What is Iqama in Saudi Arabia?

Penalty and Deportation on Iqama Expiry

Iqama or Muqeem Card

The Iqama or Muqeem card is a Residence Permit that is proof of an expatriate’s legal status in Saudi Arabia. Iqama issued to expatriates who arrive in Saudi Arabia on an employment visa as well as a dependent visa. Iqama is a valid form of identification for all purposes, and without which one cannot operate a bank account, ATMs, remit money, obtain mobile SIM connection/recharge, or travel abroad.

Issuing or Renewing Iqama is Employer Responsibility

Employers must provide Iqama within 90 days of the arrival of the worker after he successfully undergoes medical tests and the employer is arranging health insurance.

If the employer fails to provide Iqama within 90 days or renews it before its expiry, the Ministry of Labour (Toll Free Helpline No. 19911) should be contacted to register a complaint.

On receipt of Iqama, it must be confirmed that the name is printed exactly as in the passport. If not, the necessary corrections need to be made through a sponsor from Jawazat’s office.

It is the employer’s responsibility to issue and renew Iqama, as well as any fines relating to its non-issuance/non-renewal.

Iqama must be carried at all times and shown to police or other authorities if demanded. (Now expatriates can use digital Iqama instead of plastic cards)

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