Expats who are planning to move to Saudi Arabia and work there for a couple of years, you must understand the importance of Iqama. Primarily, an Iqama is one of the most significant documents you must secure upon entering. Without this, you would be tagged as someone who has been illegally employed or illegally roaming around the country. That’s how powerful Iqama is that you will be treated as an illegitimate expat if you don’t have it.
Iqama is being processed by your sponsor or employer before hiring you officially. In case you’re not getting any update regarding the status of your identity document and you’re worried if this has been taken care of, here’s what you must learn.
What Are Considered As Illegal In Saudi Arabia?
- Failing to renew the Iqamas of expat employees 3 days before the actual expiry date
- Hiring illegal expat employees without a work permit
Violations and Penalties In Relation To Iqama
Saudi Arabia Jawazat made it clear to employers, sponsors, and companies that delaying the renewal process of their employees’ iqamas can get them in trouble. They meant that there will be heavy consequences if the renewal process will not be followed in a timely manner.
The following are the violations and penalties every employer or sponsor should remember:
- Sponsors/employer who failed to renew the Iqamas of expat employees 3 days before the actual expiry date for the first time will be charged SR 500 per every Iqama.
- If the violation is repeated for the second time, the charge will be increased to SR 1,000 for every Iqama that has failed to renew.
- If the violation is repeated for the third time, the expat will then suffer the consequence which is being deported to his own country.
- The failure to renew the Iqamas of employees has an exception if there is a delayed on the part of the Ministry of Labor. For example, the Shamoon virus attack that happened years ago caused the delayed in the renewal of Iqamas, thus, exempting employers who were affected.
Failure to renew Iqama, Saudi Arabia Jawazat also warned employers and sponsors that hiring expat workers without work permits are considered illegal. Here are the following charges if the violation is done:
- If the violation is done for the first time, the penalty is SR 25,000 with a 1-year recruitment ban plus deportation of the manager in case he is a foreigner.
- If the violation is for the second time, the penalty is SR 50,000 with a 2-year recruitment ban plus deportation of the manager in case he is a foreigner.
- If the violation is for the third time, the penalty is SR 100,000 with a 5-year recruitment ban plus one year in jail and deportation for expat manager.
Use this as your defense against your employer or sponsor in case they are not following the iqama renewal protocol.