Everything you need to know about the Iqama in Saudi Arabia

By Mohammed Ameen

Updated on:

Saudi IQAMA - All you need to know (2020)

What is Iqama in Saudi Arabia

The Iqama, also known as the Muqeem, is a residence permit granted to expatriates arriving in Saudi Arabia on a work visa or a dependent visa. Iqama is required to open a new bank account in Saudi Arabia and to send money abroad. In Saudi Arabia, a valid iqama is also required to obtain a SIM card.

How to Read Iqama?

Validity of Iqama

Generally, an iqama is issued or renewed for a period of one or two years.

How to check the validity of Iqama?

You can check Iqama validity through the Absher portal or by visiting the Ministry of labour website.

Iqama Renewal

Iqama is required to renew every one or two years online.

What is the penalty for expired Iqama?

There will be penalties for not renewing Iqama on time. According to Jawazat, an SR 500 fine will be applicable in the first instance and it will be doubled in the second instance.

What is the penalty for non-carrying of Iqama?

According to Jawazat, a penalty of SR 3,000 or 6 weeks in prison or together will be imposed for non-carrying Iqama offences. And this applies even if caught for the first time.

What is the Nitaqat or Iqama color?

Nitaqat is a Saudization program that aims to create more jobs for Saudi citizens. All private companies and establishments in Saudi Arabia are given a nitaqat colour category based on Saudization level. The higher level shows a platinum colour, and the red colour indicates a lower level. Green categories represent the average level of Saudisation.

How to check Iqama color or Nitaqat color ?.

Iqama Color can be checked online by visiting the website of the Ministry of Labor.

How to correct the name written on Iqama?

The name on Iqama can be corrected by visiting the passport office / Jawazat.

How to change the photo in Iqama?

Your photo on Iqama can be changed by visiting the Jawazat office.

What is Iqama Transfer or Naqal Kafala?.

The sponsorship can be transferred in Saudi Arabia from one sponsor to another under certain conditions. Transfer of sponsorship requires certain fees to be paid.

What is “Huroob” or invalid Iqama?

When a sponsor registers a runaway complaint against his employee, he becomes an illegal resident in Saudi Arabia. This is called Huroob. Here’s how to check the huroob status.