What is IQAMA and How is it Important in Saudi Arabia?

In present, Saudi Arabia’s population is consisted of about 78% expat hires. While visiting this country, you will witness the majority of the foreign nationals than locals. You’ll surely bump into some people of different beliefs, culture or traditions. Despite the fact that most of the country’s people are expats, the Islamic culture and discipline prevails.

Also Read: How to Apply for IQAMA in Saudi Arabia

Before you can go and work in Saudi Arabia, there are points you must keep in mind. In this post, we are going to share one thing that must not live without- IQAMA. To understand what IQAMA and how important it is to Saudi Arabia, refer to the information below.


What is IQAMA?

IQAMA is valid document used in Saudi Arabia. It is a residence permit issued to foreign nationals who enter the kingdom for employment purposes. Here are more information about IQAMA.

  • Just recently, IQAMA has been replaced with what they call the Muqeem card or the identity card in Saudi.
  • In general, IQAMA/Muqeem has a validity of one year although it states that it is valid for 5 years, you still need to undergo the renewal process online annually.
  • The contents of your IQAMA are your name, your sponsor’s name, issue dates, and location where it was issued.
  • This is the only valid identity card for expats in Saudi Arabia. Without having this, you can transact with banks, buy sim cards, use train, and even roam around the country. In fact, there are fines of up to 3,000 Saudi Riyal if you are caught not having IQAMA.

Also Read: Punishments for Violating the Labour Law in Saudi Arabia

Why IQAMA is Important?

  • IQAMA is vital because it serves as you temporary residence permit in Saudi Arabia.
  • If you are from benefited professions and you have IQAMA, you can sponsor your family members and obtain a temporary or permanent visa for them.
  • You can visit Um-rah any time of the day with your IQAMA.
  • You can use trains and buses and travel around cities in this country.

Following the rules will not only save your from trouble, you can get many benefits from it like the ones stated above. IQAMA is handy-dandy permit in living a legal life in Saudi Arabia. And if you want a maximum usage of your expat privileges in this country, be sure to renew your card on time.

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