Iqama also know as Residence permit or work license. It is the main identity card for expatriates that is accepted in Saudi Arabia at all places including government office, banks, check points, airports etc.
The Iqama shows your name, date of birth, name of your sponsor and date of expiry of ID. An Iqama can be renewed for 1 or 2 year. At the time of issue or renewal of Iqama, the passport should be valid for at least for 6 months.
First thing when you get your new Iqama, check and make sure the details are correct.
Name – It should match same as your passport both in English and Arabic. Or else you face problems later.
ID number – It is printed in Arabic in the middle and in English at the bottom as shown in the picture above. You can use this ID to check the your traffic fines, make payments for government services and others.
Date of Expiry – This is very important part. Iqama can be renewed for 1 or 2 years. However the date of issue is not shown in the Iqama. But the date of expiry is shown. You need to note this date down and remind your HR to renew your Iqama. Failure to do so will lead to a penalty fee. To convert to Gregorian date from Arabic calendar click here. For conversion of Arabic numerals click here. As per the law, the sponsor is responsible for all the fee related to Iqama including renewal and fines.
Profession – This the profession that counts for legal services like getting visit visa or family visa. If your profession does match as per your work description, you can ask your sponsor to get it corrected. Now a days it can be done online by your sponsor.
The Iqama is a very important ID. If lost, the process can take time and there is a penalty of SR. 500.
So take care and have a nice stay in Saudi Arabia.