The Importance of Iqama
My Iqama Card
Kingdom Residence Permit
Iqama is the most important document that an expat or a worker in Saudi Arabia should bring with him every now and then 24/7.
In Saudi Arabia if an expat or a worker is caught by police officers or Muttawa without Iqama or Residence Permit he will face different charges against him such as: illegal entry, evader, alien, spy and a terrorist. He will be sent off to jail for further investigation and if his company will ignore and will not work for his release, he will be sent off back to his home of record.
How to apply for Iqama
Iqama is an Identification card that caters all the information about the person. To apply for this Residence Permit one should submit all the requirements needed to process his Iqama such as:
- his passport
- his company contract with the attached of his working visa or working permit
- other endorsement papers signed up with his employer with the stamp of the Company approved by the Saudi Arabia Chamber of Commerce
- his photos
- Sometimes the applicant is asked for finger prints.
After he submitted all the necessary requirements, the personnel at Iqama Department or the Ministry of Interior will now start in en-coding all the data in the computer found from those documents he submitted after that his Iqama will be processed and it will take him at least two to three days to get his Iqama.
Other purpose of Iqama
The purpose of Iqama is not only as a Residence Permit it is also use for the following purposes:
- To apply for driver license
- To apply for marriage license
- To remit money in banks
- Needed for translations of English documents to Arabic
- And other imaginable transactions that the bearer will transact inside the host country
Iqama fees vary. If the applicant will apply for it for one year – he will pay only 250 Saudi Riyals. For two years is 500 Saudi Riyals.
According to the Kingdom's Labor Law, Iqama expense should be shouldered by the employer not by the employee. However, there are wise and clever employers who charged their employees for Iqama applications and renewals.
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