Iqama is just a resident permit here in Saudi Arabia. It is now also known as Muqeem Card or Resident Identity.
The work visa you got is valid only for three months and before it’s expiry your kafeel needs to get an Iqama for you. This three months of visa period is also considered as a probation period. If both the parties are happy to go along then it is good otherwise a contract can be terminated in this period.
Its size is just like a credit card and is the sole identity proof here in Saudi Arabia. Your sponsor or as the say Kafeel is the one who should arrange it for you after completing the process like Medical test here and the government fee.
Saudi Arabia has been facilitating its residents and expatriates to deal with government-related queries through web portals like MOI Absher.sa, Ministry of Labour (MOL), Ministry of Foreign affairs (MoFA) and other departments.
An expatriate needs not to visit Saudi offices and sees the officials though everything is done online nowadays.
What is MOI Absher?
Ministry of Interior Saudi Arabia has launched a portal to deal with iqama queries online.
At MOI Absher you can check like Iqama Expiry Data, Iqama Validity Status, Kafeel name, Company CR number, Driving License & Istamar Validity, Final Exit, Iqama Funds and much more.
This is also a mobile application for this MOI Absher
What is MOL?
Al Ministry of Labour – MOL(وزارة العمل) website you can get Iqama fee status and Maktab e Amal fee on your Iqama, your Company or Mosassa Status if it is Red or Green, Platinum or in Silver Nitaqat category.
What is MOFA?
Ministry of Foreign Affairs – MOFA deals with visa issues, final exit, and ext re-entry issues. This is an equally helpful portal like MIO Absher & MOI.
On this blog, you will see quite helping material for an expatriate.
Iqama Expiry & Validity Check
You can check Iqama validity through Absher Account. But don’t worry if you don’t have an Absher account right now. We will tell you how to make one for you.
First thing first, you should have an Absher account to know more about your Iqama queries.
To check Iqama expiry you need to have an Absher account but I will show you the latest new trick to check it without any account.
You can read more in detail here;
Iqama Expiry without Absher
- You can ask your friend if he has an Absher already
- You can see the iqama issue date on your Iqama to get the idea but it is not correct as it only shows the last updated date or issue date. It may be one month before the expiry.
Iqama Renewal Fee 2020
It is according to following scenarios;
Iqama Fee | Saudi Employees more than 50% in Company
|MOI Fee||MOL – Fee||Medical Insurance||Total Fee|
|650 SAR||8,400 SAR||450 SAR||9,500 SAR|
Iqama Fee | Saudi Employees less than 50% in Company
|MOI Fee||MOL Fee||Medical Insurance||Total Fee|
|650 SAR||9,600 SAR||450 SAR||10,700 SAR|
Iqama Fee for Saiq Khas, the Maid, Mazra & House Workers
|Iqama Fee – MOI||Work Permit – MOL||Medical Insurance||Total Fee|
|600 SAR||00 SAR||500 SAR||1,100 SAR|
Iqama Fee for very small companies | 5 workers or less
|MOI Fee||MOL Fee||Medical Insurance||Total Fee|
|650 SAR||00 SAR||500 SAR||1,150 SAR|
If your company has 50% or more Saudi Employees then the fee will be
with a breakdown – Iqama MOI Fee – 650 SAR, Iqama MOL Fee – 8400 SAR & Medical Insurance – 450 SAR
otherwise, it will be 10,700 SAR
with a breakdown – Iqama MOI Fee – 650 SAR, Iqama MOL Fee – 9600 SAR & Medical Insurance – 450 SAR
This fee is as per approximation and the actual fee may vary a little.
Iqama Status Red Green
This is also an important factor to know about the company you are working with. A nitaqat system was launched by Saudi officials to know if any company is complying with rules and regulations set by the government.
The companies are put under;
We can read more about iqama status in the blog
Available Funds on Iqama
This is also quite important to know about Funds available on your Iqama. This is also done at the MOI Absher portal.
The use of we need to see ‘Public Query Available Funds’ once we log in there.
The purpose is that if we have submitted some funds like ti renew the driving license, iqama, etc. then once the fee is cut/disappear from our Absher account it means the transaction is done like Iqama is renewed successfully or license is renewed – same other transactions.
You can read about Iqama funds by clicking this button.
What is Huroob?
Huroob means is run away from work. As per labor law, you can only work under your Kafeel. If any worker violates or stays absent from work then the Kafeel can report you in the Ministry of Labour that this guy is not showing up at work.
In that case, you are under huroob and illegal. Once caught then you will be sent to jail called Tarheel center. Until unless your Kafeel remove huroob status from your Iqama.
We will see how we can check this on MOI & MOL web portals.
More to follow
You will find all the Iqama related queries on this blog.
FAQ’s on Iqama
If my Iqama is stolen then what to do?
Immediately report it to authorities. Normally, tell your company office or any kafeel representative & let then handle the issue. Don’t come out on roads or streets until you have your Iqama with you otherwise, you will face a fine of SAR 1000 for the first time, SAR 2000 for the second time & finally deportation & SAR 3000 for the third time. A fee of the reissue is nominal.
It is called ‘soul’ & keep it always with you.
Iqama copy is valid as identity proof?
No, only original Iqama can serve as identity proof.
What if I could not get Iqama after the visa is expired?
Yes, if you still want to get an Iqama then you have to pay the penalty to get it.
If I am on a visit visa then I can get an Iqama?
No, it is only for working personals and their dependents.
Who is your Kafeel?
Kafeel is the one who has sponsored you to come here for work. You cannot get a work visa without any sponsor here in Saudi Arabia. Kafeel is the one who is responsible for your Iqama to be issued or renewed.
What documents are required for a new Iqama?
- Your passport
- 2 White background passport size fresh photographs
- Medical exam report – Pass
- Valid Medical insurance
- Iqama fees, MOI & MOL Iqama fees.
During renewal, nothing required except the fee.
What is the Iqama Transfer Fee?
You can change your sponsor once both parties are agreed (you and your Kafeel). In that case, you need not go back home and get a new visa.
Sponsorship Transfer fee;
- For the First Transfer of Sponsor: 2000 SAR
- For the First Transfer of Sponsor: 4000 SAR
- For the First Transfer of Sponsor: 6000 SAR
After that, you can take as many and the fee will remain the 6000 SAR.
What is mentioned in Iqama?
Iqama is now called Muqeen Card is the Resident Identity also has information on it like;
- Complete Name in both English & Arabia
- Photo – Taken at the airport while entering for the first time
- Date of Birth
- Date of Issue
- Permit Number
- Sponsor Name
- Iqama Number
- Place of Iqama Issue
Most of the information is in Arabic but your name & Iqama number are in English.
How long an Iqama is valid for?
Normally, it is valid for one year. You have to renew within this period. You can avail 3 days as a grace period.
My spouse and children can avail Iqama?
Yes, you have to show a valid attested by authorities for a marriage proof for your spouse. Your kids can be under your name. You have to pay a levy fee now that is 400 SAR per head. May increase periodically.
You can not hold your children after they get 18 years old. Now, they need to manage their own Iqama.
How to do Iqama check kafeel name in English?
You need to log in at Absher account and go to ‘Dashboard’ click on ‘More Information’ and finally you will see your Kafeel name & you can translate in English by google translator if not in English already.
I have overheard that above 60 years person cannot get Iqama?
You are wrong. There is no such rule. As long as both parties are agreed it can go along.
What is Iqama number?
Iqama has 10 digits number printed on it. Iqama number is in chronical order like if a worker came here is 2010 around then the Iqama number maybe like 2288346977 & later worker will get starting from 2388346987, 2488346978, etc.
How long is an Iqama valid?
It is valid for one year from the date ho issuance, normally. You need to renew if want to stay any longer but it will be renewed again for one year, not a monthly or quarterly basis.
What is Iqama English?
It is called Resident Permit in English.
What is Iqama Card?
A resident permit issued to an expatriate coming to KSA for work. Iqama is just like a credit card as shown in its picture above.
Which departments in Saudi Arabia deals with Iqama issues?
Jawazat is the department that deals with all sorts of issues of Iqama.
What to do with expired Iqama after getting a new one?
Just crush it or waste it properly otherwise someone may misuse it and you will get in trouble.
How to get a Permanent Iqama in Saudi Arabia?
No way. You cannot get permanent residency in Saudi Arabia like in UK, USA, Australia or other European countries. Criteria to get permanent residency is really hard here in Saudi Arabia & other GCC countries.