you are an expat worker in the KSA, you will need explicit permission from your sponsor to enter the country, change employment and leave the country. Along with that, in many day-to-day activities, you will need to provide your sponsor’s name and ID. This is why you would need to know how to check your sponsor’s name and ID in the KSA.
What is the Sponsor ID in the Saudi Arabian Visa?
The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Labour assigns a unique identification number to every business entity, for identification of GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) sponsors in the KSA. This 10-digit numeric code is called the Sponsor ID.
The Sponsor ID is required for many purposes by expats in the kingdom. You will require it to get your Iqama card (residence and work permit), check your visa status, renew your driving license in Saudi Arabia and for other purposes, such as opening a bank account, checking medical insurance expiry date and more.
Can I Check the Kafeel Name on Iqama?
There are many ways to check your Kafeel (sponsor) name and sponsor ID in the KSA. Your Iqama card, issued by the Ministry of Interior, Saudi Arabia, will feature your Kafeel name along with 10 other pieces of information, such as your name, nationality, Iqama number, job title and date of expiry. Your Iqama card will act as a vital ID document for you, while you stay and work in the KSA. Make sure you carry this ID with you at all times.
Some other sources of finding your Kafeel name are:
- The visa page in your passport
- Through the Absher website
- Enquiry with the HR department of your organisation
- Website of the Ministry of Labour
Detailed Process on how to Check the Sponsor ID in KSA?
You can ask the HR department of your sponsor company for information related to your sponsor’s name and ID, and they will provide you the same immediately. Alternately, you can check your visa page for the details.
1. Checking Sponsor ID through Your Passport
Your sponsor ID will be available in the stamped KSA visa page in your passport. The fifth line in your visa, from the right, will feature your 10-digit sponsor ID. This might be mentioned in Arabic, so you will need someone to interpret the numbers for you, in case you are not fluent with the language.
2. Checking Kafeel Name and Sponsor ID through Absher
To check your sponsor ID in the KSA, you need to have an Absher account. An Absher account will help you in many other ways, such as checking for your Iqama expiry date, applying for exit/re-entry visa, renewing your driving license and more. Visit the Absher website, and click on the “Individual” tab for Absher account registration.
You will need to click on the “New User” icon, after which you will be asked for your Iqama number, mobile number, desired username, password and language. After clicking on “Next,” you will receive an SMS code for mobile number verification. Press “OK” for account registration.
Now that you have an Absher account, proceed to check your sponsor ID through these steps:
- Go to the Absher portal and click on “Individual”
- Enter your username, password and the image code to sign in
- On the main window, click on “Dashboard”
- Click on “More Detail” in the Dashboard window. This tab will be on the left side, below your picture, full name, date of birth and other details.
- A window will be displayed with your Kafeel name and ID, along with other information.
The sponsor name and ID will both be displayed in Arabic. You will have to ask someone to translate it for you.
3. Checking the Sponsor ID through the MOL Website
You can check your sponsor name and ID through the Ministry of Labour website. This page will be in Arabic, so you will need someone to guide you through it. By entering your Iqama number and name, the portal will display your sponsor ID and name.
This method can also be used to check the status of your request for a transfer of your Iqama. If the transfer is processed successfully, your sponsor name and ID will change, which will be reflected here.
How to Check the Sponsor Colour Category?
The Sponsor Colour or Nitaqat Colour is very important for you to understand the rate of Saudization of your employer company. This plays a role in whether you can get a job with your desired company in the KSA, change your employment, renew your Iqama status and more.
Your company’s colour or Nitaqat status can be found on the Ministry of Labour website. Here’s how to check the colour:
- Go to the MOL website
- Enter any one or more of these search groups: Passport number, Residency number and Border number
- Enter your nationality and the verification code
In the next window, you will be able to see details, such as your full name, employment status, Iqama colour status and company’s legal status.
Red colour indicates low Saudization status, which means little benefits. This means that your visa and Iqama cannot be transferred or renewed. Yellow colour is also more or less the same, except you can be issued a visa only when 2 expats leave the company.
Green colour means that the company has a better Saudization rate, which means you will be able to apply for Iqama renewal and new visa every 2 months. You can also change your company in this case.
The most desired category is Green or Platinum colour. Companies that fall under the Platinum category can hire more foreign workers and ensure faster visa approvals. Visa transfer is unconditional for these companies and you can apply for a change in job.