What is Iqama in Saudi Arabia?

What is Iqama?

Saudi Arabia’s residence permit is known as the Iqama or Muqeem, and it serves as proof of an expatriate’s legal status in the country. Iqama is issued to expatriates who arrive in the kingdom 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. Iqama validity or expiry date can be checked via the Absher or wazarat amal (MOL-KSA) website.

Employer is Responsible for Issuing and Renewing Iqama

The employer 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 an employer fails to provide Iqama within 90 days or renews it before it expires, a complaint should be filed with the Ministry of Labour (Toll-Free Helpline No. 19911).

When the Iqama is received, it must be confirmed that the name is exactly as it appears on the passport. If not, the necessary changes must be made with the help of your sponsor through Jawazat’s office.

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

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


Mohammed Ameen is a blogger and SEO specialist with more than ten years of living experience in the Middle East. He has a postgraduate degree in business administration and is passionate about blogging and travelling.
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